In this post you’re going to learn:
- A radically different approach to “Tell me about yourself.” – especially useful to less experienced candidates
- The key to really setting yourself apart from the beginning
- The biggest mistakes people normally make which can cost them the job
I’m Natalie Fisher – Speaker and Coach to new grads.
I help recent grads feel confidently in charge of their careers and the jobs they want (even if they have limited experience) by helping them master their interviewing skills.
Stay tuned for more information about that, but for now:
1. Tell me about yourself:
This statement starts off every interview. There are so many different ways to respond to this! I’m sure if you’re watching videos or reading blog posts to come up with your perfect answer, you will see a lot of different advice out there on how to answer this question! I’m going to share today the way that I have used what has truly made the difference for myself and my clients, and I call it:
➢ The “I’m the type of person” approach
When you don’t have a ton of experience, and you know you need to really stand out in a way that makes you memorable, I’m going to share a way that you can do that, and what better way to do that, than with an example.
➢ This example is a great answer for a role that would have contact with customers and it goes like this:
- “I’m the type of person who loves people. I’m the type of person who’s known for calming down even the most difficult of customers. At my previous role, I was the person my colleagues would call when they had a client get out of hand, because they knew that I’d know what to say to calm them down and have them walk away happy. I love that this role involves helping clients and customers and I’m excited to learn more about it.”
- “I’m the type of person who is always looking for ways to learn a new process and make it more efficient. For example, in my classroom I organized our group project work in a way that had the group members voting me chief organizer of the group, I love that this role involves being organized and I’m excited to learn more about it.”
2. The key that sets you apart from the beginning:
➢ The key is to infuse personality into your answers.
Make sure that your answer tells a story. So when you give your response, you want it to be concise, succinct, and you want it to have a clear end. As in the examples above, I love to end it with this:
➢ “I love that this role involves ___ (fill in the blank) and I’m excited to learn more about it!”
➢ The one thing you don’t want to do is ramble on.
Preparation is key, and this is a very easy question to prepare for because you know they’re going to ask it!
3. The biggest mistake that candidates can make when answering this question is simple.
➢ It’s failing to prepare.
This too often leads to giving too much information about your life story, which often means you end up rambling.
➢ Rambling will kill an interview.
It’s easy to get stuck in a position where you realize you’re rambling, and then you’re like, “Yeah… okay, that’s pretty much it.” Then it’s awkward and you want to avoid that at all costs.
➢ The way you do that is by practicing your answer beforehand!
So there you have it – a simple and stand out way to answer this question confidently. Now I want you to come up with your own introduction answer.
Thank you for reading! And remember that answering this question is one thing, but there is a lot more to interviewing than just answering the questions.
In fact, if all you do is answer the questions alone, you’ve already lost at the interview.
There is a whole interview strategy at play, and if you’d like to learn more, you can get started with me by clicking the link below to grab my free guide: