Interview Questions: About You


Tell me about yourself.

First question upon entering many interview rooms, "Tell me about yourself."

Do you give the interviewer your life story? Should you go into great detail on how you're easy going; loyal; dedicated; hard working; and all around great employee? If you go down this road, there's a good chance you will create a bad first impression by boring the interviewer and it's almost impossible to come back from that.

Since this is a commonly asked interview question, it's curious that more candidates don't spend more time preparing a good response to answer it. Maybe because the questions appears to be informal. This disarms most people causing them to drop their guard and shift into ramble mode. Be sure to resist the urge to do so.

The interviewer does not want a length dissertation here. Have a sharp sentence or two prepared that sets the stage for further discussion and separates you from your competitors.

Give the interviewer a concise, one sentence description of who you are, your biggest strength and the major benefit that a company will derive from this strength. Look at it as your personal brand or a value added statement. For example,"I'm a seasoned Hospital Administrator strong in developing training programs and loss prevention techniques that have resulted in revenue savings of over $2.3Million for (employer's name) during the past 9 years."

A statement like this makes a huge difference. You've grabbed the interviewer's attention and they are anxious to hear more about your accomplishments. Now that you have them at the edge of their seat, you may want to add the following sentence "I'd like to talk about how I might be able to do something like that for you." This establishes the framework for a real discussion, not just an interrogation process.

Be Specific: Lead your response with your strongest benefit to the employer. Be specific, so you don't start just listing your skills or talents. Putting a monetary value on your work makes it measurable. Although this may lead to follow up questions, so be ready with details. An example of adding a dollar value to your work is where you saved money or increased revenue for your employer.

Be Prepared: Always expect the "tell me about yourself" question when walking into an interview. Have your own personal branding statement prepared ahead of time. It should clearly define who you are, your major strength and exhibit how you benefited previous employers. With this approach, you'll quickly gain their attention and peak their interest to find out more. You will also separate yourself from your competitors by increasing your chances of being positively remembered and more likely hired.