Part 3: “Will you tell me a little about yourself?”


Today, as we continue in our series on how to go about nailing your next job interview, we will share from our wealth of knowledge taken from a variety of hiring managers. There is a short list of questions that can be guaranteed to make it into the discussion at your next job interview, and we’re here to help you sail through the experience with confidence.


“Tell me a little about yourself.” Sounds pretty basic, right? No research needed. You’ve got an abundance of experience to chat about, years of life to unfold before the employer sitting in front of you. But….hold that thought. Although your employer wants to know about you, there is a limit to what he or she really wants to know. Their interest is in the pertinent and not the superfluous. There’s no need to discuss how that bad breakup in college really helped set your course toward self-awareness, or how your bad stroke of luck back in the fall really put you into a financial slump.


When the hiring manager asks you this question, the goal is to learn more about who you are and what you can bring to the company. What makes you interesting? What about your personality and your history makes you the right fit for this particular position? Your character often defines your work ethic and creates the image of how you would look in this new role.


As you rehearse and prepare for your interview, think of at least three to five attributes that make you a strong candidate for this position and build on those. In telling who you are and where you’ve been, discuss the details about your life, both personal and professional, that are helpful in highlighting those attributes. If you know yourself to be more trustworthy than any other coworker you’ve ever worked beside, then make a point of weaving that into your story. You can discuss how you are committed to your family and friends and how that commitment follows you into the workplace as well.


This is not a question that should have you in knots. You want to feel comfortable to sit back and share a glimpse of yourself with your potential manager, but it will take some preparation on the front end. As mentioned above, sit down and get your thoughts together first. If it helps, you can even write out a solid paragraph that shares a few details about who you are and what brings you to this point in your life, in a concise format.


After you’ve worked through that and gotten a grip on what exactly you want to say, then you can commit it to memory and feel prepared to nail that portion of the interview! This question, which once left you feeling unsure, will now be one that you’re eager to answer again and again.