Tell me about yourself– this question comes up in almost every interview and is arguably one of the most popular questions asked. It’s a tricky question that can lead many astray when answering. So, what’s the best way to answer?
When hiring managers ask this question, they are hoping to (obviously) learn more about you. Most importantly, they are looking to see how well you can relate your past experiences to the position being offered. The question isn’t about your life story, although those details may relate in some way. Here are a few things you shouldn’t do:
-Don’t ramble about your childhood. Unless you have a significant story that relates to the job position (ie how you made the most of your situation, your dreams or goals), then try to avoid chatting about your childhood.
-Don’t briefly recap your cover letter or resume. Find a couple great points that reflect your work experience and go into detail on certain achievements that may not be in your resume or that were briefly mentioned in your cover letter. This is the perfect time to drive home some of your greatest achievements.
-Briefly go over your college degree or experience. Unless you are a recent graduate, college projects or classes need only to be summarized or not mentioned at all. Do mention your degree and your interest in the field, if relevant.
Answering the tell me about yourself question can help dodge the typical strength and weaknesses question. Try to tie in a few obstacles you may have overcome. You can even bring up weaknesses that you have tackled in your past career experiences.