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https://biginterview.com/blog/2011/09/tell-me-about-yourself.html

biginterview.com

Pamela Skillings
There are some job interview questions that are guaranteed to come up in most (if not all) of your job interviews - regardless of your industry, your experience level, and job type. At the top of this list is the universal and much-dreaded classic: "Tell me about yourself."

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The Interviewer’s Perspective

When the interviewer asks you, “Tell me about yourself”, he is hoping this question will get you talking. It will give him a first impression of you, and set the tone for the inte...

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How Not to Answer

  • Prepare a brief summary of the high points of each of your past positions, but do not turn it into a very long monologue that makes the interviewer glaze over with information overload.

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Your elevator pitch

You need a short summary of yourself as a job candidate. Keep it focused, ideally less than a minute, and no more than two minutes.
  • Address what your primary selling points are fo...

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The Big Interview Formula

The Big Interview Formula
  • Who you are. Your introductory sentence is about who you are as a professional, an overview statement about your strengths, and showing a little of your personality. 
  • Ex...

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'So, Tell me about Yourself'

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Short vs long answers

The conventional expert opinion is to provide a crisp, 30 second to 1-minute answer to the question "Tell me about yourself", but one minute isn’t enough time to deliver a meaningful response that benefits you as a candidate.

Experts prefer a short answer, as it has less chance of leading the candidate to drift or ramble.

Benefits of a long answer

  • A longer answer to "Tell me about yourself" allows you to provide a useful narrative beyond the résumé.
  • It lets you reveal key motivations that drove your career path.
  • You can shape the interview in your direction.
  • It's an opportunity to stand out from the other candidates.

What you should not say

  • Starting with something personal like family or hobbies, or launching into your life story.
  • Sharing the problems with your current job.
  • Summarizing your resume, point-by-point....

Craft an elevator pitch

  • Spend some time reviewing the job description in the recruitment ad for the position and research the company.
  • Prepare a short script that highlights the skills, strengths and expertise you have that make you especially qualified for this particular position. 
  • Explain the reasons you’re applying for this particular job. Focus on career-related motivations.

Your purpose to the question

Your purpose to the question "tell me about yourself" is to give just enough details of yourself to spark the interest of the interviewer.

Answering this question gives you a great opportunity to spotlight the skills and experience that make you the ideal candidate for the job.

Answers To Common Interview Questions

  1. Can you tell me a little bit about yourself? Don’t tell your life story; answer clearly and concisely. Focus on professional accomplishments.
  2. Why should we hire you over the other appl...

The Smartest Way To Answer Interview Questions

The interviewer is likely looking for someone who can solve problems, has good interpersonal skills and the ability to get things done using good judgment and effectiveness. 

Not every question lets you show skills easily, so reframing a question to get to the answer you want to communicate might be the best way to do so.