EP 1835 Does this question sound like another one you might be asked?

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This is one of those fun interview questions-- give me a 60 second sales pitch about yourself. Now, we hear that question and a lot of people are going to freeze up because they hear a sales pitch and they go into selling mode and they're babbling on . . . and the key to answering this question is what you do immediately before the formal part of the interview begins by asking what I call "the best question" or "the single best question to ask on any interview."
So, as soon as you lower your butt into the seat you start by saying, "hey, thanks for making time to speak with me today. You know I saw the position description," or "you know, the recruiter (and you mentioned them by name) told me about the job but I want to get your take on the position. Could you tell me about the job as you see it and what I can do to help?"
Now, why that really helps with this question is they're not looking for this, "Well, I was born in 1981 or 1961 (or whatever the year is)" and they're not looking for you to pontificate. What they want is a sales pitch and what's a sales pitch? Easy. A sales pitch is to demonstrate how your background fits the role.
Now, you may have looked at a job description and I what I'll tell you is someone I coached yesterday was laughing as I was talking about this. When a job opens up, a hiring manager contacts HR and says, "do you have that job description in your system for when we last hired, (fill in the first name or fill in the name of the person who had that seat before)?
You pull that one out because it was previously approved and they don't have to rewrite it. But it doesn't give you the texture about what they're looking for today. It gives the job description that they looked for six months ago, two years ago, six years ago, whenever it was.
So, by asking this question you get the current thinking about the job which may be a little bit different than the job description, so that you can talk about what you've done that matters to them.
So, what's the 60 second pitch? Real simple. In 60 seconds (and I'm sure they'll let you go a little bit long with this) they're not sitting there with a stopwatch or with their phone running on stopwatch form, and trying to get you to talk about yourself. They want to hear you talk about how your background fits what they need.
And by asking that question before the interview officially starts, as the two of you were sitting down or as the phone is answered by you and they've identified themselves, you leap in right away (and this is why it helps with answering this question, tell me about yourself or any of these or types of questions that are kind of generic), they're designed to make you talk yourself out of the job.
Again, ask that question before the interview then treat this as be a more aggressive version of . . . notice how my energy is heightened here . . . you want to demonstrate higher energy because, when they're asking for a sales pitch, they're asking to be sold to and to sell yourself into the job.


Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves career coaching, all as well as executive job search coaching, job coaching and interview coaching. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 1800 episodes and “The No BS Coaching Advice Podcast” and is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council. “No BS JobSearch Advice Radio” was named a Top 10 podcast for job search. JobSearchTV.com is also a Top 10 YouTube channel for job search.

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