New Way to Answer “Tell Me About Yourself”

“Tell me about yourself” is one of the most dreaded interview questions. Even the most well-prepared candidates find themselves fumble their way through a vague answer. Here’s a little secret: “Tell me about yourself” is an icebreaker question to make you feel more comfortable during the interview process. It’s also a good way for the hiring manager to gravitate towards asking job-specific questions without overwhelming you.

“When hiring for new talent, employers often look for well-rounded, qualified candidates, as well as individuals with a desire to learn,” says Jill Chapman, a senior performance consultant at Insperity.

“Asking open-ended interview questions, such as “Can you tell me about yourself?” that encourage candidates to discuss previous behaviors or experiences may help employers identify soft skills and capabilities beyond what is listed on a resume. This question can help hiring managers pinpoint applicants who are adaptable, eager to learn and equipped with a growth mindset.”

Interview Tips: “Tell Me About Yourself” 

If you’re someone who doesn’t like to blow their own toot, ‘Tell me about yourself’ can be difficult to answer. Luckily, you can learn how to answer this question using our expert HR interview tips, setting the stage for a successful interview.

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It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in or what stage of your career you’re at – “Tell me about yourself” interview question is terrifying every single time.

Past, Present and Future

An effective way to answer the “Tell me about yourself” interview question is that your response should be based upon the present, past, and future. For example: what you are doing presently, your designation, or talk about any recent huge achievement you would like to share.

“Whatever way you choose, the matter of fact is coming back to the point of job and company you wish to choose,” advises Sophie Summers, HR Manager at ProPrivacy.

“An excellent way to wind up things is to tell the hiring manager or the interviewer what thing enforced you to apply here or what brought you here.”

Keep your responses short

A candidate should refrain from beginning to answer the question from their early life, according to Tom Connolly, CEO of GattiHR.

“Generally, it’s best to stick to a reasonable timeline depending on where you are in your career, starting with expertise highlights, specialties, relevant certifications, then move into promotions and titles and other areas of interest,” advises Connolly. “Finish with a personal touch, perhaps a hobby or passion, something that’s about you but still professional.”

Use the STAR technique to ensure your answer short, crisp, and concise. Anything longer than a 3 to 5 minutes response is an automatic disqualifier.

Don’t be boring!

For this question, Eric Mochnacz, advises candidates against reciting what is already mentioned in their resume.

“If you default to reciting your resume to everyone you meet, you miss the opportunity to demonstrate who you are,” Mochnacz says. “You reduce yourself to your work experience on your resume.”

It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in or what stage of your career you’re at – “Tell me about yourself” interview question is terrifying every single time. Follow The HR Digest Magazine’s interview insights and resume tips to move forward in your career.

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Priyansha Mistry
Priyansha Mistry
Currently editor at The HR Digest Magazine. She helps HR professionals identify issues with their talent management and employment law. | Priyansha tweets at @PriyanshaMistry

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