Interviewing 101: 3 Ways To Tell An Employer About Yourself

Posted by on December 20, 2012

interview tips, Plymouth, career services, elevator speech, Joclyn Rung, networking commercial

Joclyn Rung, associate director of career services at the Minnesota School of Business-Plymouth

Are you preparing for a big interview? Guest blogger Joclyn Rung, Associate Director of Career Services at the Minnesota School of Business Plymouth campus, warns about getting held back by a seemingly innocent interview question. 

The interview process is a job within itself. Once you have completed all of the strategic work, you then have to utilize effective methods to win over the interviewer. There are several types of interviews such as your basic one-on-one, group, phone and multiple interview formats.  

I can’t emphasize how important it is to rehearse your answers to possible questions before the actual interview. This will help you be more knowledgeable, articulate and confident in your responses. You can practice alone, with your friends, family, a co-worker or even a pet. My poor dogs have sat through several interview practice sessions!

One of the most difficult questions to answer in an interview is ‘So, tell me about yourself?’ You would think this is the easiest question by far to answer, right? Who knows you better than yourself?

That self-awareness is usually the problem. We know ourselves too well, and need to know what information is relevant and what information is unnecessary. Categorizing this information is critical. 

A hiring manager does not want to know about your three dogs, eight cats, what you do for fun on the weekends or your favorite television shows. There will be an appropriate time in the future to talk about your personal interests, but they’re not what you discuss when asked the question.

When it is asked, it is very important to keep your answer professional. Your answer can also be used as your elevator speech or 60-second networking “commercial.”

Here are 3 Ways To Answer ‘Tell me about yourself’

  • Talk about where you went, or are currently going to school and why.
  • Go over your current professional experience and any successes that relate to your field and education.
  • Discuss your goals and why they are important to you.

I encourage you to utilize these three tips and to practice your 60-second commercial over and over. If you do, it will help create a successful start to the interview process. Remember, our career services teams are always ready to help!


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