Hearing the question “Tell me about yourself” at the beginning of an interview can be intimidating. Sometimes it is hard to know exactly what the interviewer wants to hear. Some may be looking for something about your past experience and some may want to hear more about what makes you tick as a person. Here are some helpful “dos and don’ts” for answering this question.

  • Do keep it short. You want to be succinct and impressive. Tell them about your experience and accomplishments and make them want to ask for more.
  • Don’t tell your life story. You do not need to start with your first job ever and talk about every nuance. Skip the things you did in college or the retail job you had right after graduation. Keep it about your career path.
  • Do establish a brand identity. You want to sell yourself without over selling yourself. Create a memorable brand that will make people think about what you have to offer.
  • Don’t talk about your family. You are there to sell you, not your kids or your spouse. Talking about these things can open you up to unnecessary discrimination.
  • Do introduce yourself. Tell them about where you’re from, where you went to school, and what you majored in. Tell them about your passion for your industry.
  • Don’t provide irrelevant information. Keep all of the info you share completely on track with the job or company. Including your hobbies or things about your age or religion are not appropriate in an interview.
  • Do share your experience. Briefly tell them about your experience and what led you to the place in your career that you are in right now.
  • Don’t be all over the place. Give your answer some structure. When you are unorganized with your thoughts, it shows. Practice before you step foot in the interviewer’s office.
  • Do share your career goals. Go ahead and answer the question about where you expect to be in 5 or 10 years. Try to incorporate the company as much as you can with your future career vision.
  • Don’t be negative. You don’t want to share that you didn’t get along with your previous coworkers or that you hated your boss. This never comes across well and will be a concern for the hiring manager.

Are you looking for a local company that understands the best practices of interviewing? Contact Harvard Resource Solutions today!

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