Let’s conquer the “Tell me about yourself” interview question!
Picture this: You finally get the call for the interview, accept the time and date, and double-check the address. You find your interview “ Dress For Success” outfit, get to the place a little early, and try not to look anxious while waiting. The hiring manager comes out and you remember to smile, give a strong handshake, and sit in the office. Then it happens. The hiring manager holds your resume and looks over at you. You know it’s coming. “Tell me about yourself.”
Watch for Different Versions of the “Tell Me about Yourself” Question
This question actually means:
- Please talk about your professional career as whole.
- How did you get into this industry and where you want to go?
- What is your work narrative look like?
- Why are you a good fit for this company?
Keep it Short and Professional
Do not use this time to explain why you were fired, why your last boss was awful, how long you were married, how many children you have, or anything else personal. This isn’t about your personal hobbies, personal life, or anything personal at all. This includes not saying your religious or political views or any other personal leanings. You’re a professional.
What the Hiring Manager Really Wants to Know
Explain why you’re in the field – do you have a special skill or talent that you bring to it? What resonates with you about the work? Do you have any impressive accomplishments? Why are you interested in the role you’re interviewing for?
Start with your past experiences and proven success, mention your strengths, and end with a statement about your current situation. Ready? Three sentences:
- What’s the Reason for Being in This Industry
I’ve been in this industry for ___ years and originally got into it because I wanted to work where I could _________ (connect with people, be on the cutting edge of technology, make a difference in the community, etc.)
- Your Strengths
I’ve found that my strength is my ______ (attention to detail, integrity, etc.) and I enjoy making sure that my reason for working in this industry
- Conclude With Statement About Your Current Career Situation/ Future Goals
What I’m looking for now is a company that values __________ (creativity, customer relations, etc.) and I can join a strong team and have a positive effect on ________ (community, science, etc.)
- Why you got into this line of work
- Your successes while working in it so far
- Future career goals
Look at how fast your three sentence elevator script came together! Clearly, you’ve got this interview in the bag. Just in case you’re worried about other interview questions, check out:
In case you’re not ready for an interview, check out