A huge thank you goes to Elizabeth for forwarding this link to me! It’s fabulous and I just had to share it with all of you! And muchas gracias to Elizabeth for her notes from the video as well!
If you have gone through my interview coaching sessions, you know that one of the first questions we review is the dreaded “So, tell me about yourself.” It’s common practice for an interviewer to use this question to break the ice and get the interview started. When done well, you can use this opportunity to set the tone for the entire meeting, which gives you the control to guide the process down paths that sell you most effectively!
My advice is to always answer this question as if the employer really said this: “So, tell me about yourself professionally.” Interviewers don’t really care so much about your personal life at this point (other than to make sure you’re not hiding human skulls in your closet).
What they want to hear is how you are the answer to their problem. When they ask you this very simple question, what they are really saying is:
• “Please tell me why I should hire you.”
• “Why are you better than the five other shmoes I interviewed this morning?”
• “What can you do for me?”
Some of you might have also worked with me on your “30 Second Commercial” or “Elevator Speech.” Again, the exact same concept applies.
This particular video is fabulous because it breaks the process down into easily achievable steps. There’s no reason to be intimidated by or dread this question any more!
How to Address the Interview Question: “So, Tell Me About Yourself.”
1. Brief intro
2. Your key accomplishments
3. Your Primary strengths (demonstrated by these accomplishments)
4. Importance of these strengths to the potential employer. How do these strengths fit the potential employer’s needs?
5. How do you see yourself developing these skills for the new employer?
6. Tie-in. (Turn it back around to the interviewer, putting the ball in their court). Asking them a related question, for example.)
I strongly urge each and every one of you to complete this assignment this week. Cover each of these steps and prepare your answer to this question. This is one of the most common interview questions out there, so you’ll really appreciate it when you walk into your next interview!