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Prep for the "Tell Me About Yourself?" Question

Prep for the "Tell Me About Yourself?" Question

Carole Martin | Monster Contributing Writer

July 19, 2010

It’s one of the most frequently asked interview questions: Tell me about yourself. Your response to this request will set the tone for the rest of the interview. For some, this is the most challenging question to answer, as they wonder what the interviewer really wants to know and what information they should include.

Eleanor dreaded this question. When it was the first one asked at her interview, she fumbled her way through a vague answer, not focusing on what she could bring to the job.

“I’m happily married and originally from Denver,” she began. “My husband was transferred here three months ago, and I’ve been getting us settled in our new home. I’m now ready to go back to work. I’ve worked in a variety of jobs, usually customer service-related. I’m looking for a company that offers growth opportunities.”

The interview went downhill after that. She had started with personal information and gave the interviewer reason to doubt whether she was an employee who would stay for very long.

• She’s married, and when her husband gets transferred that means she has to leave; she did it once and can do it again.
• She has some work experience with customers but didn’t emphasize what she did.
• She is looking to grow. What about the job she is applying for? Will she stay content for long?

The secret to responding to this free-form request successfully is to focus, script and practice. You cannot afford to wing this answer, as it will affect the rest of the interview. Begin to think about what you want the interviewer to know about you.

Next Page: Focus →


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    Trael

    10 months ago

    2 comments

    "The interview went downhill after that. She had started with personal information and gave the interviewer reason to doubt whether she was an employee who would stay for very long."
    I hate hogwash. The question was "Tell me about YOURSELF." Yes an interview is a mind game but the truth is that THIS particular question is an opportunity to make yourself SHINE and stand out, not see where someones priorities are as this article poorly insinuates. This is YOUR chance to sell your best qualities such as determination, strengths, goals, past accomplishments, etc that RELATE to the job you are applying for. What makes you different than the guy before you? What makes you better than the guy before you? If you really fear this question, just ask yourself what YOU would be looking for if you were the interviewer. This is not the time to yak about your spouse and kids.
    This message will self destruct in five...four...three...

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    delshauna

    about 1 year ago

    8 comments

    I totally agree 100% with all that was said about being prepared for this particular interview question.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    FrederickBaldwin

    about 2 years ago

    4 comments

    thanks that explains a lot of why i didnt get many jobs

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    tammyseguin929

    over 2 years ago

    2 comments

    I have an important interview tomorrow so i will try some of these techniques...wish me luck!!!!!

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    jellzey

    over 2 years ago

    2 comments

    this is great, because i always freeze up ; when this question is ask.

  • Stephandi_max50

    dgreen29

    over 2 years ago

    4 comments

    Scripting my answers, or what I should say before hand, will really help me in the next interview. I am always winging my interviews and unless I am on top of my game that day, it never turns out very well for me. I'm learning so much from this!

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    marlonsutt

    over 2 years ago

    2 comments

    this information is very helpful, thank you . I will practice these Technic.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Unaccredited Cate

    over 2 years ago

    that explains why I bombed the last two interviews.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    MsPerezMonroe

    about 3 years ago

    10 comments

    Great article I love it

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    MsPerezMonroe

    about 3 years ago

    10 comments

    This is good very helpful

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    rayjonestx1

    over 3 years ago

    2 comments

    This is very helpful. It makes the tell about yourself question real easy.

  • Meeee_max50

    kelsey_jenks

    over 3 years ago

    34 comments

    This was extremely helpful!

  • Kirsty_headshot_max50

    kjmiller

    over 3 years ago

    2 comments

    Very helpful! I did not realize i was doing it wrong all this time. I did the im married - moved from bla bla, did not realize this part of the interview was so important

  • 1_max50

    SAMoss20

    over 3 years ago

    4 comments

    very helpful tip :)

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Unaccredited Cate

    almost 4 years ago

    What a great article! I tried doing the scripting thing before, but I tried to hard to memorize it.

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