Everything you wanted to know about the “Tell me about yourself…..” interview question.
1. Why is Tell me about yourself the #1 interview question?
This question is an easy question to start the interview. It’s an “ice breaker” and should give the hiring manager valuable information for the rest of the interview. This is your first impression and it will set the tone for the rest of the interview.
2. Do they really want to know all about you?
No, the hiring manager wants to hear that you can solve their problem. They want to hear that you have the competency for the position, will fit in well with their team and add value.
3. How long should my answer be? A good answer is around 2 minutes long. Too short and it won’t be enough information, too long and you lose your audience. The interviewer, if they are good, they will ask you follow up questions based on your answer.
4. How do you structure your answer? Start off with your education & experience, then your expertise (it should solve the employer’s big problem), then transferable skills (match your skills based on the job description) ex. leadership, analytical, communication, etc. Then I would end it by the added value you bring to the position.
5. Can you use your answer for other questions? Yes, you can use it as a base for: Why should we hire you? What can you do better than the other candidates? What are your strengths?
6. Is walk me through your resume and tell me about yourself the same answer? No, when you are asked to walk me through your resume, the interviewer wants to know what you were responsible for and what you accomplished in each of the positions you listed on your resume.
7. Do you need to tailor your answer for each position? Yes, based on the job description, the hiring manager’s big problem, and the core competencies, you need to tweak your answer for each position.
8. What are some tips on how not to answer this question? Don’t talk about your personal life, ramble on or talk negative.
9. What are some more tips on how I can ace this question? Show enthusiasm, thank them for the opportunity to show them why you are the ideal candidate.
10. How do I get better at answering this question? Practice! You need to be prepared for this question and rehearse it over and over.