Before interviewers dive in and ask for specific questions, they often open with a deceptively simple-sounding question: “Tell me about yourself.” The broadness of this question can be intimidating, but if you prepare a structured answer ahead of time, you can feel confident in your response. Check out these tips for answering the interview question.”:
Craft Your Narrative
Answering such an open-ended question puts you at risk of rambling without having a clear focus. To have a compelling response that flows naturally, craft a narrative. Decide what story it is that you want to tell – is it one of overcoming adversity, of working hard to achieve goals, of a deep passion for your career path? Once you have clarified what the main point is that you want to convey, you can develop your response quickly.
Discuss Your Current Position
Keep your answer streamlined and start by discussing your current position first. Open up with a description of what you do now at your current or most recent job. As you talk about your job duties, pick the few that are most relevant to the job for which you are applying.
Add in Any Relevant Background History
Once you have communicated your current career status, then you can talk a bit about what led you to it. Add in any relevant background history, such as other jobs, education, or other experience. Do not go back too far or get too detailed – you want to make the interviewer aware of the trajectory of your career path and how it set you up to get where you are today.
Transition to Your Interest in the Job
After communicating your present and past career circumstances, you can conclude your response and talk about what you want in the future. Transition to your interest in the job – end by stating why you are enthusiastic about the position and why it would be an ideal fit.
Highlight Your Passion or Other Notable Tidbits
While you do not want to get too personal when you are telling the interviewer about yourself, it is okay to include information that is not purely work-related. Being a stellar employee is not just about having the technical skills or work experience – hiring managers want to get a sense of who you are as a person and what traits you possess. Highlight your passion or any other notable tidbits that would make you unique from other candidates, if possible.
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