Posted by: careerworks | May 21, 2012

Answering the question; Tell Me About Yourself

There you are dressed your best and being interviewed for the job of your dreams and the dreaded question gets asked, “Tell me about yourself.” This question is almost always asked by prospective employers and almost always answered with a resounding thud or silence… Knowing how to describe yourself in an interview can mean the difference of landing your dream job or going back to the want ads and job boards.

It helps to know that this question will be asked so you prepare for it ahead of time, but be careful that you don’t some off sounding like you memorized the script the night before. When getting ready to describe yourself in an interview you should consider the following:

  • Why tell them what they already know? Don’t start out with your name and age, they have that on the application and repeating it sort of makes you sound silly. Instead of saying where you went to school – also on the application – tell the interviewer what you got out of your education or who influenced you along the way.  This is your time to let the interviewer know everything about you that is not on the application.
  • Give your strengths AND your weaknesses: First off all when giving your strengths, never come off too cocky. Be proud, but be careful not to toot your own horn so loudly that it becomes a turn-off to the interviewer. Besides giving what your strengths are, also mention your weaknesses, but do it in a way that makes you look good. An example could be;  ‘I have no patience for those that do not want to go the extra mile to help a co-worker. A statement such as this shows the interviewer that you don’t think you are perfect, but that your faults are good ones to have.
  • Be honest: This is most important of all. If you are not being honest many prospective employers can see right through your BS. You are who you are. If the job isn’t meant to be, then that’s life. Never pretend to be somebody you are not.
  • Speak clearly and don’t stammer: This goes back to the whole practice thing. If you are constantly stuttering or saying ‘uh,’ or my favorite, ‘you know,’ then you give the impression that you are searching for words to say. If you don’t know who you are, then who does?

While there are no magic words to speak that will guarantee you a job, you should be prepared to adequately describe yourself at an interview. You know the question is coming, so you may as well prepare for it. A good trick is to stand in front of the mirror and interview yourself. Ask yourself the question and answer the question. Would you hire yourself? If the answer is no, then chances are neither will the prospective employer, so keep practicing until the answer is yes.

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