After you are greeted at the reception area and they take you to the conference room where the interview will take place, you’ll shake hands with the person(s) conducting the interview.
And generally one of the first questions they will casually ask you is, “Tell Me About Yourself.”
That’s a loaded question if you don’t really know what they mean. They don’t want to hear you go on all day long rambling about how great your are.
If you do this, you’re likely to boar them to tears or put them to sleep – but what is more likely – you’ll hear the words “don’t call us, we’ll call you.”
It’s crucial that you make a good positive impression when you tell them about yourself in the interview. It’s a very common question and it’s easy to answer – and you really should take some time to prepare for it.
So what are they looking for when they ask you: “tell me about yourself” in a job interview?
The best way to answer this question is to give them your 20 second elevator speech, but it’s okay if you go over the 20 seconds, but it’s important to keep your answer brief. I would suggest no more than 90 seconds with 60 seconds being the ideal length. Don’t just base your answer on a time limit as these are just guidelines.
The way I see it, if you tell them about yourself in 60 seconds, and they want to know more, then keep the conversation going and feed them a few more specific lines about yourself, but stay on topic to what they asked.
Tell me about yourself interview:
- First, you want to tell them about yourself as it related to the position. Tell them about past accomplishments you’ve made that are closely related to the requirements for this job. It does not have to be exact, but keep it as close as possible.
- Briefly talk about the company you are currently working at or where you most recently worked.
- Bring up two or three of your most significant accomplishments.
- Talk about your most important strengths as they relate to the job.
- Then discuss how you see yourself being an important member of their team.
Here are some ideas of things you can say when answering tell me about yourself:
“I’m a seasoned Project Manager with an excellent track record of getting things done on time and under budget that resulted in a huge savings of $1.4 Million for [company name] during the last three years I worked there.”
This is a powerful statement because you told them what you did, who you did it for and threw in a number to quantify your results.
It’s always a good idea to put a number or dollar value to your work because it really drives home that you really accomplished something and that you’re not making anything up.
Now it’s impossible for me to give you an exact answer for: Tell Me About Yourself because the question is about you, and not me. What you tell them and what I tell them are two different things. I’m just here to give you some guidelines for answering this question. The real work needs to come from you.
When you answer tell me about yourself correctly, you’ll separate yourself from your competition and gain much higher favor with your interviewer and overall, increase your chances for the job when you can tell them about yourself in an interview.