Let’s face it. Tell me about yourself is the one statement question we all dread because we don’t know what the other person wants to know.
While asked in an interview, you surely have a dozen nice things to say about yourself but is it what is required?
The key here is, to explain your specific experiences and skills that render you as the best choice for the job position. When you’re being asked that question, it is asked with the purpose of seeing whether your skill set matches the job requirement and for judging if you’re a good fit.
Here's what you should remember while answering that question:
1. Tailor Your Answer to the Role and Company
You’ll want to spend some time combing through the job description, researching the company, and figuring out how you can tell your story in a way that makes it crystal clear why you’re interested and what you bring to the table that aligns with the role and company.
2. Keep It Professional
In other words, this isn’t the time to talk about your family and hobbies. You're better off keeping the answers professional.
3. Be Precise
Think of it as a teaser that should pique the interviewer’s interest and give them a chance to ask follow-up questions about whatever intrigues them most.
4. Don't Recite Your Resume
Maybe there was some super exciting thing that taught you a lot but couldn't completely fit into the resume. This is a perfect opportunity to tell the interviewer about that thing.
5. Practice (But Don’t Memorize)
You don’t want to wait until you get this question in a live interview to try out your answer for the first time. Think what you want to convey about yourself ahead of each interview and practice saying it out loud.
6. Keep It Positive
If you were fired or laid off from your last job, this probably isn’t the best moment to mention it.
7. Remember: This Is Often Your First Impression
Most hiring decisions are made in the first minute, which includes your greeting, handshake, eye contact, and the first thing you say, which may often be your response to “Tell me about yourself.”
Example 1: "I graduated with a Business degree in 2010, and was offered an account management position from a telecommunications company I had interned with. I loved working with customers and managing and growing my accounts, but the industry we were in just wasn’t very appealing to me. After that, I stayed a full year and learned a ton about how to build and manage accounts successfully and I ended up becoming a top performer in my group before leaving. I left at the 1-year-mark to pursue a very similar position within an industry I’m much more excited about- healthcare. I’ve been at this healthcare startup space for 2 years with this company and I feel ready to take my career to the next level so that’s why I’m currently looking for a new opportunity."
Example 2: "I've been in the marketing industry for over five years, primarily working in account and project management roles. I most recently worked as a senior PM for a large tech company managing large marketing campaigns and overseeing other project managers. And now I'm looking to expand my experience across different industries, particularly FinTech, which is why I'm so interested in joining an agency like yours."