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tell me about you

“It Sounds Like The Easiest Question…Tell Me About Yourself”

tell me about you

That most common of interview openers “Tell me about yourself”! It sounds like such a simple question. Just ease yourself into the interview with a few lines about how awesome you are, right? But then you start rambling on “I was born in… And I went to school in…” and words just spill out of your mouth as you try to sum up your whole life in a few minutes! Before you know it you’re a babbling away and your interview has started on the wrong foot.

 

So what should you tell me about yourself?

The bad news is there is no one right way to answer this question since different interviewers look for different things but at the same time you can’t wing this question! You need to be prepared so you avoid babbling.

 

So to start with let me point out that this question is not an invitation to divulge your life story to an interviewer. “Tell me about yourself” in an interview means “give me an overview of who you are, professionally speaking.” An employer is only interested in your ability to do the job; he’s generally not interested in your social life or what you did at the weekend. You should be ready with your elevator pitch that summarises your key selling points, where you are in your career, generally with an emphasis on your most recent job and why you are interested in this position.

 

Introduction

Open with a brief introduction, an overview of who you are professionally that shows off your strengths.

 

Highlight expertise

Don’t assume the interviewer has read your CV so highlight 2 or 3 points that you think make you stand out as a candidate. Also show how great a fit you are for the position by drawing attention to experiences that match the job description.

 

Why you want this job

Then to close discuss your career goals, how this position ties in with these goals and why you want this job.

 

Practice

Finally write you answer out and practice it over and over until it flows out of your mouth. The more prepared you are the less likely you are to go off tangent.

 

Rather than dread this question, see it as an opportunity to take control of your interview and steer the conversation to the topics you want to highlight.

Posted by Julia Purcell, Marketing & Communications Manager Sigmar on 29 November 2017

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