The Right (and Wrong) Way to Answer "Tell Me About Yourself"
This may seem like a softball, get to know you question—but really it’s your chance to make an unbelievable first impression.
So don’t just spout of random anecdotes about your life or—worse—recite your resume (they already know that information!). We know it’s hard to brag about yourself, but you need to use this question to make it crystal clear why you’re awesome and why you’re the perfect person for this job.
Watch the video below to learn a solid framework for knocking this question out of the park.
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Interviewer: Have a seat. Tell me a little bit about yourself.
Jimmy: Well, you know, I always say I make a very big first impression. You’d probably be surprised to know that my first word was [beep].
Interviewer: You may be tempted to tell your whole life story, but don’t. Interviewers really don’t want to hear it. Let’s try that again.
Jimmy: [Sigh] This question’s always so hard...
Interviewer: We know. Talking about yourself is a little hard, but it’s kind of the point of an interview. So let’s try that again, but this time, with a little more confidence.
Jimmy: My name is Alex Green and you can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org. From 2009...
Interviewer: Yikes. Don’t just recite your resume, either. Your response to this question should be like a mini elevator pitch. Here, try the present, past, future structure. This is one sentence highlighting what you’re doing today, one sentence highlighting a relevant past experience, and a third sentence highlighting exactly why you’re excited for this job.
Jimmy: Well, I currently work as a content marketer where I help promote brands by creating blog posts, ebooks, and videos. In the past, I’ve worked with all sorts of marketing channels, from social media to emails. I’m really, really excited about this opportunity, where I’ll get to combine all of those experiences to help a startup like yours grow.
Voice-over: Check out more videos and career advice at themuse.com.
Photo of job interview courtesy of Shutterstock.
Erin believes in the power of content to spread ideas, build communities, and engage and delight people—which is why she spends her days helping employers and brands do just that. During her time at The Muse, Erin has also worn the hats of personal website expert, video producer, Shutterstock wrangler, master lunch-packer, and company librarian. Erin is always looking for new places to explore on the weekends, and she almost never says no to tea and a croissant. Invite Erin to tea at eringreenawald.com or on Twitter @erinaceously.More from this Author