Before you can answer this question successfully, you must know two things: Your goals—what you want to do—plus the needs and interests of the people you’re talking to. Then you can match those goals to your interviewer’s needs. This lets you target your answer in a way that makes you a perfect fit for the job.
Now, let’s practice answering “tell me about yourself.” Think of three skills you know that your next interviewer would die for. Write each skill on top of a 3×5 index card. Under each skill list two stories as one-liners where you can show how you performed that skill in previous jobs to the highest level of your ability. Tell about what you did and the result. Also beforehand, rehearse your answers at least four times.
Then, when asked to tell me about yourself, you can say, “Well, Randy, I have three areas of experience you might be interested in: project leadership, accounting, and management. Which area would you like me to talk about first?” Your prospective employer will usually select an area. After you’ve finished talking about it, pause to see if she wants to ask a question about what you’ve discussed. When the conversation gets bogged down, say, “would you like me to tell you about (mention the next area you’ve listed)? In this way you can discuss how you’ve already performed the three important functions you know she wants.
I’ve named this technique, an old standard job finding method, “the positioned approach.” That’s because you’ve positioned or targeted your answer in the bullseye of what your target is interested in.
Clients who I’ve coached in the use of this technique find it’s much more effective and easier to use than memorizing a boring and tedious two-minute pitch which, as I mentioned in my last post, is a memorized brain dump. So practice answering this mother of all interviewing questions as outlined above. Some clients have often asked asked, “Don’t interviewers know you’ve rehearsed your answers to tell me about yourself?” You’ll get my answer to their query in my third and final installment in this series about answering this question. That’ll happen on Wednesday morning. So stay tuned for the next post on YourCareerService.com.
I also cover how to answer “tell me about yourself” from quite a few other angles in the chapter titled, “how to turn interviews into job offers,” in my book, “Your One-Minute Job Finding Coach.” So treat yourself to a great Holiday gift by ordering Your One-Minute Job Finding Coach from Amazon.
You’ll learn some amazing job-finding techniques in just a minute each. Then you can apply them to your search in order to land a good job faster and make money sooner.
Copyright ©2015 by Ransom (Randy) Place