3 Tips for Answering the Interview Question “Tell Me About Yourself”

“So, tell us a little bit about yourself.”

It’s a classic interview question – usually, the first one asked after the formalities of introductions have been completed. You should be prepared for it, as it can set the stage for the overall success or failure of the conversation to follow.

It seems like an easy question on the surface, but unless you’re ready to respond, it can become stressful or complicated. How are you supposed to decide what aspect of your entire life and career to focus on? Here are some tips:

Understand why this question is being asked.

As with any interview question, the key to crafting the best response is to understand why it’s being asked in the first place. The chief reason for this question is to set the tone and ease the way into the rest of the discussion.

  • What you say will lead your interviewers to their next questions. This, in turn, could trigger a chain effect of follow-up questions and helpfully a smooth transition and easy flow of conversation.
  • It gives interviewers a chance to start getting to know you. This is one of their major goals. If you answer this question well, it will not only confirm the strength of your hard skills – which they already know about from your resume – but also demonstrate your ability to communicate effectively, connect with others, and present yourself professionally.

Customize your response.

This question is your chance to articulate why you are the best person, among all those in contention, to fill the position being offered. Take advantage of it by developing a response specifically tailored to the job and the company. Learn what your prospective employer’s pain points are and how you could relieve them if hired.

  • Study the job description thoroughly. Also, research the company and its current priorities and developments. Be prepared to tell a compelling story about why you’re interested and the unique value you bring to the table. Be direct as you share your objectives and tell how they also fulfill the company’s goals. Individual keywords from the job description can be very helpful.

Keep it succinct.

There’s no set rule about how long your response should be, except this: Make it as long as it needs to be, but no longer.

  • Read the room. Get a feel for your audience and then decide what feels right and will work best. Generally, if you speak for longer than a couple of minutes, you’re probably going into too much detail.
  • Don’t regurgitate your resume. This is way too much information, plus, your interviewers already have it. And don’t ramble. Remember, you’re being assessed on how well you’d speak in meetings and other business interactions. Practice ahead of time, so it sounds natural and confident versus canned or memorized.

If you think you could benefit from some professional coaching as you prepare for your job interview, give the PrideStaff Fresno team a call today. We can help you every step of the way as you land your next great opportunity.

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