'Tell Me About Yourself:' 5 Steps to a Well-Crafted Answer

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Tell a Story

Step #2: Tell a story.

The key to a successful elevator pitch is to hook listeners and keep them interested. To do this, tell a story. Instead of simply telling your audience about your past accomplishments and goals for the future, show them your skills, achievements, and passion by providing relevant examples.

For instance, instead of saying, "I'm a team player," reference a time when you collaborated and worked with your peers to achieve a common goal. After all, actions speak louder than words.

If you've ever interviewed for a job or attended a networking event, it's likely you've been asked the dreaded "tell me about yourself" question. It's a short but tricky question that can lead to a rambling quagmire. Where do you begin? What do you include? Obviously, the person asking doesn't want to know about your early years in elementary school, but you want to make sure you cover all the salient points that would interest the interviewer and increase your chances of landing the job.

According to Heather Huhman, writing for Glassdoor, 49 percent of over 2000 hiring managers surveyed by CareerBuilder make a decision on whether a candidate is a good fit for their company within the first five minutes of an interview. Given this incredibly short audition time, it's critical that you have a solid, well-crafted answer ready to go.

To help you create an elevator pitch that can be used in a variety of situations and, most importantly, the job interview, Huhman has outlined a five-step plan on how to pitch yourself to others -- without going off topic.


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