How To Answer Everyone’s Most-Feared Job Interview Question
In Australia, often the very first question we are likely to be asked during a job interview, is the ever-dreaded “tell me about yourself…”
For many of us, just the very thought of this question is enough to reduce the interviewee to heavy knees and sweaty palms.
Interestingly, if yo boil it down the question is relatively simple. Your task is to paint a clear picture of your life’s experience, removing the unnecessary ‘fluff’ but while highlighting the relevant and important bits that your employer cares about.
But paraphrasing your entire life’s experience sounds easier said than done, right?
While it’s such a simple question, it’s a critical one to get right. As it’s usually the very first thing they’ll ask of you, this means it’s your first and best chance to pitch to the interviewer that you’re the person for the job.
The Present-Past-Future formula
The Muse suggests this as their go-to formula for answering such an open-ended question.
So, first you start with the present—where you are right now. Then, segue into the past—a little bit about the experiences you’ve had and the skills you gained at the previous position. Finally, finish with the future—why you are really excited for this particular opportunity.
Let me give you an example:
If someone asked, “tell me about yourself,” you could say:
“Well, I’m currently an account executive at Smith, where I handle our top performing client. Before that, I worked at an agency where I was on three different major national healthcare brands. And while I really enjoyed the work that I did, I’d love the chance to dig in much deeper with one specific healthcare company, which is why I’m so excited about this opportunity with Metro Health Center.”
Remember throughout your answer to focus on the experiences and skills that are going to be most relevant for the hiring manager when they’re thinking about this particular position and this company. And ultimately, don’t be afraid to relax a little bit, tell stories and anecdotes—the hiring manager already has your resume, so they also want to know a little more about you.
You can read the full article on The Muse by following this link