by Gabrielle Spiers, Head Editor, INALJ Montana
Tell Me about Yourself
This is one of the most common interview questions out there. It is usually asked at the beginning of the interview and is an ice-breaker of sorts. However it can also be a question that trips people up. People can take this as an indication that the interviewers want to hear their entire life story.
So what do they want to hear? Since this is a job interview, they want to hear about your professional experience. How would you sum up your professional experiences in a minute or less? What is your unique background and skillset? What have you accomplished so far professionally? If the answer to that is you don’t have a lot of professional experience then it is perfectly fine to bring up what you did in school.
This question is basically an elevator pitch.
What is an elevator pitch?
You have someone’s undivided attention for the length of an elevator ride. Convince them to hire you. The key to a successful elevator pitch is to practice it – out loud to your significant other, your roommate, or even to your pet.