How To Answer The Interview Question “Tell Me About Yourself”

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Why Would An Interviewer Ask You This Question?

This question is almost always asked first, perhaps right after some chit chat. For the interviewer, it’s an easy and open-ended way to start a conversation. He wants to find out enough about you to decide if you are fit for the role he is looking to fill.  It would be easier for him if he can find a great candidate quickly, so he wants to like you. However, he is also on guard, because any mistake he makes in hiring the wrong candidate will reflect poorly on his judgment and possibly jeopardize his chances at getting a promotion, a raise or bonus. He is hoping that this question will get you talking. His first impression of you will be all about your answer to this question. Your answer here will let you lead with your strongest selling points.

Your answer should address the following:

  • Who You Are: Your first sentence should be an introduction of who you are professionally, an overview statement that shows off who you are and gives a little sense of your personality too. You have to prepare a bit for this in advance.
  • Highlight Your Selling Points: This could be the years of experience you have in a particular industry or your area of specialization. You might also need to highlight any special training and technical skills you acquired here. Focus on the qualifications in the job description and how you meet and exceed the requirements.
  • Highlight Your Strengths: List five strengths you have that are relevant to the role you are applying for.
  • Why You Are Interested In The Position: You can conclude by indicating why you are looking for a new challenge and why you feel this role is the best next step.

Don’t forget! Keep it concise and brief. Don’t try to squeeze in too much information here. You will have time later to talk about your resume in details and fill in any gaps. You should give your interviewer the chance to ask questions in between.

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