“Tell me about yourself.” Do you tense up and get anxious when you hear this in a job interview? Recruiters and hiring managers use this statement, or a variation (i.e., walk me through your résumé), as a common icebreaker to ease into the interview, get to know you better, and gain insight into your background concerning the position they want to fill.
Why is this important? Your response solidifies your initial impression on the employer while setting the tone for the rest of the conversation. Therefore, you need to directly address the professional value you bring to the position, sharing why you are the best candidate and why this role interests you. While most people expect this question in an interview, it’s often the one they have the most difficulty answering due to its open-endedness.
The wrong way? Many people make the mistake of giving a long-winded answer that chronicles their life story or repeats their entire résumé. I have coached others who use the opportunity to delve into negative details around a toxic management culture at their current or most recent job. While that experience may be true, venting about it in the interview is not the time or place. Additionally, I have worked with clients who get too personal on highly sensitive topics regarding their family, religion, or politics. Don’t do this. Later in the hiring cycle, you will have the...
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