What is the Best Way to Answer, “Tell Me About Yourself” During an Interview

Arkansas Hiring and Employment trends in 2021

You’ve spent hours researching the company, gathering your references, and choosing the right outfit. Don’t let your dream job slip away by making one of the biggest interview mistakes.

Getting the interview was half the battle. Now you’ve got to make the best impression you can.

Navigating an interview is a bit of an art form, and anyone can get better with practice. In fact, we recommend having a friend ask you possible questions to help you prepare. When the interviewer asks you something open-ended, like “Tell me about yourself,” you’ll be ready to take advantage of the chance to communicate what would make you a great employee.

While this question is pretty vague, it’s actually a great opportunity to talk about yourself. When someone asks you to tell them about yourself, it’s a way to break the ice and get to know your personality a bit better— something that’s hard to communicate on a resume. So how do you know which information about yourself to share, and what pitfalls to avoid?

Here’s what we recommend:

Start With Something Personal

You and your interviewer both have the same goal, and that is to build rapport. This question gives you time to share something about yourself that is not on your resume. In other words, it’s a way for you to be a human, and not just an employee. The key is to share something personal that helps showcase your strengths and skills. For example, you could mention your love of chess. This highlights your ability to strategize, analyze, and focus. You may love long-distance running, which is a great indicator of the energy you put toward achieving challenging goals but try to avoid getting overly personal. There is no need to mention family members or religious or political affiliations.

Tip: Avoid giving too many details, remember this is not your life story.

Transition to Your Key Professional Skills

After you’ve shared one or two of your hobbies, it’s time to talk about your professional strengths. Before your interview, make a list of the skills you offer and be sure they align with the job description. Choose your top three skills to share in your interview.
When sharing a skill, illustrate how you have leveraged it in the workplace. For example, if you have excellent presentation skills, you may mention that it has helped you generate leads and sales.

Tip: Avoid rattling off a list of skills without balancing them with three-dimensional details.

End With What You Love About the Company

All employers want to hire people who want to work for them. End your answer by mentioning what excites you about working for the company. Are they a leader in a particular field or industry? Are they active in charitable pursuits? Do you know someone who loves working for them? Always end with enthusiasm.

Tip: Avoid jumping into a detailed conversation about the role you are interviewing for (or how it would benefit you).

Choose Your Battles Wisely

Workplace conflicts rarely solve anything and can often come at a great cost. Understand your own priorities and career goals and align your interactions with your colleagues to these each day. To be successful in your career, focus less on proving yourself “right” and more on pulling your own weight to reach a common goal. If conflict is unavoidable, strive to speak directly with the person (or people) involved, rather than stirring up office gossip. Be honest, charitable, and a good listener, and even a tense conversation can be resolved peacefully.

Is working with different personality types easy? Definitely not. But if you follow these tips you’ll be able to handle any challenges that come your way.

Put Your Best Foot Forward

If you’re wondering how to prepare for an interview with a staffing agency, the same recommendations apply! 

If you’re looking for a new job, check out our Job Openings page + to see what’s available. Apex Staffing specializes in connecting talented job seekers with high-quality, local employers. Our service is completely free for job seekers and we are always accepting applications.