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“Tell Me About Yourself”: Leverage the Power of this Critical Interview Question

If you’ve ever been on an interview, you’ve probably heard this one:

“Tell me a little bit about yourself.”

Sounds innocuous enough, but in reality this is an extremely important question.  Interviewers ask it for a number of reasons:

  • to get a sense of what you feel is most important about yourself;
  • to see how well you’ve prepared for the interview;
  • to find out why you think you’re the best candidate for the job;
  • to see how you handle yourself in an unstructured situation;
  • to see how articulate you are;
  • to find out what type of first impression you make.

There is a lot riding on your response to this question, so make sure you knock it out of the park.  Here are a few quick tips for answering the “tell me about yourself” interview question the right way:

  • Be brief.  Keep the answer short – no more than two to three minutes.
  • Develop and include your USP.  Your Unique Selling Proposition, also known as a personal branding statement, is a one-sentence description of who you are, what you greatest strength is and the major benefit that a potential employer will derive from this strength.  Plenty of help for developing your USP is available online.
  • Practice, practice, practice.  Write your answer out, then rehearse it until it’s second nature.  The better you know your pitch, the more poised and confident you’ll sound.
  • Cite examples.  When you develop your answer, include one or two examples that best demonstrate why you’re well-qualified for the available postition, or highlight your most important accomplishments.
  • Stay focused.  When an interviewer asks you about yourself, he or she doesn’t necessarily want to know where you were born, what your hobbies are or a laundry list of your job skills.  Make sure your response clearly focuses on the experiences and accomplishments most relevant to the available position.

The “tell me about yourself” interview question offers a great opportunity to set yourself apart from your job competitors.  So don’t waste it.  Take advantage of your time in the driver’s seat by selling yourself, creating a great first impression and setting a positive tone for the rest of the interview.

Wood Personnel is committed to the success of your job search.  With a great team of seasoned recruiting and staffing specialists, we have the resources and experience to match you with the ideal temporary, contract or direct hire opportunity in Middle TennesseeContact us today or Apply with Wood Personnel online.