The Job Interview Question Hated by Most: “Tell me about yourself”

When you are looking for a job, being called in for a job interview is very exciting.  Out of all the applications submitted, there is something about yours that stood out above the rest.  You have made the final cut.  Then, you realize that the interview will determine whether you are employed or back to sending out more resumes. What can you do to ensure job interview success? What do you say?  How do you answer that inevitable question: “Tell me about yourself”?

Prepare, Prepare, Prepare

If you really want your interview to stand out and surpass the competition, and be able to talk about yourself with ease and confidence, you need to prepare.  You may have the best education and a stellar resume, but chances are the other applicants can say the same thing. Knowing how to answer, when asked about you, may make the difference between getting the job and looking for different employment opportunities. These are the hard questions that will likely determine whether you are the best fit for the company’s needs.

Practice how you will answer the question.  Better yet, enlist the help of a friend or family member who will objectively critique your response. If you are adequately prepared, you will be able to answer the question with confidence and professionalism.

Job Interview Success

You know that your response to the question “tell me about yourself” may be what sets you apart from the competition and garners you the position.  But, what do you say?  How to you ensure job interview success?

Here are a few key points to consider:

* Be concise
* Don’t ramble on
* Pick what is likely to be most relevant
* Be personable

Before the interview, when you are practicing, it’s a good idea to write down what you want to say about yourself. Be as concise as possible and figure out how to say the same thing in fewer words, if necessary.  The interview time will be limited, and you want to maintain the interest of the person doing the interview.

To ensure job interview success, don’t ramble on and on.  This is where practice is essential. Be confident in what you want to say, so you won’t get flustered, especially if you tend to ramble.

Pick items about yourself that will likely be of interest to the interviewer and be relevant to the position.  For example, he/she probably doesn’t want to hear all about your childhood.  However, if you are applying for a job at a daycare, and you are the oldest of 10 kids, it might be important information.  You know what it’s like to work with kids.  After all, you helped raise your siblings.

When asked about themselves, many people take a more clinical approach.  Don’t.  Let your personality shine through and don’t be afraid to be yourself. In fact, your personality may be the determining factor in deciding whether you are a good fit for their organization.

If you are prepared to answer the tough questions like “tell me about yourself”, and can answer with confidence, you are well on your way to job interview success.

Copyright 2010, Cecile Peterkin. All rights reserved.

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