“Tell Me About Yourself” - How To Successfully Answer that Dreaded Interview Question

The first question you're probably going to get asked in an interview is “ Tell Me About Yourself”.

It’s that “ice breaker” question that seems easy enough to answer yet causes many unprepared candidates to ramble on about their life’s story. And be assured, the hiring manager isn’t interested in hearing your life’s story.

What the hiring manager wants to hear is a summary of what you’ve done in your career, why you’re applying for the job, what you bring to the organization as well as how you articulate this.It’s the monologue that gives insight into who you are and provides information that allows for probing questions. It’s your opportunity to tell the interviewer about your competencies, motivation and why you’d be a good fit for the job and company.

So when crafting your answer, highlight your accomplishments, experiences, and talents that relate to the job and set you apart from the competition. Be sure to let your personality and character shine and show your enthusiasm for the job.

Ok- so how do you do that? What’s the best way to answer this question?

Here’s the 5-step process I walk my clients through:

Step 1 - Review the job posting and any other available information to gain an understanding of the position and what skills and abilities the ideal candidate must possess.

Step 2 - List at least 3-4 of your key accomplishments, successes, and career highlights that relate to the job description and show your value.

Step 3 - Add in several of your unique strengths, skills or experiences that are relevant to the job description and make you memorable.

Step 4 - Now blend your answers from Steps 2 and 3 making sure you frame it as to how you will bring your accomplishments and talents to help the organization solve their problems and achieve goals. (Remember it’s about what you can do for the company not what the company can do for you.)

Step 5 - Practice, practice, practice! You want to practice your answer so it flows off your lips and you deliver it with confidence, authenticity and ease. I recommend you either practice in front of a mirror or role-play with another person to get it right. Your answer should be approximately 250-300 words and take no longer than 3 minutes to deliver.

*Remember, Be Yourself! In addition to your competency, the hiring manager is assessing your fit in the team so, allow your answer to reflect YOU.