“Tell me about yourself.”
Don’t be surprised if this is the first question you’re asked in your next job interview. Hiring managers frequently lead with it, so they can learn which information you think is important to provide relative to the position on the table.
Your response will set the tone for the rest of the interview, so you can’t afford to wing it. Think ahead about how you want to reply, because it’s a key aspect of the critical first impression you make on a potential future employer.
Are You the Right Fit?
For an interviewer, the sole purpose of an interview is to see if a candidate is the right fit for the job and their company.
- Emphasize the tangibles that qualify you for the position. Carefully review the job description or posting for specific qualifications. Then, draw parallels to your own career and experience.
- Keep it professional. An employer is not going to hire you because you have talented children, a terrific spouse or interesting hobbies. You will have an opportunity later on to get to know your interviewers on a more personal level. For now, set the tone by focusing on what you can contribute to their company.
- Throughout your response, focus on the key strengths that you want your interviewer to remember about you. What sets you apart from the competition?
Script Your Response
Put yourself in your interviewer’s shoes. Consider exactly what they need to know about you. Incorporate this information into a script of 60 to 90 seconds. Then, rehearse it ahead of time so you can deliver the message without it sounding artificial or rehearsed.
- Zero in on the qualities the employer desires in their perfect candidate. Demonstrate what you will contribute to meet the needs of the company and relieve its current pain points. The employer has a predetermined set of traits that they are seeking in the candidate they ultimately hire. Show how you offer these.
- Keep it concise. Don’t tell your life story. There will be a lot more detail that you want to elaborate on – later. Don’t feel that you have to detail all your accomplishments and information at once.
- Avoid regurgitating what the interviewer already knows. Do not repeat what you have already said on your resume or in your cover letter. Make your response a conversation starter that leads the discussion in the right direction.
The professional recruitment experts at Select Group, Inc, know how important it is to make the right career move. We can help you connect to the best job for you – and guide you through the hiring process, including the toughest interview questions and scenarios. Read our related posts or contact us today to learn more.