One of the biggest challenges job seekers face is how to ace the interview. They struggle figuring out what questions will be asked. And everyone seems to have their own ‘top 10’list of best interview questions to prepare for. There is one question, however, that will prepare you to master the interview…
“So tell me about yourself.”
This question, if properly answered, can set the tone for your entire interview. It is typically asked by hiring managers who, quite honestly, aren’t always the most astute interviewers. It is often the first question they will ask because they are just as nervous as you and usually unprepared. The question is easy for them but difficult for you unless you prepare for it.
Four steps to answering the question, “So tell me about yourself”
1. Think of your answer as your ‘elevator speech’. It is not about what you are looking for; it is more about what value you bring to the company. Modify your elevator speech so that it is specific to the job and the company’s needs. Do your research to find out what challenges and problems the employer is facing and tailor your answer accordingly.
2. Your answer should be to the point. It should be no longer than 2 to 3 minutes, drawing on applicable experience, deliverables and knowledge which demonstrate how your experience will translate into similar results in the new company.
3. Engage the interviewer. Let her feel your excitement and enthusiasm about your past accomplishments by bringing to light areas that might not be easily incorporated into your resume. You might make reference to specific strengths or talents you possess that excite you when you work. Or you might highlight an award or accomplishment at a previous job; but then go into more detail about what you learned from that challenge. Use this answer to build rapport with the interviewer, as if you were having a conversation.
4. Ask yourself the following: Is the information I am providing important to the interviewer? Will the information make them think favorably of me? By the information I am giving, can they see that I could add value to the bottom line? Your answers to each of these questions should be ‘yes’.
If you follow these 4 steps you will develop rapport with the interviewer and more importantly demonstrate that you are the most qualified candidate for the job offered. Follow me on Twitter