When it comes to interviewing, not only does everyone hate this question, but they typically forget to prepare for it. For most people, preparing for an interview feels totally overwhelming. So much time spent getting your resume just right, trying to come up with answers for all of the potential interview questions, and just when you think you are totally prepared, whamo, the very first thing the interviewer says is something you didn’t think to prepare for.
“Tell me a little about yourself”
Time seems to slow down, you hear your heart pounding and you’re positive everyone else can hear it too. Your eyes get wide and your mind starts to race. You ask yourself, “What do they want to know? My professional history? Something personal? Both?” You were already dealing with interview jitters, and now you’ve put a ton of pressure on yourself to say just the right thing in this moment. It feels totally overwhelming and this is only the first question! What’s a woman to do?
The good news:
You have just been given the perfect opportunity to make yourself memorable at the very beginning of your interview!
Let’s maximize this opportunity!
When an interviewer says “Tell me a little bit about yourself” it is usually just an ice breaker, a polite way for the interviewer to begin a conversation with you. I recommend you treat it as such, a way to open the door. They aren’t asking for a rundown of your resume. The fact that you were invited in for an interview means they’ve already looked at it. And they don’t want to hear too many personal things, this isn’t a date. They simply want to know a little about you to get the interview started. If they want to know more, they will ask.
The time you spend talking about yourself is precious. You get to share the highlights about yourself that you choose. And this an excellent opportunity to build some rapport and connect with your interviewer(s). This is the ideal time to share something that is music to every employer’s ears…what you love about the work you do.
Most people forget that interviewers are just like us – human. If we are full of passion and joy, it will show and they will feel it. You know how it is when you are telling a story that excites you. When you are smiling, and shaking your head yes, the person listening to you starts smiling and shaking their head yes as well, without even realizing it. That is the kind of energy we want to create in an interview. This is a moment for you to share your passion for what you do as well as your excitement about the opportunity to work with them.
So how do you decide what to talk about? Here are some subjects to consider and prepare in advance:
- Is there an achievement you are particularly proud of?
- Is there a unique reason that you do the work you do?
- Have you had an interesting career path that has brought you to this moment?
- What do you love most about your current/previous job?
- Why are you exceptional at your job?
- What inspired you to choose this type of work?
- What inspired you to pursue this opportunity? (the position you are interviewing for)
- What do you love about the company you are pursuing?
- What are you known for with your current job/customers?
- Why is this position the perfect next step for you? (the position you are interviewing for)
- What has been the most exciting part of your career?
- What is something in your career you are particularly proud of?
- When do you believe you have made the biggest difference in your career?
- What makes you different from other people in your type of work?
Take time to consider and write answers to the above questions. Pick the two or three strongest topics from everything you’ve written down. Make sure they are things you feel confident in and excited about. Now you’ve got your memorable answer. Practice verbalizing the two to three points in a concise, personable manner. Get to the point quickly and make this time count. Everyone connects with passion and happiness, this is a powerful way to start your interview!
If you do the above work and answer these questions, you are helping yourself create a powerful answer for Tell me about yourself and…
- Creating possible answers for numerous other potential interview questions.
- Creating positive energy and momentum for yourself by focusing on the positives.
It’s time to get excited about you and what you can create. And it’s definitely time to get the Maximum Offer!!
If you’re feeling as though you’re way too overwhelmed with interview prep, or you have a hard time verbalizing answers contact me today for a free consultation.