You know the interview drill; you’ve been through it before and know what to expect. Questions about your skill level, experience, past employers, and jobs will be asked. And, inevitably, there will be a point in the interview where the interviewer will ask you to tell them a little more about yourself.
This may seem like a trick question. Are they asking about your work experience? Your skills? Your personal life? What do they really want to know?
The “Tell Me About Yourself” Interview Question
If you’re going to an interview, you know the “Tell me about yourself” question will be asked, so it’s best to prepare your answer in advance. Here are a few good tips for being prepared:
1. Decide Where to Start
Do you want to go back as far as college, or do you want to start with your skills and experience? Your goal is to give the interviewer a brief overview of your career, just the highlights. Start at a point in your past and move forward to the present time as quickly and concisely as possible. How did you get into this career? Did you study for it in college, or did you fall into it through another means? If you’ve worked eight years or less, start with college and move forward. But, if you’ve been working for more than eight years, start about midway through your career and move forward to keep the answer short.
2. Brag a Little
Highlight your accomplishments and experiences, especially if they’re unique. Were you promoted? Did you land a big account no one else could get? Were you able to overcome challenges or expand your skillset? Did you continue your education for the sake of your career? Research the company you’re interviewing with and learn a little about what the specific job you’re interviewing for involves, then tailor your answer to the job.
3. Finish with Your Current Situation
Your answer to this question should include why you’re seeking a new job. Are you looking for new experiences? Trying to move up the ladder? Or do you feel the new company is a better fit for your skillset? Employers want to know why you’re leaving another job and coming to them.
4. Keep it Work-Related
When an interviewer asks you to tell them about yourself, they usually don’t mean your hobbies. They want to know about your “professional self,” so keep your answer professional and work-related. Too much talk about your personal life can work against you in an interview. Employers want someone who is focused on work while they’re at work.
5. Keep it Short and Sweet
However, you answer this question, your response should be concise and to the point, not more than 2 minutes. The interviewer doesn’t want to know your whole life, just the highlights.
Going into an interview, you’ll most likely be asked to tell the interviewer something about yourself. Prepare your answer in advance and practice it so that you can give the best possible answer.
I Am Here To Help
I would love to speak with you to determine if I can help you accomplish your goals. If you need guidance on your career, I am here to help. If you find yourself in a situation where you need career advice or support and want to talk about planning for your future, reach out to me, Rachel Schneider, at Career Find, for a free Intro Call.