“So tell us a bit about yourself?” The daunting part of an interview where most people freeze and fumble over what to say. As dreaded as the question may be, it is inevitable.

A top priority when preparing for an interview should be focused on creating an elevator pitch. This is, essentially, a 30-second personal spiel about yourself – who you are, what you do and why you are a good candidate for the position.

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Though it may SOUND simple, cramming your interests, talents and experiences into a small amount of time can be quite challenging. Here are a few tips and tricks to help you prepare:

  1.     Brainstorm

Write, write and write! Scribble down everything that defines YOU. A good starting point is reviewing your resume or LinkedIn profile, and from there ask yourself: What do you I well? What are my strengths? What would I like to do? How will these attributes benefit the company?

  1.     Lay It Out!

Create a story about you – focus on what makes you a standout candidate from the hundreds of other people that applied. A great way to format an elevator pitch is in three stages:

  1.     Who are you?
  2.     What do you do?
  3.     Why are you a suitable candidate?

Gather your brainstorming ideas and select the most appropriate attributes to define you as an employee.

  1.     Target ‘them’ Not ‘you’

Remember, you are essentially ‘selling’ yourself. The employer want to hear about how YOU will benefit THEM. For instance, you might claim you are an organised and diligent individual but how will this benefit them?

A good way to make sure you are targeting everything to them is to support each claim in reference to the job description. For example, “I have an in-depth understanding of Excel, meaning developing competitor analysis reports will not be a challenge.”

Another important step is mirroring your audience by making sure your language used is suitable. A good starting point is entwining industry jargon and reviewing the company website.

  1.     Practice!

Like they say, practice makes perfect! Record yourself on video or recite to friends and family. Use their constructive feedback to ensure your elevator pitch is done to your best ability.

Follow these steps and be surprised by how potential employers will respond to you. You will most likely be one step ahead of other candidates. Like they say, “you will never get a second chance to make a first impression.” Follow these tips and make yours count!

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by Nicola Pappadopoulos