Overcoming the Tell Me About Yourself Interview Question

The Tell Me About Yourself interview question is often among the first questions asked during a job interview.  Be careful not to misread the intention of the question, the intention of this question is not to become best friends with the interviewer.  The goal of the question is to determine if you are a good fit for the position.  That being said, your best strategy is to focus on what about you makes you a good fit for the position.  This is your opportunity to market yourself as the solution to their problem.

Take time now to craft a genuine, informative response.

Avoid Red Flag Topics

When a hiring manager asks the Tell Me About Yourself question, the expected response is work-focused. Unfortunately, a nervous applicant can mistake the open-ended inquiry as something personal. Avoid that interview error by not:

  • Discussing your personal and family history. This information does not let the interviewer know your qualifications for the position.
  • Reciting the details of your resume. The hiring manager already knows these and is interested in you because of them. No need for repetition.
  • Complaining about your present or past positions. Doing so gives the impression you are going through the motions to get a new job. It does not convey sincere interest in the position.

Make the Most of Precious Job Interview Minutes

Use quality statements. To prepare, review the job posting and description. Link your responses with your ability to fulfill the position’s qualifications and responsibilities.

  • Begin with a broad statement about your career to date. This can be done by highlighting skills and values, creating a cohesive view of past work.
  • If you are new to the professional job market, summarize your work values, relating these to your interest in the position.
  • Write your response, reading it over several times. Be sure to sound natural and not rehearsed.

Here’s  a Tell Me About Yourself Sample Response

“My work for the last several years has been in the finance department of a regional non-profit organization. My responsibilities include payroll and funding management. This requires diligent oversight to assure accurate reporting to government and private agencies, including staff training about regulations and compliance. I value working in a setting that contributes to others’ lives.” Use this as a guide to craft your statement, ending with what attracts you to the position you seek.

Are you job hunting for a new accounting and finance position?  You’re in the right place!  Click here to view Beacon Resources’ list of open accounting and finance positions.