How to rehearse your "Tell me about yourself"

Once you have chosen the skills and stories to share, the next part is to practice it. Unfortunately, if you have a beautiful written script to this answer, but can't say it without a paper in front of you, or sounding robotic, it won't have the impact you are trying to make. You need to actually practice this one.

Rehearse the key points, but not
how you'll say it.

First just practice going through it all. Read it aloud a few times. Once you are sure about the flow, write down the key points on a piece of paper. Write out the key trigger words. For a marketing professional it might look like:

-marketing professional with 5 year experience managing magazine about llamas

- organized (magazine deadline story) Creative (contest at parking lot) manages projects (llama convention story)

- studied marketing, experience on farm, internship at zoo, community newspaper

- move beyond llamas, new challenge

- dedicated, raise interest in niche topics.

Then practice just using these cue words.

Practice with someone, Get feedback

When you are rehearsed enough to just use the cue cards to rehearse, call a friend, family member(or book a session with me) to get some feedback. Explain that you want to make a great first impression at the interview and then say it to them. Remind them that it is acceptable for this to be 3-5 minutes. Ask them these two questions.

1. Where did you get bored?

If they didn't get bored, you're awesome. If they did get bored, examine that part of the answer and think about how you can make it more interesting for the listener. 

Do you need to cut it down? 
Or do you need to add a story?
Take out details? 
Or add details?

2. What do you remember?

If they remembered what you want to be remembered for, that's great. If they remember something else, adapt the script to highlight what you are trying to sell about yourself.

Go off-book

Next, tuck that piece of paper aside and start saying it without a script.

  • Say it to the mirror.
  • Say it while walking around your home to get it into your bones.
  • Record yourself saying it on your phone or compute
  • Say it a few times everyday until the day of the interview.
  • Say it until you know it. 

Don't prepare where the pauses will be. Come off as natural as you can. You want to keep it conversational. But, you also need to know this one.

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