Today’s Difficult Question: “Tell Me About Yourself.”
On Everyday Interview Tips, we strive to bring you advice designed to help you succeed in a job interview. One of the most common issues that people have at the interviews are the interview questions and answers. No matter how well you prepare, if you are unable to answer some of the toughest interview questions, you will not be able to impress employers and are unlikely to find employment with the company. That is why we will make it our goal to prepare you for these difficult interview questions.
Okay, maybe it’s not really a question, but a lot of employers start out with a very broad “tell me about yourself” type of question. This seems like a good opportunity to do a fair bit of talking and let the employer know who you really are. Still, do you really want the employer to know who you really are? Are you going to answer the question with unrelated personal details:
- Sometimes I cry from loneliness.
- I once kicked a puppy for barking during the playoffs.
- I don’t like cats
Obviously not. When an employer asks you about yourself, everyone knows that is not free range to ranting about every little thing you can think of. This is common sense.
Still, you must go one step beyond simply censoring yourself. You must also try to keep your answers focused on the job. If your employer says “tell me about yourself,” you should not answer with:
“Well, I went to high school in Tacoma. During high school I played a lot of tennis. My teachers said I had a lot of potential as a professional athlete but I decided instead to focus on my studies…”
Though this answer may seem harmless, it is not going to get you the job. These are personal details. On an interpersonal level, the interviewer may think “Oh, that’s interesting” but from a professional standpoint the interviewer is not going to be swayed.
How to Answer the Question
To answer this interview question, you simply need to relate everything you say back to details of your life that are relevant for the position. For example:
“I am a recent graduate from University of State. I studied architectural solutions with a focus on post-Renaissance influences. During that time I worked directly with Bill Dings, lead architect for WeBuildStuff Solutions. There I developed building procedures for projects funded by the city. I also discovered a passion for modern Hindu architecture and how it is changing western styles…”
Everything in this answer relates back to the position and explains why you are a good fit for the role. All of your answers should be tailored directly to the profession. If your interviewer wants to know something personal about you, let them be the ones to ask.
- Accord to the Ladders, you should also never answer this type of question with a question. Otherwise it will show a lack of preparation on your part.