So, there you are waiting to be interviewed for a job you really want. You get called in. You shake hands confidently looking the interviewer straight in the eye. Then he or she lays the bomb: “Tell me about yourself”.
How do you answer? Do you tell him or her your life story? Do you go into depth about your job experience? Do you reveal personal information?
The way you handle this question can be crucial when it comes to landing the job. So how do you answer the infamous “Tell me about yourself” interview question? Read on to find out.
Why do Employers Pose the Tell Me About Yourself Interview Question?
To provide the best answer to the tell me about yourself interview question, it’s important to understand why the interviewer is asking the question.
Usually, this question will be asked as an ice breaker. It will ease you and the interviewer into the interview by providing a quick summary of your background, skills and experience.
The tell us about yourself question usually opens an interview, and if you get flustered, it could throw you off for the duration of the meeting. It is for this reason that you will want to get yourself prepared, and review sample answers.
Remember that the way you answer this question will set the tone for the next few questions that your interviewer will ask you. Therefore, the answer you provide should open doors that will move you forward in a positive direction.
How to Plan the Tell Me About Yourself Answer
Consider the Past, Present, and Future
Here’s how these three components may play out in your tell me about yourself interview question answer.
• Present: Talk about where you are now professionally making sure to highlight recent accomplishments.
• Past: Mention past experiences that have brought you to where you are now. Include any skills and developments relevant to the job you’re applying to.
• Future: Next, go into what you are looking to do next and how the job fits into your future plans.
These elements can be presented in no particular order. For instance, you may start by talking about the past and moving on to the present and future or the other way around. As long as what you’re saying is organized and cohesive, you can make it work.
However, if you save ‘the future’ part for last, it will make a smoother transition for what comes next.