In a job interview, one of the most puzzling and common requests you’re likely to hear is ‘tell me about yourself’. This is puzzling because chances are you’re not entirely sure what the interviewer wants from you and it can be difficult to know where to start. If you’re not prepared for this question, you’re likely to give a vague answer and doing so will definitely not impress your interviewer. So, before getting to that job interview, you need to be prepared to talk about you.
Here are some tips we’ve put together to help you:
Tailor your answer to the job. Having a base for your “you” blurb is good, but if you can tailor to be aligned with the position you’re applying for, it’s even better. Read through the requirements in the job ad and list your skills or strengths that are pertinent to this role. Remember you want the interviewer to remember these long after the interview is finished. Think about your past experiences and successes and try to add one or two that are significant and relevant.
Prepare your script. Now that you have your list of skills, strengths, experiences and successes, it’s time to put them all together. Start by talking about your past experiences and then follow it up with a success. Then move on to talk about your skills and your strengths, but make sure you don’t ramble on too much and focus only on what’s relevant. After that, move on and talk about your current situation and what you want to achieve. Here’s an example:
I’ve been working in the customer service industry for six years and prior to going on maternity leave I handled a team of five people. I enjoy the challenges that come with the job and the fact that I get to interact with people and help them. It led me to improve our customer satisfaction rating by at over 10% in my last six months alone.
My strengths in meeting deadlines and goal setting helped me achieve success in my previous role. Setting goals for me and my team allowed us all to fully commit to the cause and it ensured we got the task done and on time. What I would like to do now is to join a company that values its customers and where I can make a positive impact on customer relations and sales.
Practice, practice and then practice some more. My wife loves the saying “Prior Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance” and why not. We’ve talked about how important preparation is in Interview 101 before and we’re likely to talk about it again. The person who ends up with the job, more than likely prepared the best, so after making your base script and adapting it to the job you’re applying for, you’ll need to practice saying it. Make sure you practice so much that it sounds natural. If you sound like you’re reading from a script, it’s likely to have the opposite effect you’re hoping for.
A good “you blurb” is a handy tool to have even when you’re not job hunting. In a world of “it’s not what you know, but who” a well polished “you” blurb can be a rolled out whenever you’re faced with a networking opportunity. So make sure you put some real effort into creating it because it can continue opening doors for you well beyond your upcoming job interview. Good luck!