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How to Answer "Tell me about yourself" in 3 easy steps

Updated on March 30, 2016
Nate Sterling profile image

Nate has helped young professionals switch careers and move higher up the corporate ladder for the past 10 years. He mentors young graduates

Job Interview

Successful Job Interview meeting
Successful Job Interview meeting

Tell me About Yourself

"Well, tell me about yourself." We've all heard this question at one time or the other. I used to cringe every time I heard it. What could they possibly want to know? What was I expected to say? " I love to play tennis on the weekends, but that's when my friends don't my buddies aren't available to play NBA 2k14 or Call of Duty." I love to hang out with my girlfriend after classes and I enjoy Kayaking in the summer.

The Interview is Not About You

Stop! I've heard all these before, but just in case you never got the memo, these extra-curricular activites are NOT what your interviewer was hoping to hear. It is not an opportunity to paint a Van Gogh of yourself, in your own words, as much as you might be tempted. The general rule of thumb is no one wants to hear anything about your personal life unless it is related, and it better be, to the job or any major responsibilities you'll have in the proposed role.

No right or wrong answers

No doubt, it's an understatement to say this question never fails to come up at some stage of the job interview process. And truth be told, there are a myriad of ways to answer. Contrary to what many might think, there's no right or wrong way to answer the question. But there are a number of coherent and well orchestrated ways to make your answer as seamless as possible. I'll be giving you one of the surest ways to ace that question in the next few paragraphs.

Once this question is uttered, you must see it as an opportunity to make both make a good impression on your interviewer/interviewers and to establish a personal connection (trust me it counts in a face to face interview).

Speak passionately about your present role and the duties involved in your present position. Be sure the details you give are relevant to what would be expected of you in your new role.

There's still more to offer the interviewer too. Blend the relevant details of your current job description into what you had to do in your previous jobs i.e before your current job. Again, these details need to be relevant.

To cap it all off, delve into explaining what skills you'd like to gain from working with the company you're interviewing for. Express yourself enthusiastically - enthusiasm is infectious you know - even for the most sour individuals. Once you have your interview enthused, then you'll have them eating out of your hand.

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