“Tell me a little about yourself.”
Sounds easy enough, right? Or not! Where do you start – and what do you actually say, especially if your next job may be depending on it?
Often, this is among the very first questions asked by interviewers. And although a lot of other variables factor into a final hiring decision, it can set the tone as you proceed through the hiring process. So make sure you prepare in advance, so you can set the stage for a successful interview.
- Experts suggest a “present/past/future” approach to answering this question. You start by talking about your current role and/or a recent accomplishment, describe how you got there, and then lead into what you want to do next. And all of it must be relevant and highlight why you’d be the right person for the job.
It’s about your interviewer getting to know you.
This question is a starting point that will help your interviewer get to know you and set the direction for the rest of the conversation. If you answer it well, you not only begin to show you’re the best person for the job, but you also demonstrate your ability to communicate effectively.
Here are some tips for nailing your response:
- Tailor your answer to the company and the job. When an interviewer raises this question, what they really mean is, “Tell me about you as it relates to the position.” Do your research ahead of time, share your objective in applying, and describe the value you could add and how you can fulfill their specific needs if hired.
- Know your audience. This is key to effective communication in any situation. So, tailor your answer to the person who asked. For instance, if it’s a recruiter who’s more focused on the bigger picture of the role, focus on that. But if you’re speaking to your potential future boss, you may want to get a little more technical.
- Practice ahead of time. Do this for all the questions you anticipate being asked. Think about what you want to convey and practice it out loud, ideally with a trusted friend or colleague who can honestly and constructively help you perfect your response. But, you don’t want to simply memorize and then regurgitate your answer. You need to keep it authentic and conversational.
- Keep it positive. This is also true throughout your hiring experience. Wait until you get a question specifically about why you’re looking to change jobs or have a gap on your resume to address those topics. And never, ever badmouth a previous employer. An interview is not the place to vent, even if you’re prompted in that direction.
For additional help in preparing for your interview – or the steps leading up to it, including finding the right opportunity for you, crafting your resume, and all the steps in your successful search process – contact PrideStaff Northern Kentucky today.
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