CEO Shares 4 Tips for Answering the Classic Question, “Tell Me About Yourself”

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Getting a job is hard. Writing resumes are hard, interviews are hard, and the entire situation is cause for stress and anxiety. Job seekers never really know what potential employers are looking for during interviews, not even when they’re asking “expected” questions – so a peek behind the mirror could be helpful.

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Well that’s exactly what Gary Burnison, the CEO of the world’s largest executive search firm, is about to hand out.

He’s conducted thousands of interviews over the past 20 years, and says that the biggest mistake you can make when asked to talk about yourself is to recite your resume.

You can assume the person sitting across from you has read it – that’s why you’re sitting there – so don’t miss a chance to really tell them something about who you are outside of the skills and accomplishments listed on it.

Image Credit: Pixabay

Here are 4 more tidbits of advice to help flesh out the first.

Get Personal

There will be time to talk about your professional life. Instead, choose a personal anecdote or story or personal accomplishment that can convey a bit about your person life.

Don’t Be Boring

Find what makes you memorable, what makes you stand out, and use it to make the interviewer remember you. All the better if it can somehow relate to a skill you’ll need in your potential new position.

Show Your Purpose and Passion

Burnison says this question could also be asked as “what gets you up every morning?” The interviewer wants to know about your sense of passion and purpose – no matter how big or small your most recent accomplishment, working toward something shows you’re willing to contribute to something bigger than yourself.

Be Authentic

The best thing you have going for you is that you’re the only you – so relax, be yourself, and tell the truth. Lying or pretending to be someone you’re not isn’t going to help you or the interviewer in the long run.

There you have it…and good luck out there, my friends.

What’s your favorite advice on job interviews? We’d love to hear it in the comments!