Are you unsure how to answer when asked to “Tell me about yourself”? Even experienced executives can dread the question and waste the opportunity to sell themselves as the right person for the job. Similar to an elevator pitch, but customized for each interview or networking event, you can learn how to prepare an answer for this question that offers the exact information hiring influencers are seeking.
The answer is simple, it’s a short story of your career. There’s a simple formula that works for each job interview or networking event: Present, Experience, Fit. It works for everyone, from entry level, to executives. Once you’ve created a story following that formula, you are prepared with all the information and a strong sales pitch for yourself that any recruiter or network contact will respond to!
Present: You want to give a clear snapshot of where you are in your career.
Experience: Give a brief story of your experience and skills that are relevant to the job or goal.
Fit: Finish up with a positive statement about why you and your job/goal are a perfect fit.
An example of a job interview story:
I currently manage the Ontario Attorney General’s legal task force on eminent domain cases pertaining to gas and oil. I began in the private sector, working 10 years for a firm that specialized in protecting the rights of property owners in water and land disputes. So, I have a total of 16 years of experience in settling property disputes from both sides. While I love my job working for the Crown, I’m ready to go back to the private sector and put my skills and experience to work for a client who needs legal counsel who can effectively negotiate with both the public and private entities involved in taking pipelines from planning to production.
An example of a networking story:
I’m the VP of IT Infrastructure at McGraw Hill Education, overseeing the planning, purchase, implementation and operation of all hardware in our digital education division. I started in software development and design, and after that, I worked for 8 years in quality control managing both beta testing and structured rollouts. I’m happy where I am, but my ultimate goal is to find a position that uses my experience in both development and hardware in a C-suite position.