Interview Tip: “Tell Me About Yourself!”

By Megan Kuethen

Most of us haven’t had the chance to sit on the “easy” side of the desk in an interview, so it’s difficult to know just what to say. When an interviewer wants me to talk about myself, should I tell him about my love of Sea World? My dyslexia? Maybe I should mention that my last boss told me I was like a modern-day Jackie O . . .

Here’s a tip for all you kids interviewing this week: When an interviewer says, “Tell me about yourself,” this isn’t an open invitation to share about your very smart dog Rex or how much you love to cook. What this hiring manager wants from you is a quick look into who you are and what makes you the right person for the job.

So while you hold back your comments about last night’s Angel game, try instead talking about the experiences you’ve had that make you perfect for this opportunity . . .  What books have you read, what classes have you taken, what real-world experiences have you had that would benefit you in this position? Give some examples of that experience, but remember to keep it brief. You’re not there to dictate your memoir, just to find your dream job.

Don’t see this as an open-ended question. Instead, when you hear, “Tell me about yourself,” try answering these questions aloud:
1. What have you done to prepare yourself for this position?
2. What opportunities have you had to gain experience for this?
3. Why are you the best person for this job?

Good luck this week!

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