The purpose of “Tell me about Yourself” is a way for the interviewer to get to know who you are as an individual, find out what your background and areas of expertise are and if it meets their needs. It also sets the stage for the entire interview process. Much can be garnered from this powerful question including how you communicate, your level of confidence, your ability to organize information, level of honesty and trust you project, your ability to influence, whether you prepared or not, clarity on desired direction and to the more discerning eye many non-verbal factors that can be indicative of numerous other “areas of interest”.
KEY POINTS TO REMEMBER:
1. Should be approximately 2 minutes in length.
2. Emphasize specific work history and areas of expertise that are applicable to the position you are applying for.
3. Focus should be on your professional skills spoken from overview perspective not a chronological recap of your entire life history…example: when I was six years old I moved from Wisconsin from a dairy farm, then when I was seven…
4. Write your two minute version of your “30 Second Commercial” then practice it out loud numerous times. Do not memorize it, rather integrate it so that is flows easily, is fresh, always comes across as interesting and is spoken in a conversational tone. If it is boring and done by rote you will be bored and so will the interviewer. I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to practice this out loud and receive feedback…it takes time to get it right!
5. Remember that this is just an “appetizer” and that you want to engage the interviewer in a way that creates interest and allows you to share your power stories about what you do and that showcases who you are and what you bring to the table.
6. Remember to use the accomplishments spoken in the PAR (Problem, Action, Result) format. It is nice to hear that you take the initiative, but the proof will be shown if you can share an accomplishment that proves that you take the intiative. Share percentages, numbers, dollars, time saved etc for more impact and validity.
7. Share pertinent information that is relevant to the position and the company. Everyone has numerous accomplishments but choosing the right ones for the right position allow you to be seen as the right candidate.
8. Branding is important. How do you want to be known will be reflected in your tagline as well as how you come across on a personality level and in what you say.
9. Speak to the person you are interviewing with, not at them with and remember to make a connection.
10. Be authentic, speak from your heart but organize your information with your head.
Hope this information helps all of you working on your “Tell me about Yourself”