This is by far the most popular interview question asked and probably the most dreaded and difficult to answer… So, tell me about yourself?”
Today, you’ll learn 5 simple steps to answer this popular interview question. Plus, download your free interview guide cheat sheet below, complete with example responses to the most commonly asked interview questions!
The “tell me about yourself” interview question will potentially be the first question you’re asked in an the interview as a way to get the ball rolling.
The interviewer is asking this question to get a sense of your personality and to see if you are a good fit for the position.
Let’s jump into how to answer the “tell me about yourself” interview question.
Step 1 – Keep it professional
Now you might be tempted to share you personal life story, but this is not what the interviewer is looking for. They want to know about your career history and some of your greatest accomplishments as they relate to the position you’re applying for.
Think of this as a way to let the interviewer know of your expertise and qualifications from a professional standpoint. You may have time later in the interview to discuss more personal items, but reserve this question for your professional career highlights.
Step 2 – Captivate with a story
Develop a response in a story format that highlights who you are and why you are the best fit for the position. Before you create your story for the interviewer, you need to know what the employer is looking for in the perfect candidate.
To do this, carefully review the job posting and make note of keywords and phrases that stand out in the posting. Then grab significant elements from your work experience and your accomplishments and line them up directly with the position.
Take it one step further by researching the company to learn more about their goals, their aspirations and the problems they’re facing.
Step 3 – Keep your story organized
All good stories have a beginning, a middle, and an end.
Start your story with where you are now in your career. This gives the interviewer, fresh, up-to-the minute information about your current situation. This will grab their attention quickly and pique their interest.
Then move into how you got to where you are now. Perhaps it’s because of promotion or some type of advancement in your career. Talk briefly about your background including education and special skills you’ve developed along the way.
Finally, lead the interviewer into why you are passionate about the role, the company or the industry and let them know how the position aligns with your goals and ambitions.
Giving your story a beginning, a middle and an end will make it cohesive and clear to follow.
Step 4 – Include why you are unique
Give some content into what makes you so special and different. Out of all the other candidates why are you unique.
An easy way to do this is to focus on your greatest strengths and biggest accomplishments as they relate to the position you are applying for.
Talk about some of the largest problems you’ve solved and major contributions you’ve made. This will paint a better picture for the interviewer and will give you more credibility.
Step 5 – Practice, practice, practice
One of the best things you can do is rehearse your answer to this question until it sounds natural and not scripted.
Jot down 3 – 5 bullet points that will help you easily move through your story and practice ahead of time as much as you can. Practicing will also keep you from rambling.
To nail your next job interview, take a look at my Interview Guide Cheat Sheet. You can download the guide today and tailor the responses for your next interview!