No one likes interviews. They’re nervewracking, intimidating and usually not very pleasant experiences.
The only way to make them better is to come prepared and with a good attitude.
Some interview questions are universal regardless of your industry, your experience level and job type.
Here’s how to answer the dreaded, ”Tell me about yourself.”
Start with something interesting
This is not the time to start listing your work experience in chronological order. They will have seen all of that in your bio. You don’t want to send them to sleep straight away.
It’s also not the time to start telling them about your boyfriend, upcoming holiday or brand new apartment. So, how do you begin? Well, it’s all about finding the balance between sounding dedicated and sounding like an actual person.
We recommend starting with some personal interests that don’t relate directly to work. Examples can include things like yoga, long distance running or skiing. This will help you to develop a rapport with your interviewer.
Make the move from personal to professional
After sharing a few interesting aspects of your personality you should have piqued their interest. You can now transition to sharing some key skills that would help you to succeed in the role if you were hired.
Make a list of your strengths before you go into the interview, so you know what you will share. Look at the job description and match it with your skills.
Be careful not to overwhelm the interviewer with too much information. After mentioning three or four strengths, move on. You can always revisit the topics later.
Avoid controversial topics
When you are talking about yourself it is important to steer clear of controversial topics such as politics or religion. It is crucial that you avoid any questions that may raise concern about your ethics or character. You should not talk about your personal life. Your interviewer does not need to know about your children, where you live or your spouse. That is all strictly personal.
Practice makes perfect
Think of this question as your elevator pitch i.e. a short summary used to quickly and simply define a product, service or business. In this case, you’ve got to sell yourself to the interviewer and you only have a few minutes to do it.
Keep your answer short and focused. You should practice it a few times before the interview either with a friend or in front of the mirror (slightly cringey but it works, trust us).
If you can get this question right then you’re sure to start the interview on a good note.