It’s the most uninventive question in an interview for an HR or payroll position – but it’s coming. It’s even worse than – Where do you see yourself in five years (nicer car, bigger house). Nope – 90% of interviews have the simple, unimaginative yet illuminating request: Tell me about yourself.
No one likes answering this question – but you have to, and the better job you do at answering it, the more likely you tee up your opportunity to continue to do well in your HR/payroll interview. Heck, the question even comes up in networking – so let’s examine a few ways you can go about answering it. First, consider the person asking you is not only listening for your answer, they’re paying close attention to if you deliver your response with enthusiasm and passion. And they’re looking for you to be ready to answer – this shouldn’t be tough – they are asking about your (presumably) favorite subject… you! Taking too long to answer demonstrates a lack of self-awareness and self-esteem.
- The rule of three’s. Think about all the things in our life that are broken into three things. The human mind is naturally adept at remembering groups of threes – so tell the asker… “I can sum myself up with three words…”
- A quote. Back in the day when it (and he) was more relevant our marketing director Doug Adams would use Apple’s “Think Different” as his quote, using it to describe the way he approaches his work life. Find your mantra and use it!
- A philosophy. Much like a quote, if you have a life philosophy that aligns with how you will perform for a company, go for it!
- Quote your colleagues. Saying “people who I work with say I am…” is a good way for you to brag without really bragging. On social media you’ll see this as #humblebrag.
- Your passion. What makes you tick? What drives you – this is your passion and if that passion can be used in the workplace, people will be excited to hire you. “My passion is…”
These are just a few examples of how you can answer this clichéd but sure to be asked question – if you have some creative ways you answer, please share them below! Ultimately, however you answer – be memorable as well as professional.
UPDATE: This blog has been so popular I wanted to share “Five More Creative Ways to ‘Tell Me About Yourself’.” Check it out>>