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How To Answer Tell Me About Yourself

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Most Common Job Interview Question

The most often asked job interview question is “OK, tell me a bit about yourself.” This question is designed as the ice breaker and thus asked at the beginning of the interview. The best thing you can do to ensure you answer this question well and start the interview off on the right foot is be prepared before your go in. They are not looking for you to talk through your CV and follow that point, that’s what your interview itself is for, but it is always really good to have a bit of an idea of what you want to say in a more structured format.

Tell Me About Yourself – Sample Answer

Take, for example, if someone was asking me to tell them a little bit about myself when I first went to an interview I’d respond with a sample answer like, “I’ve worked within the not-for-profit recruitment area for the past 12 years. I actually love working within this sector and have a real passion for it. I’m really driven and focused in regards to business development, relationship development, and get a real buzz out of focusing on delivery and targets,” etc. So, it gives them a bit of an insight into the fact that I love what I do, I’m really passionate about it, and that relates that role that they are looking for, but without going into my experience in loads and loads of detail, because that’s what the formal interview process is about, but it gives you a good rapport, opens up the conversation and lets them move onto the next step.

How Much Time Do You Have To Impress The Interviewer

Seven seconds, and in fact Princeton psychologists Janine Willis and Alexander Todorov reveal that all it takes is a tenth of a second to form an impression. That’s all the time we have to make a first impression according to most experts, how many times have you gotten off on the wrong foot and failed to impress someone with the first few seconds? Well, you don’t have to anymore. I’m going to show you how to go from forgettable to memorable in seven seconds or less.

Now, we can look to actors for tips on this. Actors know that they have to be on before the curtain goes up so they don’t lose their audience. Now, salespeople miss the opportunity to make a strong first impression during that one common question that we all get: “What do you do?” We tend to do either one of two things. Some of us hem and haw and quickly throw it back at the other person: “Oh, I sell stuff. What do you do?” Or, we give a two or three minute monologue and take the listener all the way around the block, neither of which is terribly memorable. So, I am going to give you four tips to help you start making a powerful first impression today.

“Tell Me About Yourself”, Coming To A Theatre Near You

The way to answer the question, “Tell me about yourself” should be much like a movie trailer. See, the whole purpose of a movie trailer is to hook the viewer and get them to come back and see the movie. They want to give away just enough information to have you buy a ticket. They don’t want to give the whole movie away. So, just like that, you need to give the listener enough information that hooks them and gets them asking you questions.

If You Are Not Excited, Why Should The Interviewer Be Excited?

Second, when you answer the question, “Tell me about yourself”, be excited when you talk about what you do and make whatever you do sound interesting. I have a secret for you: Most people when they ask you what you do are secretly hoping that you’ll say, “Oh, I’m a marine biologist” or “I’m on the FBI forensic department.” Now, they don’t expect this because most people set the bar so low, and I don’t want you to lie, but you can pick out the most exciting and unique parts of your job and present it in a way that showcases your style and personality. Be excited when you describe what you do. If you do not come across as excited, then why should the interviewer be excited?

Use Business Jargon Sparsely

Watch using too many buzzwords when you answer the question “Tell me about yourself”. When you use too many business buzzwords like “customer-centric”, “going forward”, “I integrate,” “I empower”, etc, you may not sound genuine. You want to sound conversational, not sales-y. Remember when you see really good actors, what people say? “They don’t even look like they’re acting.” Well, we don’t want to look like we’re selling.
Anyway I hope you have learned a few tips today and invite you to check out more interview tips and sample interview questions.

Photo by Lee Jordan