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Aug. 18, 2016

How to Answer the Question: “So Tell Me About Yourself”

When applying for a new job, your interviewer will inevitably ask you, “So tell me about yourself.” Talking about yourself should be the easiest thing to do. After all, who knows you better than you? Still, this deceptively simple question leaves many jobseekers scrambling to figure out how best to respond.

It’s important to develop a good narrative to communicate to the potential employer why you are a good match for the open position. Most often, you’ll be competing against applicants who have similar amounts of education and experience, so you want to find a way to set yourself apart from the rest of the crowd. Make sure your pitch is helping your chances of getting hired by following these tips:

    • Narrow your focus – Keep your response focused on what interests the interviewer. They want to know that you can do the job and that your personality will fit with the rest of the team. Only provide information that’s directly related to your performance.
    • Start with employment – Are you currently employed? Describe what you do presently or what your most recent job was. This will give the interviewer some insight as to what experience you have and hint at any transferrable skills you may offer.
    • Highlight accomplishments – Describe your professional achievements and awards. Remember, your goal is to find a way to stand out from others applying for the same position so demonstrate how your previous actions have gone above and beyond.
    • Explain why you are here – End your pitch with why you are excited for this opportunity. This is an excellent chance for you to show off what you know about the company and how you can help the organization to grow.
    • Be brief – The interviewer wants to learn a little bit about you, but not your life story. Aim to keep your response under one to two minutes by touching on several useful and interesting pieces of information.

Without the right pitch in hand, the seemingly open-ended nature of this question can throw you for a loop and set the tone for the rest of the interview. Once you’ve created your pitch, be sure to practice delivering it out loud before going into your interview – you want to sound prepared and confident, but never rehearsed.

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