How To Answer “Tell Me About Yourself” at a job interview
Often one of the first questions the interviewer will ask is “Tell Me About Yourself”.
You should anticipate this and have your answer ready. But the content of your answer is only half of the equation for success, the other half is what you are sub-communicating.
Interviewers can decide about you in a split second. This question is a chance for you to help them decide in your favor. You see, the person interviewing you will need to work with you every day.
They will be in meetings with you, they will be in lunch outings with you, and interacting with you in other ways.
Also, you will be representing this hiring manager. They are responsible for bringing you into the company, and everybody knows it. So, smile, be friendly, and be prepared!
Your answer should be conversational and friendly. It will get that way if you have prepared and practised your answer.
This will tie into all of your other interviewing skills you should be working on, such as body language, and presentation.
You are there with a single point of focus. To get an offer.. So you should know the job function, and everything you say should support your ability to excel at this job. The subcommunication will take care of the message you are a friendly, nice person to be around.
So, for a computer programmer, you can say something like:
“Yes, thanks for asking…I am currently a developer at XYZ Company. I work with React.js, Azure and AWS APIs, AWS Lambda. Basically, I build front end components on the cloud stack. Formerly I worked for Acme Widgets doing the same thing.”
You should have researched the tech stack the company was hiring for, and address right at the beginning the exact technical requirements, all of them. Now you have their attention. They have specific needs, and you are the person who can fill those needs, exactly. The rest of the interview will flow from that.
No Hobbies or Interests – At first
Notice, I did not ask you to talk about hobbies, family life, or side interests. These are great things, but we are here to help a hiring manager. You don’t know about the personal interests of the hiring manager, so anything you add here could go against you.
If you say you love dogs, they may be a cat lover. Listing your hobbies might help you by chance, but my advice is stick to professional qualifications. Later, if they ask, you can mention side interests. This should also be prepared and the answers should not be polarizing in any way.
-Be Prepared, have a practiced sales pitch that exactly matches the job requirements, build your case that you can do these job duties.
-Sub Communicate you are a team player, and a pleasant person to work with.
-At the end of the interview let them know you are interested! Don’t leave them guessing what you think, make it clear you like what you have heard, and you would like to talk more about how you can help them.