You put on a smile and a happy face pretending like you’re having a conversation with your best friend, all the while participating in a process that could determine rather or not you get to eat, buy clothes, and keep a roof over your head.
It’s a mystery to me why someone thought that it would be a good idea to put two total strangers into a room and have one interrogate the other. Who in their right mind thought of this?
Nonetheless, it is what it is.
The one interview question most people say they have the hardest time answering is:
“Tell me about yourself.”
This is typically the first question that’s always asked in an interview. This question is asked because it sets the tone of ‘Brand You.’ It lets the interviewer know who you are, what you’re about, and what motivates you.
This question is important because the interviewer will use it as a control mechanism to determine your truthfulness and consistency in the way you answer the upcoming questions.
Here is an example of how you would answer this question:
“(1.) I’m a graduate of XYZ University. I majored in Business Management and I’ve always been intrigued by business ever since I read Donald Trump’s book The Art of the Deal.”
“(2.) Since starting my career five years ago, I’ve worked for X Enterprise, Y Enterprise, and Z Enterprise. My proudest moment in my career thus far was establishing a joint venture with 123 Company.
“(3.) Moving forward I’m looking to further my career as a business analyst in an environment where my knowledge of joint ventures can be best utilized.”
If you answer the question ‘Tell me about yourself’ as outlined above, the interviewer may likely drop their pen and give you the job right on the spot.
Answering that question as outlined above establishes credibility, illustrates leadership, and it lets the interviewer know exactly what they’ll be getting if they hire you.
Here’s why answering this question as outlined above is effective:
Tell them a personal story – Point one quickly and succinctly lets the interviewer know who you are and why you chose your profession, while also backing up your story with a heart-warming, testimonial.
Tell them a professional story – Point two allows you to name drop and highlight your experience. This gives the interviewer insight into the results they can expect if they hire you.
Paint the future – Point three positions you as a leader who sees a clear path and knows how to get there.
Job interviews don’t have to be as painful as we perceive them. The key in answering any interview question is to provide answers that highlight your experience, expertise’ and leadership skills.