Monday, December 12, 2011

The "Tell Me About Yourself" Interview Question

"So, tell me about yourself."

If you just sat down for a job interview, chances are this is the first question you will be asked.  Not that it's unique to job interviews.  You hear it asked all the time in many different situations, whether it's a first date, or just meeting someone for the first time.  And it's a difficult question to answer in any of these situations.

This is such a hard question because it presents you with an unstructured situation.  You have to be confident enough in yourself to articulately explain the best qualities about yourself.  In short, it's the best way for an employer to get a first impression.  And we all know that first impressions are everything.  Now that you know why it's asked, you're probably wondering about the best ways to answer it.

To be honest, there are a lot of right ways to answer the "tell me about yourself" question.  I want to focus on the wrong way to answer it.  The worst thing you can do with this question is respond with something like this: "What do you want to know?"  This will show the interviewer that you are not prepared for the interview or, even worse, that you aren't confident in what you have to say.  You should spend a lot of your interview preparation time developing an answer that best explains what it is that makes you a good candidate for the job.  If you can do that successfully, you will have no problem answering this question.

If you want to learn more about interview questions, be sure to check out this article from The Nonprofit Jobseeker.

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