The Top Job Interview Question Answered
Published on January 17, 2013 by arothstein
Submitted by Cassie Olson, Director of Career Services, Broadview University-Layton
Tell Me About Yourself?
Typically this is the first and most common question that an interviewer is likely to ask. You might be thinking, “I talk about myself all the time. This will be an easy question for me to answer.”
Not exactly. Even experienced interviewees have a hard time giving a response that an interviewer is looking for. Employers are looking for candidates to tell them what their education, experience, skills, and goals are related to the job.
The most common mistakes made when answering this question are unprofessional answers. Do NOT tell an interviewer how old you are, your marital status, how many kids you have, or even where you are from. Only answer in ways related to your work and professional life.
The best way to answer the “Tell me about yourself” question is through a 30-60 second “commercial.” Start from where you have been, then where you are going, and finally where you are now.
Let’s break down your 30 second commercial
Where you have been:
Identify and summarize your education and experience:
- For Example: “Currently, I am working at the Management and Training Corporation as an Admissions Representative.” Or, “I just finished my bachelor’s degree in information technology at Broadview University and I am looking for an employer that I can grow with.”
Where you are now:
Confidently and fluently speak of your specific skills (hard skills):
- For Example: “I am trained in C++” or “I accurately assess patient symptoms” or “I am strong in the technique of deal/concession closing.”
Confidently speak of specific transferable skills (soft skills):
- For Example: “I am hardworking, motivated, creative, driven, organized, ambitious.”
Where you are going:
Briefly mention goals as related to the job:
- For Example: “In five years I would like to work my way up to office manager. I already have plans to attend Broadview University to complete my degree in business administration.”
Emphasize benefits you provide to the employer:
- For Example: “I know that I can bring a lot of energy and ambition to your team. Considering my previous lab work experience, I know that I can hit the ground running.”
Use these tips to make your next job interview a success!
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