I’m a wife and a mother. I enjoy reading, biking, hiking, and being outdoors. I love the water, and could easily live near a beach or lake. I love destination vacations and look forward to traveling in the upcoming year. Hey – wait just a minute! Should I be revealing these things when someone asks me to tell them about myself?
Well, if I am at a party or with friends, the things I enjoy might be worthy of discussion, but certainly not in a job interview. Hopefully you have not been caught off guard by this question (I freely admit that I have!) and are ready to talk about yourself, your skills, and your accomplishments when you go to a job interview.
You may find that it’s uncomfortable talking about yourself. I know I do. So what is Mr. Employer really looking for? First of all, your answer gives the hiring manager a sense of who you are. It could also answer questions in the employer’s mind as to whether you would be a good fit. Your response can set the tone for the rest of the interview, and how you deliver the answer can say something about your professionalism.
When telling an employer about yourself, you want to avoid repeating what is already on your resume. Instead, use the opportunity to talk about the skills and successes from your past that you bring to the company and to the position you are applying for. Your response to the question should answer why you should be hired for the job, how you fit in, and show that you have areas in your background specific to the company. That’s where research on the company comes in. Having knowledge about the company and tying it into your response can help you stand out.
My response to the question of “Tell me about yourself” is: “I am a Workforce Professional and have successfully managed an office and staff, consistently meeting yearly performance goals. I have the ability to work with a team, or one on one, and have assisted with performance improvement, increasing quality by 75% in a one year period. I enjoy working with people, and especially like to see others achieve success. One of the projects I’m most proud of has been being a member of a team that works with homeless partners and Workforce staff, helping people experiencing homelessness bridge the gap between housing and employment.”
If you would like more information about how to answer this specific question, or other interview questions, please visit our job search page and search for “job search tips.” Workforce Solutions also offers job search seminars at community centers and Career Offices throughout the 13 county region.
Velta Worley is a member of the Regional Navigator Team specializing in training, educating, and assisting community partners, Workforce Solutions staff, and job seekers throughout the 13 county region with employment for people experiencing homelessness. She has over 8 years corporate management experience, with over 7 years with Workforce Solutions as a Facilitator, Technical Assistant, and Office Manager, and holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Sam Houston State University.