How to Answer the Dreaded “Tell Me About Yourself” Question

PrideStaff San Jose

Job interviews often tend to open with a common and seemingly simple interview question: “Tell me about yourself.” Although it seems straightforward, this question tends to be difficult to respond to since it is so open-ended. Candidates often struggle to not ramble or overshare, while still providing a satisfactory response. Prepare to make a great first impression at your next interview with these tips on how to answer the dreaded “Tell me about yourself” question:

Decide the Narrative You Want to Tell

Before the interview, decide exactly what narrative you want to tell as you describe yourself. Review the job description to figure out what traits are most important for the hiring manager to see in the ideal candidate. Then, determine what qualifications, work history, or other details of yours would be most relevant for the position – these will form the main points of your response.

Describe Your Relevant Past Experiences

A common method for keeping your response to “Tell me about yourself” streamlined is to start with a brief overview of the beginning of your career.  Start by describing your years of experience in the industry, most relevant past work experiences, what drew you to the field, and your strengths.

Transition to the Present Job

Once you’ve briefly discussed our overall work experience, you can transition to your current situation. Give more detail on your current or most recent position, and what you’ve learned or accomplished. Then, conclude by saying why you are looking to pursue this new opportunity and why you would be a good fit.

Boost Your Claims with Metrics

Make your response more compelling and memorable to the interview by boosting any claims you make about your skills or accomplishments with objective metrics. For example, if you say you have excelled in your current job, include a specific achievement, such as an award you received, or a number, such as a percentage rate of perfect customer survey scores you received.

Add a Personal Touch

Although you need to keep your response professional, you don’t have to only talk about the work-related parts of yourself. Feel free to add a personal touch, such as briefly stating your hobbies or interests, or your personality traits. This can give the hiring manager an idea of who you are as an individual and make them better able to see themselves working with you.

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