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Three Tips on How to Answer the “Tell Me About Yourself” Question…



You know it’s coming – the inevitable “Tell me about yourself” ice-breaker of a question that kicks off most interviews. For some people, it’s a dreaded question and for others, it’s used as a platform to talk about all things personal.  Here are three tips on how to answer this question and set the tone for the interview so you can land the job.

Talk with confidence and enthusiasm

While it can be one of the scariest questions out there, it’s one that will come up in interviews, and in life so it’s best to be prepared. Answer with confidence, clarity and passion. How you answer that question is just as important as the content of your answer.  If you are shy and unsure, the hiring manager or recruiter will sense that.  So take a breath and respond. Show a smile too, it really goes a long way toward setting an upbeat tone and leaving a positive memorable impression.

Separate yourself from the remainder of candidates

Most likely, the hiring manager or recruiter will be asking this question to all of the candidates you are up against. For this reason, your answer has to stand out. So ask yourself, “How can I break the mold and make myself memorable?” The last thing you want is to be forgettable, but that doesn’t mean you want to go so over the top that you’re remembered for the wrong reasons.  Consider using phrases like “I can sum myself up in three words” or “Most people consider me to be…” so you are stepping outside of the normal answers.

Answer quickly

If you answer this question quickly, it shows you’re prepared. To be prepared, you need to practice.  Practice, practice, practice.  Practice solo, in the car while driving; practice in front of the mirror to gauge your expression; and practice with a friend or family member who will be critical to help you be at your best when the time comes.  Then, go into each job interview knowing this question will be asked and come with answers concise and to the point.  If you stumble at the beginning, it can show you weren’t ready, and since this is such a common question, you should expect to receive it.

As a general rule of thumb, don’t get too personal with your answers. It is fine to start out your answer with a hobby – like running or painting – but don’t go into your life story.  Make sure your answers are relatable to the position you’re interviewing for, too.  Draw lines of comparison from your previous experience into the new position and succinctly address the unasked “why should we hire you?” question.   If possible, slip in what appeals to you about this company and this particular role to reflect that you’re a great fit.

Want to learn more about where you might fit in here at Publix? Let our virtual career counselor, Publix Careers Job Match, guide you.

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