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Liz Ryan Contributor

I write about bringing life to work and bringing work to life. full bio →

Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.

I was a Fortune 500 HR SVP for ten million years, but I was an opera singer before I ever heard the term HR. The higher I got in the corporate world, the more operatic the action became. I started writing about the workplace for the Chicago Sun-Times in 1997, but it took me ages to find my own voice. Now I write for the Huffington Post, Business Week, LinkedIn, the Harvard Business Review, the Denver Post and Forbes.com and lead the worldwide Human Workplace movement to reinvent work for people. Stop by and join us: http://www.humanworkplace.com

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Leadership 599,003 views

How To Answer The Question 'Tell Me About Yourself!'

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LYNDA, A JOB-SEEKER: Sure. I started out in Sales and became a Marketing Manager about six years ago. My approach to Marketing really springs from what I’ve seen that works to get customers interested — I see Marketing as priming the pump for the sales process. Jim, can I ask you a quick question about this Online Marketing Manager role?

JIM: Sure.

LYNDA: I see that you’ve really expanded your online presence over the past year. It’s impressive — you’ve got sixty thousand Likes on your Facebook page, for instance, which is something a lot of companies your size would envy.

JIM: We do? That’s great. Our Social Media Coordinator, Brittany, is really good at that stuff.

LYNDA: I’m curious how your online marketing feeds into the sales process now. How do you see that intersection?

Lynda’s Pain Hypothesis is that Jim is willing to invest the cash to hire an Online Marketing Manager now because new-customer inquiries are decreasing. Jim’s company is private, so Lynda couldn’t find any sales figures online, but she notices that all of the product reviews she can find are two to three years old.

The company’s Facebook page with 60K likes is only nine months old. Somebody got the memo that said ‘Social and mobile are where your customers are’ is Lynda’s guess. Still, are all those Likes on Facebook translating to sales leads? Lynda intends to find out. She wants to learn more about the Business Pain Jim is facing, so she’s about to spring her Pain Hypothesis on him.

JIM: That’s a great question. We’re new to online marketing. We haven’t really been involved in social media until this year. Brittany’s social media projects are the first volley in that campaign, you might say. We’ve been very focused on things like Facebook Likes –

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