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The ‘Tell Me About Yourself’ Interview Question

Comments Off 02 May 2012

How to Answer the ‘Tell Me About Yourself’ Interview Question

Don’t be afraid of this question; instead use it as an opportunity to position yourself for success.

By Lee E. Miller, The Ladders

When I was a human resources executive doing hiring interviews, I almost always began my interviews with candidates by requesting, “Tell me about yourself.” I did that for a number of reasons, the most important of which was to see how the candidates handled themselves in an unstructured situation.

I wanted to see how articulate they were, how confident they were and generally what type of impression they would make on the people with whom they came into contact on the job.

I also wanted to get a sense of what they thought was important.

Most candidates find this question to be a particularly difficult one to answer. That is a misplaced view. This question offers an opportunity to describe yourself positively and focus the interview on your strengths. Be prepared to deal with it. These days, it’s unavoidable. Like me, most interviewers start off their interviews with this question. A lot of interviewers open with it as an icebreaker or because they’re still getting organized, but they all use it to get a sense of whom you are.

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