We’re going to discuss three tests to answer the tell me about yourself interview question the right way so that you can stand out in front of hiring managers and ideally land more job offers. Now before we begin, there are a couple of ground rules that you need to know before you can develop the perfect answer to this question.
RULE #1: DO NOT TALK ABOUT YOUR PERSONAL OR FAMILY LIFE.
Do not talk about your personal or family life when someone asks you tell me about yourself they’re not actually asking you to tell them about your own life choices and the mistakes that you’ve learned from and how you got here as a human being they’re not actually asking you to tell them about yourself they’re actually asking you to tell them about your qualifications your experiences as well as why you’re a good fit for this role that’s it they just want to know about your professional background and expertise in a nutshell.
RULE #2: DO TELL A STORY.
Do you tell a story even though I said you shouldn’t be telling them your life story you do want to tell them your professional work story? I’ll get into details about this a little later, but mostly a good professional work story means that it needs to be engaging compelling. Clear and complete.
4 MAJOR TIPS ON HOW TO ANSWER THE “TELL ME ABOUT YOURSELF” INTERVIEW QUESTION
So now that we’ve got the ground rolls out of the way let’s move on to our four major tips on how to answer the tell me about yourself interview.
TIP #1: GIVE A SNAPSHOT OF YOUR WORK HISTORY.
So what this means is you’re going to go back in time to the earliest professional job that you’ve ever held. And you’re going to start your story from there. So you’re essentially going to describe
- What company you worked for
- What the title was that you held when you’re in that position.
- How long you stayed in that position.
- What were your major responsibilities in that area?
So, for example, let’s just say that you started off your career five years ago as a financial analyst. Okay, let’s just make this up with his use and other counties apple. You started up your career as a financial analyst five years ago, and then you moved up to senior financial analyst, and now you are financing manager. When you tell your story, you’re going to start with your role as a financial analyst. And you’re going to say something along the lines of
“I started off my career as a financial analyst five years ago with XYZ the company where I performed full cycle accounting duties, month-end close procedures and assisted with budgeting and forecasting on a monthly basis…”
So now you’re going to do that for each and every one of your positions you’re essentially telling many work snapshots for every position that you held up to the current position that you’re holding right now.
TIP #2: MAKE YOUR MINI-STORIES “ACHIEVEMENT-ORIENTED.”
Make your many stories achievement oriented. So after you’ve told the employer about the company that you were at, the title that you held, the number of years you were there for and the major responsibilities that you had in that position. You’re then going also to describe one major accomplishment that you were able to achieve in that role. An accomplishment is any time where you have to save time save money improve processes improve profitability I mean anything where you’ve done something that has created quantifiable ideally measurable results for your company or your department. So to add-ons, for example, you would say in that role a major accomplishment I’m most proud of was that I was able to reduce the time spent on Monday procedures by developing an XL model which automated a significant accounting process. This resulted in a time savings of approximately one day per month, so you’ll do both this step number 2 and tip number one in conjunction with each other for every single position that you held.
TIP #3: TELL THE EMPLOYER WHAT YOU KNOW ABOUT THIS ROLE.
Once you’ve gone through your entire story, and you’ve told the employer about your major roles as well as the accomplishments that you’ve achieved it’s now time to acknowledge to the organization when you know they need for this particular position that they’re hiring for so to continue on our example you’ll then say.
“I understand that for this post of Finance Manager that you’re hiring for, you’re looking for someone with strong process improvement skills…”
The reason why this is so important and that so many people don’t do this is because what it does psychologically is that it tells the employer that not only are you aware of your abilities and your achievements that you’re also aware of his or her needs as well and what they’re looking for and when you can say something as simple as just simply acknowledging I know the fact that you know for this will you need process improvements skills and abilities it’s creating a connection with the employer it’s not you. Any longer just talking act them you’re talking to them.
TIP #4: TELL THE EMPLOYER WHY YOU’RE THE RIGHT FIT FOR WHAT THEY NEED.
This is the icing on the cake it’s the cherry on top, and it’s the one thing that many many people do not even bother to say when they’re answering this or many other interview question. And that is to tell the employer to spoon feed them to maybe even brainwash them into understanding why you are the one and only and the perfect fit for this position.
So to adults were the example you would say something like “Overall, due to my strong background in achievement successfully identifying gaps in creating efficiencies, I am confident I’ll be able to succeed in this role that you’re hiring for.”
You need to tell the employer reason you’re the right fit for the job if you don’t end off with this it’s going to end up on a flat no, It’s can’t be the most stellar response it’s just going to sound like everyone else’s response, but in this case you are making it very clear and precise even without them having asked you why you’re the right fit you’re literally just feeding it to them to them and telling them I’m the right fit for the role above all else.