Each week, TopResume’s career advice expert, Amanda Augustine, answers user questions on Quora like the one below. We’ll be republishing those answers here. A certified professional career coach (CPCC) and resume writer (CPRW), Amanda has been helping professionals improve their careers for over 10 years. Have a question for Amanda? Submit it here.
Q: In a job interview, what is the best information to give when asked to tell them about myself?
When an interviewer asks you the question, “Tell me about yourself,” during a job interview, they don’t want to know that you’re married with two small children or that you love to go camping on the weekends (unless the latter is somehow relevant to the job at hand).
And trust me, you won’t win any points with the interviewer if you ask the person what he or she wants to know about you.
Instead, when someone asks you this common interview question, they are really trying to determine if you’re a good fit for the role. Use this interview question as an opportunity to explain why you’re a good fit for the job. Your response should be an extended version of your elevator pitch but tailored with the specific job opportunity in mind.
In order to prepare a response to the "Tell me about yourself" interview question, take a second — or third — look at the job description and think back to your initial phone conversation with the recruiter to brainstorm a short list of the requirements for the job. In other words, what are the core, must-have qualifications to do this job well? Based upon the job description and what you’ve learned from your initial conversations with the recruiter, what does the employer care most about when filling this position?
Once you have that list of top requirements, use it to develop talking points that demonstrate how you are qualified for this role. Weave a story that explains how your experience and skill sets have led you to this opportunity.
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