How to Ace the Interview Icebreaker

Don't freeze when you hear "So, tell me about yourself" at your next job interview. The Public Speaker has tips on how to have a straightforward 3-minute response ready in response to this leading question

Lisa B. Marshall,
July 23, 2012

How to Ace the Interview Icebreaker

Most interviews start with “Tell me about yourself” or “Walk me through your resume.” This traditional question is meant to be an easy icebreaker, but many people struggle with it. Your response should be no longer than 3 minutes and should include your “ex” factors. That’s “e-x” for experience, expertise, and excellence.

First, provide a high-level summary of your most relevant work history and education. Then give a summary of specific past achievements that are related to the needs of this organization. And finally, wrap up by describing skills or traits that make you who you are.

Here’s a brief example, “I’ve been a help desk manager for 5 years and I’m also a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer. I have a strong track record of retaining top quality employees and, in fact, I reduced turnover by 10% in my last two positions. I thrive in the fast pace of the IT environment and enjoy the challenge of effectively communicating to both non-technical and technical people.”

Notice how the “ex” factors, (again that’s your experience, expertise, and excellence) together make up your unique selling proposition. There's no better was to start (or end) your next job interview.

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