When you head into a face-to-face interview, you're not going to know every question that will be asked of you. However, there are some questions that are asked more than others. As a result, you can almost expect that one (or more) of them will be asked at some point in the proceedings.
In our next few blog posts, we're going to explore a few of those questions. Specifically, we're going to address how you as a job seeker should approach them and answer them. The first question in our series is this one:
"Tell me about yourself."
Okay, this isn't technically a question. After all, there's no question mark at the end of it. However, it basically is a question in the form of a command or statement. In other words, you will be expected to provide an answer.
And let's start with how you should NOT answer:
Mistake #1—Talk about personal matters.
The hiring manager is asking you to tell them about you at a professional level. It’s usually an "icebreaker" type of question. They don't particularly want you to discuss your family or hobbies at this early juncture in the interview.
Mistake #2—Talk about problems in your current job.
First, nobody likes to hear about problems. They like to hear about solutions. In this particular situation, they want to hear about solutions that you're going to provide for their organization. Second, talking in this manner brands you as somewhat of a negative person. You don't want that.
Mistake #3—Read your resume.
They can read. They don't need you to do that for them. They want to know how well you can answer the question without reading anything.
So now let's move on to how you should answer this question:
Tip #1—Do your homework.
This means researching the position and the company. By studying the position closely, you should know it inside and out. The company might be a different matter. However, there is plenty of information on the Internet, specifically on the organization's website and through their social media presence. (Hello, LinkedIn.)
Tip #2—Make a list, check it twice.
There are a LOT of things that need to go on this list, starting with how you're qualified for the position. So, you'll need a list of your skills (both hard and soft) that line up with the job requirements. In addition, you'll need to write down the reasons that you're applying for the job. (These are reasons that are specific to the job itself. "My current boss sucks" is not an acceptable thing to write down. Or to say.) Lastly, write down the reasons that you want to work for this organization that are not related to the job itself.
Tip #3—Create a script.
In this final step, take everything that you wrote down in the previous step and create a coherent and compelling script that basically tells the story of why the company should hire you for the position. It's important to keep the script brief, focused, and to the point. Don't ramble on and on. You want to keep the attention of the people interviewing you, not lose it.
Are you currently conducting a job search? Time Staffing can help! Contact us today to find out about the employment opportunities that are available in your chosen field.
Time Staffing Inc.