Tell me a little bit about yourself.
“Well, I was born in Wyoming but moved around a lot when I was growing up. Now I love to go on hikes with my kids and my favorite meal to cook is lasagna.”
The simple question, “tell me about yourself” can panic interviewees. It causes candidates to fumble their words and babble about anything they can think of. It’s such an important question, that one of our most popular blogs is on the topic. So we decided to give you five more creative ways to “tell me about yourself.”
This question, or some sort of variation, starts off most interviews – so you better be ready with a great answer. Your answer will (hopefully) set the tone for the rest of the interview. Knock this answer out of the park and its strength will take control of the interview and shape the dialogue that comes next. Don’t babble, come prepared with an outstanding answer.
Here are some additional creative and memorable ways to tell your interviewer about yourself.
Practiced pitch: Sell yourself to the interviewer. Create a one-minute pitch that expands on your top selling points and skillsets for the position. Make sure to sound natural, let your personality shine through, and practice, practice, practice.
Show them: “Can I show you instead of tell you?” Pull something from your pocket that represents who you are and why you are a great fit for the job. Be sure to use symbolism and be creative – talk about memorable.
Story approach: Brains are wired to remember stories, so tell your own. Focus on the professional side and use the STAR method throughout. Give complete examples of your skills by explaining the Situation, Task, Action, and Result.
Humor: “When I Googled myself this morning this is what I found…” Be confident and express your personality through answering this question, if you have a sense of humor showcase it.
Present to past: Start by sharing your current career and why you are applying for the job. Then backtrack into the past and highlight specific situations or events that display your skills. Focus on the present and then touch on the significant things from long-ago.
Now that I’ve covered the do’s, make sure you avoid these common mistakes. These are the ones that are sure to make you blend into the crowd, the opposite of what you want.
Rehash your resume: The interviewer has already read and reviewed your resume so don’t waste their time by repeating it. If that is all they needed to know it would be pointless to call you into an interview – don’t waste your opportunity.
Mr./Ms. Humble: You need to be comfortable selling yourself and confident in your accomplishments. Modesty won’t take you to the finish line as competition is fierce.
Clarification: Don’t throw the questions back at them and ask, “well what do you want to know?” Requesting for too much clarification makes you seem hesitant, confused and indecisive, not ideal qualities.
Next time someone says, “tell me about yourself” take a deep breath and remember these do’s and don’ts. You’ve got this! You are the expert on yourself and what you want.