One of the most common interview questions is “tell me about yourself.” In fact, the vast majority of interviews start with the exact same question.
Starting off the interview with a very open-ended question is popular with many interviewers. It can’t be answered with a yes or no, so it yields more information and helps the interviewee open up. More importantly, though, what a person chooses to answer with can be very revealing of their personality and how they think. It’s therefore more likely to give interviewers multiple layers of information.
How can you prepare a great answer and start your interview on a high note? Here’s are some tips to make you shine in the interview.
Share Some Personal Information – But Not Too Much
It’s fine to answer with a bit of information outside your professional experience, as the question seems to imply that it is wanted, but be careful. Don’t share too much personal information. Remember, this is a job interview.
Think through what you will share about yourself. If you choose to share your experience volunteering or detailing a passion outside of work, tie that back to how that makes you a strong professional in your industry with excellent character and work ethic. Make sure you’re completing the story of what makes you uniquely qualified for this position you’re applying for by bringing in information that might not have made your resume.
Highlight What Makes You a Great Professional
You should also include an overview of your professional accomplishments and skills learned in that first interview question. Before the interview, choose three or four factors to talk about. They could be past achievements, skills highly related to the job or certifications you’ve earned over time.
A good answer is related to your personal information. You might say, for example, “I’m passionate about everything I do in life, including providing excellent customer service. In my past position, I was part of a group that improved client satisfaction by 25 percent, and we received a company award as team of the year.”
The interviewer may respond by asking questions about that achievement. If that happens, respond in kind and detail what went into making the accomplishment happen.
Set the Stage for an Excellent Interview
In short, “tell me about yourself” is an invitation to talk about all aspects of yourself. Remember it is a job interview, but it’s okay to let employers know who you are as a total person. Your goal is always to convince interviewers that you can do the job at hand and that you’d be a wonderful employee to have around.
Looking for help finding new opportunities in northern Nevada? The Applied Companies can help you get in the door and tell employers about yourself. View our available jobs now or contact us today to start your search.