Interview: Tell Me About Yourself
Watch Don show you exactly how to tell interviewers about yourself with one of the toughest interview questions: Tell me about yourself? Here’s more on what he has to say:
Where to start? What do they want to know? Should I start in high school, college, first grade? It’s one of the most frequently asked questions in an interview. The way you answer this question will set the tone for the rest of the interview. This can be a challenging question to answer if you are not prepared for it, but it’s really asked as an icebreaker.
Again, this is an open-ended question, but really what the interviewer wants to hear is about your recent work experience. Why don’t they just ask that question? Because they want to see where you will go with an open-ended question. Your answer tells the interviewer where your mind is. If you start telling him that you are a Cleveland Browns fan, then you are way off base with what he wants to hear and you have just made your first mistake.
What do you want the interviewer to know about you when you leave, your work experience or your personal interests? I’m confident their hiring decision will be based on your work experience, save your personal interests for the water cooler after you get the job.
“What would you like to know?”
This statement completely throws the question back at the interviewer in somewhat of an insulting way and he/she is forced to reword the question.
“What part of my work experience would you like me to talk about?”
Now the interviewer can reply with a simple straightforward answer. Some interviewers want you to start from your first job and others only want to hear about your most recent job.
If the interviewer would like you to start from your first job, assuming it has been several years since you had that job, then lightly touch on the jobs that you no longer hold, but expand on your current or most recent job experience and accomplishments.
Focus on your answer and talk about your accomplishments from your current or most recent job and lightly touch on your daily duties. These are the things an interviewer really wants to hear. Because if he thinks you were successful at your past job, then you will be successful at this job. Even if you don’t feel that you accomplished anything, look deep and think of something you did that helped the company. Or better yet, describe an accomplishment that you contributed to the company, just make sure it’s in the same line of work. For example, don’t take credit for boosting sales revenue if your job is to fix computers.
- Briefly talk about your current employer.
- Discuss 2-3 of your most significant accomplishments.
- Talk about a few of your key strengths as they relate to the job for which you are applying and how they can benefit from your strengths.
- Then discuss how you see yourself fitting into a position at the new company.
- Speak of how you completed projects on time and under budget.
- Tell them how you increased sales revenues for two straight quarters in a row.
- Describe how you came up with a new procedure that saved the company money.
- “I have been in the customer service industry for several years and most of my experience has been dealing with calls from our customers. I truly enjoy working with the people in this business as well as the challenges. In my last job, the good relationships I formed with my customers resulted in me holding the highest customer retention rate of anyone else in my department.”
- “One of my best strengths is my attention to detail. When I set out to work on a task or project, I always make sure it gets done on time.”