Photo by: The Muse

 

Hey guys!

One question that is sure to increase stress levels is being asked, “Tell me about yourself” in an interview. 

After watching the video below you will know how to answer, “The Tell Me About Yourself” interview question, in a way that has you providing a unique answer that makes you stand out agains your competitors!

If you’re looking for something on-the-go, you can listen to the audio version here OR just keep reading the blog (which always provides a little more detail).

If you are a confused, future entrepreneur that cannot decide on which niche to choose, or if your looking to land a fulfilling, meaningful career that be sure to subscribe to my email list so you don’t miss all the juicy tips I have to share with you!

Ok, so here we go!

Today’s information is based off scholarly articles, Fortune 500 Interviews with CEO’s, and of course sprinkling a touch of psychology in the mix.

So first let me alleviate some of your stress about answering this question, because based off the finding, and even personal experience, the truth is there is no one ideal answer. However, you do need to demonstrate how valuable you are and if you are a good fit with their organization.

So after each tip I am going to really break down how the answer could sound in a real life scenario and at the end we will tie it all together – so here we go!

  1. Be Authentic About What You Love

Research has proven that people are hard wired to seek personal connection.  Which is why it is completely ok to share what your do and what interests or activities you partake in outside of work. Where this MUST become an art, is how you can casually tie it in to either your:

       a.) Skills

b.) Work experience

c.) Accomplishments

d.) Education

(Which I will go into detail about in the next tip below)

By sharing a personal connection you are being authentic and real about who you. Remember there are many fragments to your identity and work is only one of them. It also provides a representation about a contributing asset that might not be listed in your resume.

The other suggestion is that when you are making a personal connection, you want to starting thinking of an interest or activity that you could make relevant to the position you are applying for.  This is so that the transition from personal connection to abilities is carried out smoothly!

However, you do want to be mindful of expressing something you love SO much, that the interviewer will feel that it is something you will start to miss work for! So choose wisely, and express your interests creatively and intellegently.

So for example one, let’s say the interest of choice is reading, and the position being applied for is similar to our job candidates current position as a Facebook Ad Content Creator. For example two, we have an individual who prefers to advance in their retail career by applying to a higher end department store such as Saks Fifth Avenue.

Here is what your opening sentence would look like:

SAMPLE #1

“When I’m not working, I love to read.

Or an opening statement that shares a little more depth such as…

SAMPLE #2

“When I’m not working, I love volunteering at the community library. It’s something my mom and I did when I was younger so it holds special value to me. It’s also great way for me to be able to give back to the community.

Now tip two, is how we make it relevant by linking our interest to the desired qualifications to the job.

  1. Tie It Into Your Valuable Assets

What do I mean by this? I mean you can choose based on what complements your experience and what you feel more comfortable sharing. Valuable assets are…

a.) Skills

b.) Work experience

c.) Accomplishments

d). Education

You don’t need to share ALL of them, but at least choosing one to three is a great starting point.  If you don’t have any work experience, and you are having a difficult time choosing a valuable assets, brainstorm with a parent, a teacher, or a career coach who can help you creatively navigate and articulate how your life experience highlights that you are, in fact, qualified for this position.

In a nutshell, you want to share something you have done to prove that you can better the organization, doing what you know, and  just by you being there.

So if we stick to our original example we know have.

SAMPLE #1

Reading has developed my ability to be innovative and a more efficient problem solver when faced with challenges in the workplace. For instance, before I was assigned the position at an advertising company as a Facebook Ads Content Creator, the company was losing money on their Facebook Ads, but within the first seven days in this position, I increased their ROI by 5% , tripled their social media engagement and following. The knowledge I acquired from reading outside of my studies, and as an Educational Psychology major, allow me to apply major concepts of persuasion and human behavior to create desired results for the organization.”

SAMPLE #2

Perhaps more importantly, community service has allowed me to develop my communication and sales skills by learning to acknowledge empathy and understand a person’s needs.  As a sales associate at Nordstroms, I believe this experience has helped me resolve customer complaints more effectively and create more upsells, which is reflected daily in our end of the night close out when evaluated.

Your answers should attempt to have at least two (if not all) key components which…

  • Explains how interests highlight qualifications required for this position
  • Identifies place of employment, job title, and what you did
  • Elaborates on a specific achievement (i.e. time frame, metrics)
  • Explains how applying interest and formal education created results

This  is what you want to show them; your abilities are what they need.

  1. Provide Tangible Metrics

What do you have, physically, that demonstrates or proves you have created the results you have mentioned?

I remember when I was a student assistant in the Career Center, one of the ways we helped to prep students was by suggesting they create a portfolio of the work they completed.  Not only does having a portfolio demonstrate you are cable of what you say you are, it also shows you are prepared, organized, and take this opportunity seriously. This also sets you apart from other candidates because not everyone is going to have tangible proof.

The final way to answer this question by providing tangible metrics could look like…

SAMPLE #1

I have a report of the metrics with me if you would like to review them?”That’s it!  This is the cherry on the Sunday.

So when we put all the pieces together, we have something that looks like this…

SAMPLE #1

“When I’m not working, I love to read.

Reading has developed my ability to be innovated and a more efficient problem solver when faced with challenges in the workplace. For instance, before I was assigned the position at an advertising company as a Facebook Ads Content Creator, the company was losing money on their Facebook Ads and they couldn’t figure out why. However, within the first seven days in the position, I increased their ROI on Facebook Ads by 5% , tripled their social media engagement, and their following. Because of the knowledge I acquired from both reading outside of my studies, and as an Educational Psychology major, I was able to apply major concepts of persuasion and human behavior to create desired results for the organization.”

I have a report of the metrics with me if you would like to review them?”

 

SAMPLE #2 (What if you CAN’T provide proof?)

“When I’m not working, I love volunteering at the community library. It’s something my mom and I did when I was younger so it holds special value to me. It’s also great way for me to be able to give back to the community.

Perhaps more importantly, community service has allowed me to develop my communication and sales skills by learning to acknowledge empathy and understand a person’s needs.  As a sales associate at Nordstroms, I believe this experience has helped me resolve customer complaints more effectively and create more upsells, which is reflected daily in our end of the night close out when evaluated.

“Due to Nordstrom’s Policy, I am unable to obtain a physical copy of our nightly reports; however, I have listed my supervisor as a reference who will be more than happy to confirm any information you may need.”

If you don’t have anything in your portfolio right now, then you’ll want to have a little brainstorming sesh about what you can do so that you can retrieve material that enhances your abilities.

So remember:

  1. Be authentic about what you love
  2. Tie What You Love Into Your Valuable Assets
  3. Provide Tangible Metrics

If you need more clarity on knowing the what line of work you are PASSIONATE about, then be sure to subscribe to your FREE Find Your Passion 101 Workbook today!

Xo,

Crystal