So tell me about yourself – Lethal Interview Question

IMG_1024This is a popular interview question which is almost always wasted. It is the interviewer literally giving you 800 metres of rope and saying go play. But the opportunity is usually wasted and the danger of totally screwing up is huge…. “Well I am 28, have a 2:1 in piffle and am generically interested in whatever I think you are interested in or what I am guessing you think I should be interested in.”

I hate the word but this is literally a perfect opportunity to ‘showcase’ your transferable skills and experience without sounding like an arrogant **** (insert whichever 4 letter word you feel most appropriate).

When asked tell me about yourself this is your opportunity to present your message about who you are and why you should get the job.

To answer this question well, like any other interview question, it all comes down to preparation.

Here are some ideas on how to prepare to answer tell me about yourself:

  1. Brainstorm

Write down all the strengths that make you right for the job you are applying for. This could be communication skills, public speaking, patience, etc. Then consider in which ways your experience proves that you have these strengths. For example you could describe how you managed a large team, or carried out successful business sales pitches.

  1. Focus

Reduce these ideas down to a precise and focused script. You do not want to bore your interviewer with unnecessary details. Instead be brief and concise; it is likely that the interviewer will decide which parts of what you said they want to pick up on.

  1. Rehearse

Do not attempt to perfectly memorise what you are going to say – this will likely come off sounding stiff and repeated. And rehearsed! But learn the key points that you want to cover. This is your chance to present your message in a clear and efficient way – don’t waste the opportunity.

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