It’s the interview question everyone dreads: tell me about yourself.
What are you supposed to say, and how long should you talk? If you aren’t comfortable with that question, you may end up losing out on a job you really wanted simply because you were uncomfortable providing information during the interview process.
What you need to do is come up with what you’re going to say beforehand, so you feel comfortable talking about yourself and giving information to the interviewer. If you’re not at ease and you don’t have confidence, you’re going to find that you’re struggling to be heard in your interview.
When an interviewer says tell me about yourself, you should already know what you’re going to say. Practice with friends and family before the interview. Prepare something that makes sense, that’s short and to the point, and that gives the interviewer a good idea of who you really are.
If you have a specific hobby you enjoy or you’ve done something significant in your life, mention those things. Don’t talk about your weaknesses, and don’t talk about your family. Sometimes, it’s better to avoid getting too personal because your marital status and whether you have children can affect how an interviewer perceives you.
While those kinds of things shouldn’t matter, they do. They’re also not really a reflection of you as a person – which is what the interviewer wants to hear.
Focus on yourself, but keep the speech short so you aren’t bragging about all your accomplishments. That can make you appear too self-centered, which is not a good trait to show when you’re trying to get hired. You want to present your traits that would be best for the job you are applying. The interviewer will be much more likely to respond positively to you that way.
The next time you’re asked that tell me about yourself question, you should be armed with some great tidbits about your life that you can provide to the interview.
That will help give you more confidence, too, and the more you practice interviewing the better you’ll be at it. In a tough economy it might take a while to land the job you want, but the better you interview the better chance you’ll have at getting a job that you like and that pays you a fair salary.
Don’t lose out on a great job because you get caught off guard and don’t know what to say about yourself.
It can be difficult to answer such an open-ended question, but if you prepare for it (and variations of it) before you go to your interview you’ll be a lot more likely to do well and impress the interviewer.
Each and every interview you go to will make you better and hone your skills, but if the job is really important to you make sure you practice with someone you trust first. That way you’ll have a better chance of landing the job that matters the most to you.