“Tell me about yourself”—It’s one of the more common questions asked at job interview that appears harmless, but the employer isn’t looking for you to ramble on senselessly about yourself and your personal life.
Your mission when asked this question is to define how you are unique and different from other job candidates in a way that comes off beneficial to the employer.
Here’s what you need to think about and practice before answering the question at the job interview:
Focus on you as the professionalMany job candidates get lost in this question thinking it’s an opportunity to talk about their personal life and upbringing because it comes off as informal. It’s not! The focus needs to be on you as the professional. Who are you professionally and what makes you qualify for the position? Your response should immediately inform the interviewer how you are the right fit for the job.
Think about your specialtyEvery profession has different components to it. What’s your specialty? If you are working in public relations, it may be media relations, investor relations, event planning, or a number of other areas. Define where your specialty is in your profession and use it as a focal point in answering the employer about yourself. It’s where you are exceptional; where you excel; and where you have specific achievements to back up your claim. When you don’t focus and pinpoint your specialty, you can come off generic.
Customize it to the employerAs you inform the employer about your experience, knowledge, and specialty, customize it to the employer’s business. If you’re in the marketing profession talk about marketing campaigns that you led and the results of it, but don’t forget to tie in how it may relate to the employer your vying for a job with. If it’s an employer in the business of healthcare, speak of the marketing campaigns that relate to healthcare and not something that’s far off from it like fashion. If you worked in markets that are target markets for this employer, play up that point so you can demonstration you have experience of value.
Keep it short and to the pointMany interviewers will ask this question at the job interview to get a general gist on you. Be informative, to the point, and don’t ramble on. Think of the key points ahead of time that clearly differentiate you from other candidates vying for the job and focus on addressing those points. It’ll help to practice ahead of the job interview so you have a general idea of what you’ll say and what points to get across so that it’s short, sweet, and to the point.
Now, the next time the interviewer asks: “Tell me about yourself” you’ll be ready to clearly define what makes you professionally unique, why you suit the job, and what you’re capable of offering the employer when hired. Every employer will have a different approach to interviewing. Some may just ask the common interview questions, while others may mix in challenging questions. Face them all with confidence and a positive attitude. Find more tips reading: How To Keep Tough Interview Questions From Ruffling Your Feathers.
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