”So, can you start by telling me about yourself?”
Easy question, right? Not really. I never really practiced how to answer this question and I would find myself rambling or veering completely off point. I was also not sure what they wanted to know. Are they trying to get to know my interests on a more personal level to see if I’ll be a good fit for the company or did they want me to keep it focused on my career highlights?
After years of interviewing, I finally did some research online and learned how to answer this question correctly. I put it to practice during my job search earlier this year and I really felt that it made a big difference in my interviews.
This is an important question that sets the tone for how the rest of your interview goes. Learn how to give the perfect response by following the Present, Past, Future tip below!
1. Present Summarize what you do in your current role and be sure to highlight any accomplishments.
2. Past Talk about your career trajectory and past experience making sure to focus especially on the areas of your background that are relevant to the role you’re interviewing for.
3. Future Briefly let the interviewer know what you’re looking for in terms of your next opportunity and why you believe you’re the best fit for the job. Let the interviewer know you’ve done your research and always tie in what you can do for them.
Use your discretion when deciding whether to wrap up by throwing in something that highlights your personality. Briefly mentioning personal interests and hobbies such as your work volunteering in your community or that you’re learning a new language are great ways for the interviewer to get to know you a little better. Remember to keep what you share appropriate to a professional setting.
I’ve come up with an example below following these steps:
I’m currently the Brand Partnerships Manager for a media company in Los Angeles where I work with a team to create and execute custom creative solutions for our brand partners. In my first year at the company, I consistently exceeded my quarterly sales goals and directly contributed to the company’s 20% annual revenue increase.
Previously, I worked at an online magazine where I managed Sales and Branded Content across all verticals as well as fostered and developed client relationships.
Right now, I’m looking to broaden my skill set with large scale Branded Content and Partnerships and I think working at (Company Name) is a great opportunity for me to do so.
I read a recent interview with your CEO where he stated that the company’s main goal in the coming year was to expand its reach globally. I have a lot of experience working with international partners (especially in the APAC region) and I believe this makes me a great fit for the role.
Outside of the office, I’m currently training for a half marathon and learning how to play the violin.
Frequently practice answering this question out loud and be ready to ace it at your next interview.
Feature image credit: Chuck Kennedy