CareerProblems

How to Answer the Question ‘Tell Me about Yourself’

Sidestepping that “Tell me about yourself” is not really a question, it is still one of the first things people often hear in an interview. Liz Ryan explains how to address it in an article for Forbes.

Tell ‘Em Good

In a nutshell, Ryan boldly recommends “spinning the table” on the question. Basically, you begin by giving a concise, honest answer (three or four sentences about where you come from and your career trajectory), and then you pause more or less for dramatic effect. After that, you ask if you can ask the interviewer a question, and that is when you pitch your “pain hypothesis.” A pain hypothesis is your theory as to why the specific position you are interviewing for is so critically important to business success. Pitching an accurate and full pain hypothesis can make you look like you really understand the job, and then you can start talking about the various ways you would enjoy alleviating the pain as you get to the root of the problem. This is a pretty aggressive strategy, in that you basically commandeer the interview to an extent, so be sure not to take things too far and sound like a megalomaniac. There is plenty of time for them to find out that you are a megalomaniac later.

You can read the full article (and the ludicrously long example she includes) here: http://www.forbes.com/sites/lizryan/2014/12/11/how-to-answer-the-question-tell-me-about-yourself/

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