In an interview, there are many different questions that an interviewer might ask. Especially depending upon the style of interview, there are a number of different things that may be inquired about. However, there are specific questions that you can expect in any interview, and “Tell me about yourself” is one of those questions. When you fully understand what the question is asking, the needed elements of a proper answer and effective ways of execution, you can be fully prepared to dive into this question.

The Purpose

There are a few different reasons why an interviewer might ask this question. For one, it is a good way to break the ice and begin to get to know you. Over the years, it has become apparent that employers need to take the time to truly get to know the individuals that they hire before they hire them, so that they may get a feel for the employee’s mindset, work ethic and commitment to the position. Therefore, this is often one of the leading, if not the first questions asked. Along the same lines of getting to know you, the interviewer will also want to see how you view yourself. Your answer to this question gives insight into this factor, which can help them determine the type of worker that you are. Another factor that can be evaluated with this question is how well you communicate. How you are or are not able to describe yourself, which is commonly thought to be a fairly simple task, speaks volumes to an employer.

Necessary Elements

In properly answering this question there are a few elements that you will want to include. Granted, no two people are the same, so there is no one right answer. However, there are a few aspects that employers will be looking for in your response, and you will want to make sure that you touch on each one. The main aspects include:

· Education

· Previous jobs and/or experience

· Useful skills and training

· Related awards and acknowledgements

Feel free to arrange them in whatever order you like, but you will want to make sure that you touch on each aspect. You also want to present them as a cohesive package, meaning you do not want to just state them as if you are going down a checklist; make sure that each part is connected seamlessly and creates one unified answer. It is also important that you correlate your answer to the job that you are applying for. Even if your accomplishments, training and experience may be impressive, it is frivolous and time consuming to share them when they do not relate to your ability to complete the job. It can also make you seem under- or over-qualified for the position, so make sure that you streamline your answer.

How to Execute

Along with making sure that you include the necessary elements, you also want to be sure that your execution is correct. As such, you want to keep your answer short and concise. Highlight the important, relatable parts of your experience and achievements and close out your answer. Remember, this is one of several questions that you will be asked during the course of your interview. Therefore, you want to draw the interviewer in and have them interested in learning more about you. One way to do that is to construct your answer ahead of time and in the form of an elevator pitch. This helps to make sure that your answer covers all of the necessities while sticking to the point, and it also ensures that your answer is intriguing, with the inclusion of a “hook.” Keep in mind that you still want to customize your answer to the particular position, so it is good to have a few different options in mind.

With the right knowledge and game plan, you can prepare a great statement to answer the question, “Tell me about yourself.” With it being such a common question in any interview, having a proper answer is critical and many times essential in determining if you are a proper candidate for the job. Be sure to incorporate the necessary elements and prepare your execution beforehand. If you do so, you can be ready to answer this question at any point and leave a positive, lasting impression with the interviewer.

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