Nov 15, 2019 - 10:28 AM
Although candidates are often stymied by this one, the beauty of it is that it allows you to control the narrative. It is actually one of my favorite interview questions, even though it’s a pretty lazy one. Because it’s usually one of the first questions asked, your answer can set the tone and define the direction of the interview.
How not to answer this question? Do not treat it as an opportunity to share your life story. Keep it professional—do not talk about your love of competitive cat herding! "Tell me about yourself" offers you the opportunity to tell the interviewer something unique and different about you, within the context of your professional persona. People hire people, not skill sets or experiences.
"Tell me about yourself" allows you to tell the interviewer who you are, and not just what you do. Keep your answer brief, and then kick it back to the interviewer with a question about the job. Do not be taken aback by this question. Instead, grab the opportunity to drive the trajectory of the conversation!