Recently, we’ve been discussing interview questions that are particularly tricky, including “Why Were You Fired?” and “Why Did You Leave Your Last Job?”. Here’s another question that’s challenging – not because the subject matter is prickly, but because it seems almost impossibly broad: “Tell Me About Yourself.”
What could be easier than talking about yourself? Well, some interviewees may have anxiety or doubts about their abilities. But even if you’re confident that you’re the perfect candidate for the job, you may find yourself overthinking your response because you don’t know precisely what the interviewer is looking for.
Why Interviewers Ask This Question
The good news is the most common motivation for interviewers here is to break the ice and get interviewees talking. You’re unlikely to say anything here that will doom your chances of being hired, but there are several ways you can build momentum early so you can really shine once the “real” questions start coming.
Tell the Interviewer Why You’re There
When talking about yourself, make sure you include the factors that led you to apply with the company, and what makes you a great fit.
Keep Your Biography Professional
It’s not that your interviewer doesn’t care about you personally, but their job is to learn what you can bring to the table. Focus on your work history.
Keep It Concise
Resist the temptation to recite your cover letter and resumé; your interviewer has already read them – most likely more than once. Rather, succinctly hit the highlights of your experience and directly tie that experience to the role you’ve applied for.
Practice, But Don’t Rehearse
Whether you deliver your “elevator pitch” into a mirror, record yourself talking to listen for pauses and “um”s, or role-play an interview with a friend, getting used to talking about yourself will help you come interview time. On the other hand, don’t rehearse to the point your answers sound canned.
Know Your Audience
If you’re interviewing with a recruiter or another member of HR, you may want to keep your answers broad, and speak to your interest in the company’s vision. If, on the other hand, you’re talking to your would-be boss, get specific about how your skills and experience make you uniquely suited for the job.
Keep It Positive
If your interviewer wants to know why you left your last employer, they’ll ask you. But the “Tell me about yourself” question is about you. Don’t bring any negatives about your former job into the conversation at this point.
Mega Force Can Help Get You an Interview
Before you start working on your interview skills, you need to lock down an interview. Mega Force can help. We work with top employers in conjunction with employment agencies in Fayetteville and throughout North Carolina for your convenience. Contact our team today or browse our online job search portal.