If you’ve ever interviewed for a job, you’ve probably been asked to tell a little about yourself. This question will stump candidates and cause them to stumble if they’re not prepared for it. It’s a question that can make or break the interview for a candidate depending on how it’s handled.
We’ve gathered our best advice from hundreds of interviews. Here are the insider tips from a seasoned Career Consultant.
DO: Prepare an “elevator pitch”.
Your elevator pitch is your secret weapon for nailing the interview. Your pitch should include where you have come from, what you are doing now, and where you are going. It is powerful, succinct, and informational. You should make sure to rehearse your elevator pitch, but don’t make it sound rehearsed. Here’s an example:
I’m interested in pursuing this opportunity as a Director of Operations because my greatest strengths are organization, team management, and goal planning. As I read the job description, I felt passion for the words I was reading. My past experience in office management gave me the opportunity to create systems and manage other team members. In my current position as an Executive Assistant, I have enjoyed supporting my team and the executive. I want to continue my growth trajectory by becoming a Director of Operations in Real Estate.
DON’T: Fumble or ramble.
Above all, make sure that you do not ramble in this part of the interview. This is usually the first opportunity you will have to speak at length, and you want to make a great first impression. Interviewers are typically interviewing many candidates a day and will lose focus and patience quickly if you start rambling.
DO: Keep it short and sweet.
Again, you want to keep the attention of the interviewer during this question. Keeping your introduction short will prevent their mind from wandering and will make them want to pay attention to your answers.
DON’T: Talk for more than 1-2 minutes.
We’ve found that anything over a minute or two starts to lose impact on us. Watch for visual signs that the interviewer is wanting you to stop talking such as body language, verbal interjecting, or lack of note-taking. We’ve had candidates talk for 15 minutes without taking a breath – no, we’re not kidding.
DO: Talk about your skills and strengths.
The purpose of the interview is to learn about your strengths and skills! Make sure to incorporate them into your “elevator pitch” or introduction. You can weave them into your past and current experience by touching on what you have learned.
DON’T: Tell the interviewer what skills are required for this position.
The interviewer knows what is required to be successful in this role – they’re interviewing you for it! This should go without saying, but this is not the time to lecture them on the role. Avoid phrases such as, “Real estate is very fast paced and requires someone to react quickly” or “When doing social media marketing, it’s important to have a brand and theme”.
DO: Make it applicable to the job for which you’re applying.
When preparing for your interview, make sure that you tailor your introduction to the position for which you are applying. Look over the job description again and find keywords that stand out to you. Make sure you hit on the important skills listed in the ad if they are skills in which you have.
DON’T: Tell the interviewer how the “job is done”.
Again, the interviewer will likely know the job better than you do. They are looking for the particular skill set that they feel will be the most impactful in this position.
How have you prepared for this question in the past? How did it go? We would love to hear your thoughts. Comment below with more ideas and ahas!
Put it in Writing
When tasking yourself each day, it is important that you have these tasks in writing or typed. As we know it is very simple and easy to drift away from the tasks at hand. By having things in writing, it is considered a legitimate commitment to doing it.
Just as we are considered committed to a task when having something time blocked or having a contract for something specific. All of these are very important and in writing.
Writing an Effective Resume
1) Format Format Format: Is your resume easy to read with headings, bullet points, and a simple font?
2) Name, Phone Number, Email & City should be in your heading at the top of the page
3) Replace your “Objective” with a “Career Summary”
4) Identify Accomplishments, not just job descriptions
5) Add your graduation date(s) to school(s) attended
6) Cater your resume for the Industry: look up key words used in the job descriptions you are applying for and see if that applies to you
7 Signs of Talent
1) Talent finds solutions
2) Talent shares your goals and fulfills your needs as a natural by-product of fulfilling their own
3) Talent knows what they want or is actively searching to know
4) Talent pushes you
5) Talent is continually raising the bar
6) Talent demands to be associated with Talent and attracts Talent to them
7) Talent talks the language of action and results
– Kelly Williams Realty, Inc Career Visioning –
6 Interview Tips That Will Help You Get The Job
1. Research the company
2. Practice & prepare
3. Get Ready Ahead of Tiem
4. Be on Time (that means early)
5. Show What You Know
6. Follow Up
7-Step Interview Prep Plan
• Research the organization. This will help you answer questions and stand out from less-prepared candidates
• Compare your skills and qualifications to the job requirements
• Prepare responses
• Plan what to wear
• Plan what to bring
• Pay attention to non-verbal communication
• Follow up
Time blocking is a simple concept yet very important. The issue isn’t so much as to timing itself. There are 25 hours in a day, 7 days per week. There is no changing in that. The issue is how we control that time.
Are you being production and efficient with the time you are given? Your One Thing is the first thing you block out. Why? What is the ONE Thing you can do this week such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary? When you block out your time, there should be zero distractions and nothing to take you away from it.
Time blocking should also be put in writing and can be changed as much as needed to ensure deadlines and tasks are being met.
Control your time, stick with it, and the more you narrow down your focus, the more extraordinary your results will be.
The 80/20 Rule
20% of your efforts lead to 80% of your results. The principle was suggested by management thinker Joseph M. Juran. It was named after the Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto who discovered that 80% of income in Italy was received by 20% of the Italian population.
The assumption is that most of the results in any situation are determined by a small number of causes. There are certain things we do that account for the majority of our results.
Just remember, doing a lot of things is never a substitute for doing the right things. Focus on activities that produce the best outcomes and avoid activities that produce little to no results.