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:

Where you are now:

Confidently and fluently speak of your specific skills (hard skills):

Confidently speak of specific transferable skills (soft skills):

Where you are going:

Briefly mention goals as related to the job:

Emphasize benefits you provide to the employer:

Use these tips to make your next job interview a success!

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