“Tell me about yourself” is often the first things an interviewer says to you. Whether face-to-face or on the phone, this is a question that candidates usually hate to hear. Why? Because it’s such a broad question. Where do you start answering it and what do you say?
The person saying “Tell us about yourself” doesn’t want to know where you grew up or how many kids you have. They want to hear you talk and see how you formulate your thoughts. And they want to hear how you present yourself, especially in relation to the open job.
Your answer? It’s not in a book. It should be customized to the job AND to you. And you can prepare for it beforehand so that it feels and sounds as real as you are. First, what are the 5-8 things that are MOST important to them in this job? Then, What are three “success factors” you have that relate to those? Success factors are those aspects of you that make you successful.
That means you won’t launch into “I have 18 years of med tech experience and I’m seeking a company that will let me grow”. That kind of answer says nothing real about you.
Instead, try: “When I look at what you have defined as important for this position, I see several points of connection. Three of them are: my technical expertise, my skills in project management, and my people skills. Which of those would you like me to start with?”
This kind of response engages the questioner. And it narrows the question in the way YOU want.
Give this approach a try and you’ll quickly begin welcoming the question “Tell me about yourself”, and you’ll be making it work for you.