3 Ways to Answer the Tell me about Yourself Question!
Updated: Jan 20, 2019
You arrived early for your interview and have just enough time to hit the restroom. You check your tie, apply a dab of makeup, and flash that beautiful smile. After a short wait in the lobby, your name is finally called "Ms. Reminski, they are ready for you". You sit down in front of 6 people whom you've never met and they go over a few logistics about the interview process. You nod your head to acknowledge you are ready for the first question and then it happens... "Ms. Reminski, tell us about yourself?". And, you cringe!
Many people are frightened when they hear this question. One reason is that we find it hard to talk about ourselves. From birth, many of us are taught to not be selfish and some connect talking about yourself for 30mins or more to be a bit of selfish. I am here to say to you that this is the time for you to be selfish! Tell that interviewer all about YOU! Your strengths/weaknesses, likes/dislikes, ethics/values, and more.
I compiled a short list to help you answer the tough questions( it's not really tough)that I witnessed when I sought employment:
1. Tell them the easy stuff:
You already know this because it's your life! You can tell that 6-person interview panel about your upbringings in the country, your love for art, and even your favorite book. Talk about yourself and keep it interesting. This will help relax the mood and hopefully get rid of the intimidation in the room.
2. Something in common:
Talking about your volunteer work or past employment is a good start to "show off" on your best candidacy for the position. You should only talk about the positions you've held in the past that are close to what you might be doing for the potential employer. Although this would already be described on your resume, you would be giving additional information about each duty.
Now, I know you're going to say that they will probably ask me about my previous employment and my reply to that is: yes, they will! However, if you already answered in the beginning of the interview, it will be easier to either state it again or perhaps, gain luck in that they will skip it altogether, which gives you one less question to answer!
3. Keep it short:
Many people think this question has to be long and drawn out, but it doesn't. These answers can be as short as 1 to 2 sentences. Think about it. The interviewer is not asking you to describe or explore. They just want to hear, what I call, "directions" about you. I thought about this after an interview I had years ago. I was in college and every test that I took had directions. Those directions would tell you what you needed to do to complete each question. I cannot recall a time when any of those directions were like reading an entire book. It was short, and stayed relevant to the topic of the examination.
These are techniques that I have used on interviews and they worked every time for me. I hope you will try one of these three ways and let me know which ones worked best for you! See you in the next post!
*Oh, and, Ms. Reminski was called the next day and offered the position ;)
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