"Tell me about yourself?"
How to answer this question at your next job interview and land the job you want!
WHAT THE INTERVIEWER WANTS TO KNOW:
They want to determine if you're a good fit for the job.
They want to see how comfortable you are in answering open-ended questions.
They're testing your ability to think quickly.
They want to gauge how you prepare for important conversations at work.
HOW TO ANSWER THE QUESTION:
Remember it as: "Tell me something about yourself that's NOT on your resume". Let your potential employer know you a little bit beyond your career and experience. Share something interesting about yourself that illuminates who you are as a person and an employee. This low-key approach will probably also help you to develop a personal rapport with your interviewer.
TIPS FOR GIVING THE BEST RESPONSE:
TRANSITION FROM PERSONAL TO PROFESSIONAL After sharing a few interesting personal aspects of your background, pivot to mentioning some key professional skills that would help you to add value if you were hired for the job. SHARE YOUR EXPERTISE Share 3-4 personal qualities or skills which will help you to excel in the job for which you are interviewing. Look at the job description and match it with your skills. BE HONEST! If you stretch the truth, it will become apparent very quickly. If you're caught lying, your interview will be over. Or, worse, you could get hired and end up spending years pretending that you’re a long-distance runner or a great baker.
AN EXAMPLE OF A GOOD ANSWER:
"When I’m not working, I like to spend time exploring with my dog. I take him hiking near the waterfalls or even just on short walks around the neighbourhood. Quite a lot of people are drawn to dogs and I always enjoy striking up conversations with those I meet. I feel that communication is one of the most important aspects of my professional life as well. When talking with people, being able to guide the conversation in a particular direction is one of the ways I’ve been successful in different situations at the office."
TRY TO AVOID:
SHARING TOO MUCH OR TOO LITTLE INFORMATION The interviewer doesn't want to know everything about you or wonder why you're being secretive. SENSITIVE TOPICS Don't share your political or religious views, unless you are absolutely certain that your opinions will be well-received by your interviewer. TALKING ABOUT A PAST TIME THAT MIGHT BE MORE IMPORTANT THAN WORK No one wants to hire someone who will miss a lot of work or ask for extra time off to pursue their passions outside of work. SHARING PERSONAL FAMILY DETAILS There is no need to discuss spouses, partners, children, or any other strictly personal information.