The tell me about yourself question
A common question which gets asked in an interview is … Tell me about yourself? Oh yeah sure this one time at Band camp …. (American Pie reference FTW)
Focusing though here is what you need to know…..
The Tell me about yourself Question
Keep it brief
Nobody wants to hear war and peace (Is that still the go-to book for things that are too long?) It’s an overview, a snapshot of your personality as it were … Demonstrate the skills and attributes you are attempting to showcase and focus on selling those.
Think like the interviewee
To answer this effectively it is always worth thinking about what that particular hiring manager will be looking for in this role and then give them what they want. If ‘what they want’ is something you have to bend like a Chinese gymnast to get in the right position for, it’s probably not the ideal role for you!
Don’t worry about that, you can’t please everybody all of the time.
Talk about your motivations
Where do you see yourself in the next 12 – 18 months?
What skills are you looking to develop?
What caused you to work well or badly in your previous company? These are important because it will give the company an insight into your personality and if they are interested they will say things that fit in with where you see yourself over the next few years.
Don’t ask the interviewer to clarify
Avoid asking what do you mean? Cause the interviewer will probably sigh and mentally put you with such esteemed class as the intern who nearly burnt down the kitchen on his first day.