Tell Me About Yourself – The dreaded but inevitable question at any interview. The one where you em and eh and start telling them about your life to date – including sisters, brothers, girlfriends, boyfriends, what you had for breakfast…..
No, this is not what they want to hear, they don’t really mean to show an interest in you and your interests – they want to know how you can be good for their company. It is a guaranteed question and one which will have a different answer in every interview. Why? Because each job spec is different and every time you ‘tell someone about yourself’ you are actually applying for the job in question. It is not a generalisation of your life but a very specific resume of what you have done in the past that will help this company in the future.
So, as you research the company for your interview preparation, you must also prepare your spiel, your unique selling point, your Elevator Speech – imagine yourself in an elevator with the CEO of the company and you have until the ground floor to sell yourself – what would you say?
It takes time to get it right and a maximum of 3 minutes is really as long as you should speak for. Practice it out loud, practice it in front of your mother – who will tell you how fantastic you are and why wouldn’t they want you and then practice it in front of someone a little more critical! You may feel foolish to begin with but very grateful when you get in to the interview and they ask you……
Remember – do not sound too polished and rehearsed, try and sound spontaneous as though you never imagined they would ask such a question!