“‘Tell me about yourself’ is possibly the No. 1 interview question, and it’s usually the first interview question that candidates are asked,” says Michele Mavi, director of training and content development for Atrium Staffing. “So it’s so important to be able to answer that in a clear and concise manner while keeping it interesting and actually making sure you’re telling a story. The way you answer that question really sets the tone for the rest of the interview.”
Mavi is right. An interview is a time for both the candidate and the employer to get to know each other and learn about the potential professional relationship. Starting off on the right foot and establishing a good first impression will help you throughout the rest of the hiring process. To avoid fumbling this opening question, consider your past professional roles, your future goals and any big career accomplishments. Practice an answer that’s between one and three minutes, and try to insert some of your personality and sincerity. You’ll give the hiring manager an honest look at your capabilities, and knowing how to introduce yourself will ease any interview jitters you may be feeling.