Your Guide To The One Minute Commercial

Published: 31st March 2009
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Of all the interview questions that you are likely to encounter, 'Tell me about yourself' is almost guaranteed, and in fact, many interviews begin with this very one.



While it may be tempting to leap in and tell the interviewer all about your three pet snails or your passion for collecting plastic spoons, this is not what he wants to hear. The only thing he is interested in is why you are the best fit for this role in his company...and you had better be able to tell him! Like all other aspects of interviewing, this is another occasion where 'winging it' just will not work. You need to prepare your response, and the way to do this is by creating your 'one minute commercial'. Here is how in six easy steps and no more than 12 sentences.



Step 1



Write two or three sentences to introduce yourself in terms of your professional career and tell what key attributes you possess which relate to the position.



Step 2



Write another two or three sentences giving a brief summary of your recent work history and emphasizing your most significant results and achievements.



Step 3



Write one or two sentences which mention your particular strengths.



Step 4



Write one sentence which states the direction that you now want your career to go in.



Step 5



Write one or two sentences which clearly set out how your experience relates to the vacant position.



Step 6



Write one question which will close your speech and show your interest in the company.



Here is an example of what a finished commercial might sound like:



'I have been in contract management for almost 10 years, all of which have been spent in the field of forensic science. My strong presentation skills and customer-focused attitude led me to being promoted to the dual role of Contract Manager and Account Manager, which I have held for the past four years. During this time, I have dealt with customers at all levels and have developed tailored solutions to meet their needs, which has resulted in tripling the turnover of the account.



In the past six months, I have led my team in responding to the tender for the renewal of this contract, and successfully negotiated a further five-year deal worth $35 million. Not only was I able to secure the work most recently carried out by our organization, but I was also instrumental in winning back work which was lost to a competitor some seven or eight years ago which in itself was worth around $10 million.



My strong negotiation skills and business acumen have been fundamental to my success within the organization, as have my leadership skills and ability to work under pressure and plan ahead. In addition, my ability to motivate my team to deliver a first-rate service was key to winning the latest contract renewal.



Making such a positive contribution to the organization has been extremely satisfying to me personally, but I am now at a stage in my career where I would value the challenge of being able to capitalize on my skills and experience and achieve even more significant results.



I understand from Malcolm Churchill that you are currently seeking to win back some of your former contracts, and it is because of my proven track record that I am applying for the position of Sales Director.



May I ask what plans are currently underway to ensure that your company secures this work?



In truth, a 'one minute' commercial can run to two or three minutes, but if it is relevant and serves to demonstrate why you are the best match for the job, the interviewer will be hooked on every word!

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