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Many interviews begin with the simple question, “Tell me about yourself.” Though it sounds like an easy question, this is your biggest chance to convince the interviewer that you are the right one for the job. Be precise and efficient with your answer, stating the major information you want to get across to your interviewer, and nothing else. This question is a great opportunity to show your confidence and friendliness at the start of the interview, which will encourage the interviewer to ask more questions, and hopefully offer you a job at the end.
Start by introducing yourself, and include a hobby or where you from to personalize the question. Explain your two or three greatest strengths that relate to the job you’re applying for. These can be work-ethic-related as well as more specific to a certain necessary skill. Also, explain your educational background.
Mention the most recent or most relevant job you have held, and state one or two accomplishments you achieved while there. Make these as specific as you can, including actual dollar amounts for money you made the company, or names of projects you completed.
Explain why you are interested in the job you’re interviewing for, and tell the interviewer what you will do for the company if hired. This answer should make the interviewer feel as though the company needs you more than you need the company because of your skills and qualifications.
Attempt to ask a question to the interviewer at the end of the question that relates to the company or job. This will make you appear genuinely interested in the job and give you more information about the job description to discuss later.
Each section of your answer should not exceed two or three succinct sentences. The entire answer should take less than a minute to complete.
Practice answering this question in the mirror, or to family or friends before the actual interview. This will help you come across confident and relaxed, and keep you from rushing through the answer.
If you find yourself feeling nervous in the actual interview, take a deep breath and slow down. Sort these steps in your mind by the main point of each, which should get you back on track.
Do not mention too many details in any direction. Avoid discussing family, previous bosses, or too much information about your personal life, which can lead you astray from the actual question, and potentially bring up negative topics.
Don’t give too much information that is already listed on your resume, since your interviewer will have already looked that over. Try to expand on your resume instead.
Prepare to give this information in different questions than only “tell me about yourself,” in case your interviewer doesn’t ask it specifically. The information is important and should be mentioned at some point in your interview.
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