You’ve just sat down to interview for a job opportunity you’re really excited about. You’re prepared to speak about your past experiences, hard and soft skills, and why you’d be a great fit for the role. Then the interviewer starts things off with that dreaded phrase, “So, tell me about yourself.”
No matter the job, industry, or experience level you may be interviewing for, almost every interview has this question. It sounds easy and predictable, but all too often this question stumps people. The good news here? No one knows you better than you! Here’s three easy tips to help you craft a top notch answer for one of the most common interview questions.
Don’t read your resume.
Whether it be a recruiter, manager, or top executive, whoever is interviewing you is well-versed with your resume. This question usually comes at the beginning of the interview, so don’t start off by reading them what they already know. Instead, use your resume as a guideline for what to touch on while showcasing your personality. This is your opportunity to make a great first impression, so show them the person behind the resume! You can even throw in a fun fact or two about yourself. Have a fun hobby or hidden talent? Maybe a pet? Tell them about it! Always make sure to maintain an appropriate level of professionalism, but this is your opportunity to keep things light before really digging into the bulk of the interview.
Keep it brief.
One of the main reasons this question stumps so many people is because of how broad it is. Open ended questions can be a trap for people to tell the interviewer their entire life story. This can quickly result in a long stretch of rambling. Don’t get caught in this trap! Keep your answer brief by highlighting three to four points such as who you are, what you currently do, a brief overview of your skillset, and your career goals. If the interviewer requires more information, they will be sure to ask follow up questions. Again, this is your opportunity to make a great first impression, so make sure that you are presenting as clear, concise, and professional as possible.
Practice makes perfect.
Once you have your few key points to highlight, practice your answer. Practicing before an interview helps reduce stress during the interview and increases your confidence. Try practicing your answer to a friend or family member and getting their feedback. If you don’t have someone to practice with, try recording yourself and playing it back to critique.
One thing to note here is that even though rehearsing your answer is important, you don’t want to sound too rehearsed in the interview. When you’re practicing, take note of your tone and body language. Make sure that you still sound conversational, relaxed, and confident, and be prepared for some of those additional questions that may follow based on your answer!
All in all, no one is better equipped to answer this question than you. Showcasing your personality, keeping it brief, and practicing prior to your interview will ensure that you’re fully prepared to tackle this challenging interview question. So, tell me about yourself!
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