It may seem like a simple ice-breaker-type question, little more than an excuse to recite your resume, or maybe just a lead-in to more meaningful inquiries. However, the query “tell me about yourself” can represent a trap. In fact, it can become as much a trap for unprepared job seekers as more obvious head-scratchers like “what’s your biggest weakness?”.
However, it doesn’t have to be. Instead of becoming an awkward point in the interview, the question offers you a significant opportunity. You can use it to set the tone for the rest of the meeting and outline your baseline case for getting hired.
Here are some things to include as you respond to the all-but-inevitable “tell me about your yourself” prompt.
Briefly Rundown Your History
The bulk of your answer should involve your biography. At this point, you should mostly stick to your education and work history, as this is most pertinent to a job situation.
However, look to include more personal elements, as well. These can help make a connection with your interviewers. Mention details like where you were born, where you grew up, how many brothers and sisters you have, etc.
One warning, though: Make sure not to dip into things like politics or religion, or anything else that might conceivably stir controversy. These could completely derail the interview.
Focus on Relevant Experiences
As you unfurl your life’s story, don’t get overly detailed. Keep your description short. You’re not dictating your autobiography. You just want to give a sense of where you came from.
As you relate your general history, concentrate on experiences that pertain to the position at hand. Remember your main goal is to prove you’re competent for the position being offered. As such, spend most of your time detailing the skills and experiences you can bring to bear in the position.
Talk About Your Accomplishments
Beyond proving your baseline competence, you are trying to show the additional value you provide. As such, find ways to distinguish yourself.
With this in mind, don’t just mention the skills you have. Expand these bullet points by describing times when you excelled. Discuss ways you have exceeded expectations in the past, awards you have won, and promotions you have earned. It will help put you beyond the other people applying for the same job.
Answer the Question: What Makes You Unique?
Detailing your accomplishments isn’t enough to guarantee you the position. To get a real edge, you need to display the mix of skills that make you an unmistakable asset.
You don’t just want to outline ways in which you are better than the competition. You want to describe how you are absolutely unique. Before heading into the interview, figure out the qualities that allow you to stand out in a crowded field of applicants. Then, focus on this differentiator when they ask you to tell them about yourself.
Mention Your Goals
Your presentation shouldn’t just touch on your past experiences or the present value you can offer the company. It should also look to the future.
End your presentation with a description of your long-term goals. This allows you to display your long-term value and to set the stage for a broader conversation later in the interview.
Tell Us About Yourself
Certain interview questions can set your heart racing. However, the process gets easier when you’re sure the opportunity is perfect for you. Teaming with a first-rate recruiter, like TriStarr, ensures you end up in placements ideal for your long-term future.
Contact TriStarr today to learn more.