It's the day of the interview for your dream job.
You got a good night's sleep, you prepped for all the possible "tough" situational questions they can ask you, and you're confident that you're going to CRUSH this interview!
The interview begins, and the first question the interviewer asks you is:
"Please tell us about yourself."
Since you weren't expecting this, you start stammering an answer, talking about your hometown, your favorite food, the time that you embarrassed yourself in front of your high school crush...
5 minutes later, your interviewer is...
Oh, no! You are NOT crushing this interview!
But it doesn't have to be this way! Understanding the purpose of the question will help you come up with the answer you need to CRUSH IT!
Why am I being asked this question?!?!
"Please tell us about yourself."
Seems to be a simple question, right? But sometimes we make it more complicated than it needs to be.
Interviewers ask this question because it:
Helps both the interviewer and interviewee ease into the interview
Builds the direction of the interview in terms of what questions to ask next
Demonstrates your communication and soft skills
What could you talk about when you answer this question? Select all that apply.
How to tell them about yourself
Now that you know why interviewers ask this question, you need to know how to answer this question.
This is your first impression, and you DON'T want to ramble!
Lily Zhang from "The Muse" suggests that you use these three time steps below to answer the question all about you:
Present: what you're doing now
The first thing you want to talk about is what you're doing now professionally.
This includes talking about what your current role is, your accomplishments in this role, and the responsibilities associated with this role.
For example, you can talk about:
How long you've worked in your current role
Any awards you've received
Things that make you stand out in terms of accomplishments
Past: how you got to where you are today
We all had to start somewhere. So, tell your interviewer how you got to where you are today!
After you describe what you're doing now, tell your interviewer what you did before your current experience.
Work that's relevant to the job you're interviewing for now
Experiences that changed your career path and goals
How the work has developed you to become the person you are today
Future: what you're planning to do next for the company
This is where you seal the deal!
After you describe your present and past, talk about what you plan to do in the future, including why you are interested in this job.
This is where you show off that you did your homework.
When you talk about the future, mention:
Why you're making this career change
How this career change will benefit you and any future company
Your excitement and passion for this new change
Jessica is interviewing for an accounting position. She has just been asked, "Please tell us a bit about yourself."
What's the best answer Jessica should give to this question?
A. "So, I was born in Ohio, and I graduated from high school in Cleveland, Ohio. I grew up there, and I don't think anyone else from my family lived elsewhere. I have a dog named Fido, and I love eating chocolate and watching Netflix."
B. "I'm a recent college graduate, but I completed my internship at Lico Bank. While I was there, I helped in creating a streamlined process that improved the company's revenues by 10%. I'm looking for opportunities that allow me to take my passion for learning and applying new ideas, and since your company is new and values innovation, I'm interested in seeing how I can help you reach your goals."
C. "I've always wanted to become an accountant. I've studied accounting and watched a lot of YouTube videos on the most up-to-date accounting methods. Maybe working for your company would help me reach my career goals?"
What is the most appropriate response?
Now that you know how to answer "Tell us a bit about yourself", try it out!