“Tell me about yourself.” – it’s a difficult question to answer, especially if you’re not sure what the interviewer is looking for! In this article, we describe how to best answer and showcase your strengths to potential employers. Keep in mind that your answer should be tailored to the job that you are interviewing for – so do your research!
First and foremost, take the time to research the company you are interviewing with.
What is their mission statement? What do they stand for?
This will help you frame your answer in a way that demonstrates how your skills and experiences align with what the company is looking for.
When answering this question, it’s important to be concise and to the point.
You want to introduce yourself, but you don’t want to ramble on for too long.
Start by describing your current job and what you do day-to-day. Then, talk about your education and any relevant skills or experiences you have that could be applicable to the job you are interviewing for. Aim to keep your response to between 60-90 seconds, otherwise your risk saying too much. You’ll be amazed how much you can say in a short space of time!
Be sure to highlight the strengths that make you the best candidate for the job. If you have experience working with a certain software, for example, mention that. Or if you are particularly good at public speaking and the job is for a leadership role, make it known!
Additionally, consider sharing a personal story that demonstrates how you embody the company’s values.
For example, if the company is passionate about environmentalism, talk about how you volunteered at a recycling center or planted a garden in your community. Or if the company values teamwork, share a story about how you worked as part of a team to achieve a common goal.
But the number one key to answering the question effectively is to expect it and be prepared for it.
And the best way to do that is to practice, practice, practice!
Record yourself answering “tell me about yourself” and then critique your performance or ask a friend for input.
Are you concise? Do you talk about relevant skills? Do you share stories that demonstrate your values?
Being prepared will help you feel more confident and less stressed when it comes up in an interview.
- Keep your answer concise
- Exclude irrelevant details and don’t waffle on
- Highlight any experience relevant to the role
- Let your personality shine through
Lastly, remember that the company and interviewer WANT you to succeed!
They’re not interviewing you to put you under pressure. They’re interviewing you because they’re looking for the best candidate for the role and the hope that you’ll be the last person they need to interview.
So go forth and be confident. You got this!