What is an Interviewer REALLY Asking When They Say “Tell me About Yourself”?

You are in an important interview for a job you really want at a company that gets you really excited about your career. As you sit across from the potential employer, you smile and know things are going well. Then, they ask the question, “Tell me about yourself?” What do you say to that?

The common answer that interviewees give is about their work experience. Some will discuss their personal lives. Others will answer with comments about what they like to do and what they did last night. None of these answers is the right one from the perspective of the person giving the interview.

What’s He Really Saying?

When heading to an interview, realize that the person asking you questions is not always going to be looking for the answer to that question. In other words, he or she may ask one question but is probing for a completely different one. It is up to you to understand the true meaning of any question prior to answering it. This is not always an easy process, though.

In order to know what the interviewer is really saying, you need to do two big things: listen to the entire question and notice any cues he is giving you. If you can do those things, you will be able to answer any question, including this one accurately.

What Is the Interviewer Looking for in Those Questions?

In most situations, a job interviewer is looking for the best candidate to fill a specific position. To learn if the person sitting across from them at the desk is that person, he needs to find the answers to some very specific questions, including these.

  • Can you do the job? Will you do the job?
  • What special skills do you have that others do not have that makes you a better choice?
  • What experiences do you have that makes you a better choice over other applicants?
  • What do you have to offer to me that is something the company is lacking?

Knowing what information the interviewer is after, you can provide a better answer to the question asked to you. Ask yourself, how you can answer these questions in a way that provides the information the interviewer is really looking for you to provide.

Know the Cues

Secondly, notice any cues that the interviewer is putting out there. These can be key indications of what information is necessary and what may not be. More so, the cues are often signals to you as to how you should answer questions. For example, the following are some cues you may see.

  • The interviewer is distracted by something else in the room.
  • The interviewer is interrupting your replies, which shows he or she is impatient.
  • He keeps looking at the wall.
  • He is slouching.
  • He is listening intently to what you are saying.

If the interviewer seems distracted, he or she may be annoyed with how long your answers are. If he is interrupting, you may not be answering in the right manner.

Tell Me About Yourself

Keeping all of this in mind, the answer to this question comes down to just a few things. Can you communicate well with others? Do you have the ability to set goals and to stay on track? Can you handle rejections? In other words, are you able to answer these questions in a way that delivers the responses he or she needs?

Get ready for a great new part time or full time career when you work with Advance  Staffing Solutions. Let us help you get ready for those upcoming interviews so you can be successful in your quest for the right job.




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