“Tell me about yourself.” Most applicants have difficulty answering this interview question, because many people do not understand what is being asked.
Interviewing can be one of the most stress inducing aspects of a job search, especially when you are new to the process. Speaking with someone you don’t know can be challenging under ideal conditions, much less when your goal of the interaction is to land your dream job.
By Kristen Carter
Contributor, Career Services
It’s bound to happen to you. You’ve researched and studied all of the possible questions an interviewer may ask. You’ve identified specific work experiences to showcase how your skillset is relevant to the job at hand. You feel prepared and confident you are going to ace this interview.
But, all of a sudden, the question comes out of left field. We’ve all been there. An interviewer asks a question that we didn’t expect, “Tell me about yourself.”
You were hoping they wouldn’t ask it. It’s a simple question, yet why is it so difficult to answer? Your heart stops for a split second. You’ve rehearsed your response for every other question, except this one. You’re stumped.
How hard can it be, really? Just talk about myself, right? Or wrong. Your answer to this question will set the tone of your interview, so it is best to think through how you might answer this question prior to the meeting. While applicants tend to ramble on about themselves, instead, be sure to focus on your professional self and how it directly relates to the position to which you have applied.