Tell Me About Yourself – How to Answer

The interviewer may open with this common question or a variation of it as an icebreaker to get the conversation going. How you begin will set the tone of the rest of the interview. Of course, you’ll want to make a good initial impression. This is your elevator pitch and preparing and practicing ahead of time can make a difference. Check out three tips below to get started.

Emphasize your strengths

Start the interview by bringing up notable qualities about yourself. These are points you want your interviewer to take from this meeting and remember about you. Answer these three questions in your response:

1) Where are you right now? Present what you currently bring to the table and your strengths. You can do this by discussing skills, qualities, and achievements that are relevant to the position.

2) What previous experiences contributed to your development? Provide examples of where you succeeded, your growth, and how you got there. You can tie your strengths and achievements to obstacles and challenges you faced and overcame. Additionally, you may want to discuss the lessons you learned.

3) Why are you interested in this opportunity? Explain any career-related motivations and goals that you have. Avoid discussing closely any issues at your current workplace, as that may raise a red flag. Instead, wrap up with how both you and the company benefits from your joining the team.

Stay on topic

Don’t summarize your entire resume starting from the top. Your interviewer would have already looked at it before meeting you. Keep your answer to details about your professional life. That means refrain from getting personal or bringing up hobbies, unless they cover skills outside your current job that is relevant to the position. Covering subjects unrelated to why you’re there strays from your purpose and does little to make an impression of you as a professional. Not to mention it is an inefficient use of your limited time with your interviewer.

Make it smooth

Practicing can help you to remember and feel comfortable with your answer. But, as always, try to sound as genuine as possible during the interview. One way to do this is to give your interviewer a chance to interrupt and ask questions. Make it a goal to use your response as a guide to build a conversation with your interviewer. This can also help you transition into the rest of the interview with better ease.

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