“Tell me about yourself” is one of the most common questions a job seeker can be asked in an interview, yet many job seekers are unprepared when the moment inevitably arises. This is a missed opportunity because this open-ended question gives you a chance to shine and impress the interviewer from the start.
Why do interviewers ask this seemingly basic question? First, it’s a nice warm-up or ice-breaker that eases both of you into the conversation. Don’t dismiss this as a “warm and fuzzy” or insignificant moment, however; most interviewers are evaluating how you organize your thoughts, how concise you can be, and your overall ability to communicate.
Here are some tips on how to frame your response:
- Start with a strong introduction that is brief and to the point. Highlight your most relevant skills and experience.
- Be specific and provide examples. Don’t just talk about your skills and experience in general terms. Share how you’ve used your skills and experience to achieve results.
- Be enthusiastic to show the interviewer that you’re interested in the job and excited about the opportunity.
- Be concise. Your answer should be no more than two minutes long. This is one of the top mistakes candidates make when answering “Tell me about yourself.” Candidates often resort to narrating their resume or rambling for too long, and this happens because they didn’t prepare a thoughtful answer. Don’t make this mistake!
- End with a call to action. Tell the interviewer what you’re looking for and what you offer the organization.
Here’s an example:
“I’m a motivated and results-oriented individual with over five years of experience in marketing. I have a proven track record in developing and executing marketing campaigns that have resulted in increased brand awareness, website traffic, and sales. I’m also an expert in social media marketing and have a strong understanding of how to use social media to reach and engage target audiences. I’m confident that I have the skills and experience that you’re seeking, and I’m eager to learn more about the position and the company.”
- Always do your research. Before the interview, take some time to research the company and the position you’re applying for. This helps you tailor your answer to the company’s specific needs.
- Practice your answer. The more you practice, the more confident you’ll feel when you’re in the interview. You don’t want to sound rehearsed, but you want to feel confident.
- Be yourself. The interviewer wants to get to know the real you, so always be authentic.
With a little preparation, you can leverage the “Tell me about yourself” moment to make a positive impression and help you move forward in the interviewing process.
If you’re an HR or marketing professional currently in a job search, reach out to us and let’s talk! We’re here to support you and our goal is that your search is a positive, inspiring, and full of memorable moments. Contact us today.