Tell Me About Yourself -- Interview Questions 101

interviewMany times when you step into an interview, the person who is put in charge of speaking to you has yet to review your résumé and immediately fires back with the typical interview question, "tell me about yourself."

Many job seekers have faced this interview question before they could even get a chance to get settled and comfortable with the situation, largely due to the fact that the hiring manager hasn't yet reviewed their resume. This could be due to multiple reasons, from your resume not changing hands quickly enough to the hiring manager simply having a busy schedule. Whatever the reason may be, if a manager starts out the interview by asking a candidate to tell them about themselves, there are a few tips you can follow so that you don't break a sweat.

1. Stay Calm

Whether it's the beginning of the interview or a few minutes in, you don't want to sound rushed when telling the interviewer how amazing your were at your previous job and why you're a perfect fit for this one. Take a deep breath and deliver your response with ease and confidence.

2. Don't Dig Too Deep

When an employer is asking you to talk more about yourself, you should try to talk about your most recent job and why you succeeded there. A job seeker with a few experiences under their belt doesn't need to start their response with where they attended college. You want to keep the hiring manager interested, so sticking to your most recent position keeps things short and sweet.

3. Keep it Professional

The question "tell me about yourself" may sound like the interviewer is probing for personal information, but you should keep your answer professional. The fact that you love to go fly fishing and can spend all night playing video games doesn't need to be mentioned during this time, especially if the hiring manager has yet to glance at your CV.

4. Spotlight your Skills

Instead of listing off the responsibilities you held at your last gig, focus on the skills you acquired. Not only can you spotlight the skills that would help you succeed at the new position, but you won't risk losing the hiring manager's focus with any job-specific jargon.

5. Bring it Back

Whenever talking about a past job, always end with a reason why that experience would be a piece to your success at the company you're interviewing at. A great way to answer an interview question like "tell me about yourself" is to talk about your skills and then bring it back to why this is another reason why you're qualified for the position.

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