5 Easy Tips to Answer “Tell Me About Yourself”
You’ve done your research on the company, products, and services, and the people you are meeting with in the sales job interview. You’re ready to go and feel like you can answer any question the interviewer throws at you…until they ask “Tell me about yourself.”
You would think that this is the easiest question to answer since it’s about yourself, but believe it or not, it is most often the question candidates trip up on. Not because they don’t know what they’ve done or accomplished, but that they don’t know how to tell their story.
It’s your story. You need to know how to sell yourself. If you’re not selling yourself effectively, no one else is.
Here are 5 easy tips to help you answer the question “Tell me about yourself.”
1. Keep it short
Your answer should be under 2 minutes. If you are going over 2 minutes, you’re probably rambling and losing the interest of the interviewer.
Make sure you practice answering this question. Be honest and genuine. You don’t want to sound scripted. You want to sound articulate.
2. Qualify the question
The question “Tell me about yourself” or “Walk me through your background” are open-ended, broad stroke questions. What you want to do is qualify the question by asking “Where would you like me to begin?”
The interviewer will probably have you start with your first role or education. You want to take them through your career, role-by-role and talking about your successes and wins. Talk about what’s motivated you throughout your career up to the point of why you are interviewing at this company today.
3. Stay positive
It’s important to stay positive and enthusiastic. Do not talk negatively about a previous employer.
Even if you had a bad past experience, you are thankful for that experience because it made you who you are today and have a greater understanding of what you want in your career.
4. Provide further clarification when asked
Your answers may seem vague, but that’s okay. If the interviewer needs more clarification around a certain point, they will ask.
If you feel like you need to re-engage with the interviewer, you can ask “Do you need further clarification” or “Do you need more information around a certain role.”
5. Segway to next stage in the interview
Once you have effectively answered this question, and the interviewer feels like they understand your story, they will segway in to the next part of the interview process.
They will ask more questions to uncover whether this role and company is a fit. They will also expect you to come prepared with interview questions.
Next time you prepare for an interview, make sure you know your story and can effectively answer the interview question “Tell me about yourself.”