I don’t know about you, but I find it really awkward and difficult talking about myself (see what I did there?) In a social context, being asked about yourself is usually quite a nice break from the monotony of people talking about themselves (then again, you’re just part of the problem now). Either way, talking about yourself correctly in an interview is difficult.
There’s no wrong way to talk about yourself, there are just more correct ways. There are some obvious faux pas that will pretty much guarantee a rejection letter arriving in 3-5 working days. Things like talking about how much you hated your old job, dead relatives, past criminal charges, how much you hate Walking Dead etc, etc.
Use your common sense and, failing that, cast your peepers on this three pronged approach that The Muse have formulated for answering the fatal question: “So, tell me about yourself”.
1. Tell a story
Apart from the criminal record thing, the worst thing you can probably do is rattle off your achievements and characteristics like you’re running diagnostics on yourself. Try and find a story, something truthful, that is both interesting to tell and listen to as well as demonstrating what kind of worker you are. Above all you need to show that you genuinely care about the job.
2. Focus yourself through the lens of the company
The Me, Me, Me approach just isn’t going to fly here. You need to prove that you’re a team player and fit for the job because, as with most interview questions, this is just another test. Try and talk about your experiences by referencing and reflection on the company’s ethos and product. It might seem a bit false but you’re ticking boxes correctly.
3. Short and sweet
In the end your job is to come off as cool as possible so aim for your answer to be no longer than a minute. Don’t waste the interview’s attention on unimportant details. “Overkill is distracting”.