The Dreaded “Tell Me About Yourself”

Many candidates who go into interviews know this question is coming, and have a fear of it.  For many, it feels too open-ended, and there’s also a concern of “what should I say? How do I know when I’ve told them enough?” In an article for Careerealism, Margaret Buj outlines a simple, 3 step process to know what to include in your answer.  By having your 3 steps planned out in advance, you’ll be ready for any interview or networking event.

  1. Talk about your professional attributes, not your personal interests.  Although the interviewer may be amicable, they ultimately want to know about you as an employee. Give them a brief overview of your work history and what you have learned in your career so far.
  2. Keep their interest by telling them about a recent accomplishment.  Use this opportunity to show from the the very first question that you have the skills and qualifications to meet the needs of the job.
  3. Wrap it up with a look ahead.  Tell them what you want to do next, or why you’re particularly interested in this opportunity. Again, it doesn’t need to be a specific, long-winded count of every project you hope to complete before you retire, but a chance to show your interest in your own professional growth.

Remember to keep your response short.  One of the top skills employers are looking for is verbal communication, so this is a perfect opportunity to show your ability to get a point across in a concise, prepared way.  2-3 minutes is ok, but don’t ramble on for 15 minutes! Having your key points written down will also help you stay focused.  To read all of Ms. Buj’s article, click here:

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