Formula for the “Tell me about yourself” Interview Question

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Formula for the “Tell me about yourself” Interview Question

Tell me about yourself. Ugh. The worst question in the world, right? If you’ve ever thought, “How do I answer the tell me about yourself question,” this blog is for you. 

The good news is that there is a formula. The bad news is that you have to practice on your friends, family, pets, and probably in the mirror. Just remember, no one ever said that job searching or interviewing is easy!

First, a few rules. This goes for the dreaded “Tell me about yourself” interview question as well as the 90-second elevator pitch. In my mind, they are essentially the same!

  1. No one wants to hear anything personal. We don’t care if you are married, have kids, or love to paint in your spare time. We. Don’t. Care. (Sorry.)
  2. Keep it short and sweet. Try for 30-90 seconds. There is a lot of power in demonstrating how well you know yourself, and even more power in being able to stop talking.
  3. Be succinct and do not ramble. None of us has time for your verbal meanderings. (See rule #3).
  4. Be aware of who you are talking to and file away responses which might indicate they have a need you can help fulfill.

Here’s the formula. First, answer this question for me. What is it about your job that you love? Why do you show up every day (beyond getting a paycheck)? Next, tell me how many years of experience you have. Third, summarize your career or field with a metric. And finally, tell me what your goal is.

Here’s what those 4 answers look like using myself as an example.

  1. As a professional resume writer, I love watching my clients get jobs they thought were unattainable. And I love hearing a client say that when they see their new resume for the first time, that they are surprised by how impressive they look on paper.
  2. I’ve been writing resumes for more than 15 years and writing for my own company for more than 10 years.
  3. In fact, I’ve written 1,000s of resumes and helped the vast majority find new jobs.
  4. I’d love to know how I can help you.

That’s it. Plus, the more you practice, the easier it will get, and the more natural you will sound. And above all, know who you are. As always, I’m here to help.

By | 2018-10-07T17:21:26-07:00 October 7th, 2018|Job Interviewing, Job Search Strategies|Comments Off on Formula for the “Tell me about yourself” Interview Question

About the Author:

I'm a professional resume writer, recruiter, and job search guru who works with clients from every walk of life - CEO to software engineer, advertising executive, teacher, mechanic, doctor or even mortician (true story). My specialty is crafting individualized documents, telling my clients' stories - and making them shine.