Discussing Interview Question: Tell Me about Yourself

Tell Me about YourselfThere is no applicant who comes in an interview that has not yet faced the question “Tell me about yourself.” For some, this question is the most challenging to answer because they don’t understand what the interviewer really wants to know.

Most applicants hate this particular question because it puts them in the spotlight. The reason why applicants should love this question and not hate it is because aside from spotlight, it also gives you control.

When this question gets thrown at you, you are now given the opportunity to describe your strengths and greatest accomplishment in a few sentences.

There is really no one surefire way to answer this question; any given answer may work for one company but not for another. Still, while there is no secret formula for this question, there is one thing to remember when answering, and that is to focus.

Focus your answer on the job and the interviewer. Why? What an interviewer would like to hear from you is your professional experience and how it relates to the job. The interviewer is not interested in where you were born or how exciting your childhood was (unless there was something about your personal experience that affects your candidacy).

How Do I Answer?

In answering this question, you should start with a brief summary of your career. If you have been working in software development, say something like, “I have been working in software development for five years now, with extensive experience in mobile app development.”

After a brief summary of your career, describe your greatest accomplishment and how it would affect the job.

The last part of your answer should include what you want to do next in your career and how it is relevant to the potential employer.

This is a brief guide on how you should answer this question, but this shouldn’t be construed the be-all and end-all. Any answer you give should be calibrated to the specific circumstances.

Other Tips:

People are different, and each interviewer has a unique personality. Industries are also different; they have skills they value more than other industries. A great way for you to do better on your next interview is by knowing your industry and interviewer. Understand what skills they are looking for and whom you are speaking to.

A human resources director is different from an IT department head; if you know who the interviewer will be, you can also frame your answer accordingly.

The Worst Answer

The worst answer you could possibly give when an interviewer asks the question is to say, “What do you want to know?” Doing so will eliminate any chance of being hired. When coming to an interview, it is expected that you will be prepared, and if you respond to an interviewer by asking what he or she wants to know, then you just showed that you are unprepared, and you can’t blame the interviewer for thinking that you are likely to come in for work with the same mindset.

This question should not be an obstacle for you to ace your interview; instead, this should be a tool you can use to present yourself as the best candidate for the job. Prepare for your interview, and don’t let this question prevent you from achieving success in your job search.

Read 9356 times Last modified on Monday, 08 February 2016 14:26
Alan Carniol

Alan is the creator of Interview Success Formula, a training program that has helped more than 80,000 job seekers to ace their interviews and land the jobs they deserve. Interviewers love asking curveball questions to weed out job seekers. But the truth is, most of these questions are asking about a few key areas. Learn more about how to outsmart tough interviewers by watching this video.