featured post by Quin Blake, zenPeak Recruiting
The #1 Job Interview Question
The #1 job interview question you are most likely to be asked is…“Tell Me About Yourself!”
Sounds simple enough, doesn’t it? Go ahead, give it a try. Not as easy as you thought it was going to be, right? Odds are, you just spent a few minutes struggling to come up with a clear, concise and accurate description of who you are. Not to mention being able to deliver it in a way that intrigues your potential employer instead of boring (and possibly confusing) them. The last thing you want to do is ramble on about something of no interest to the interviewer or stammer and stumble over a question that should be fairly easy to answer, if you have prepared yourself for it ahead of time.
Your answer needs to be no more than 20 – 30 seconds. It doesn’t have to be a complex answer either. Aim for the “Coles Notes” version of who you are and then trim it down from there. Here is a simple strategy that involves three basic guidelines you need to remember for this answer: you, your passion and the opportunity.
You! You need to share some of your personal information. Share just a few things that are about You. You want to make sure the interviewer feels that you will fit into the company and be someone they want to have around. The easiest way to handle this part of the answer is to share some information that is already on your resume. Talk about where you live now, where you are from originally which is easy to figure out by looking at your high school location and something personal related to your family. Talk about if you have children, a spouse, siblings, parents. If you choose not give up any information about your personal life you run the risk of appearing cold, secretive and not very easy to get along with. Now you may be thinking, “they’re not supposed to ask me that question” but don’t say it. If you do, your chances of continuing in the interview process are slim. The key to this is to quickly move on to the next point you want to make about yourself. Don’t get involved in any follow-up personal answers with the interviewer.
Dive right into…
Your Passion for what you do at work. This has to show through. Let the interviewer see that you love what you do at work. Be excited about what you do! Share your career accomplishments that will create a link to what you have to offer this company. Show the interviewer that you have the skills and talent to do what they need. Make sure you stay focused & talk only about what you do at work. You don’t need to bring up anything else that you’re passionate about (ie: travel, sports, music, etc.) The reason you are there is to discuss employment, and stick to that.
Quickly carry on to your last point…
The Opportunity! Say this quote verbatim, “and, I am very excited about the opportunity to _________ here.” This brings your answer full circle as to why you are seated in their office in the first place. A probable follow up interview question will be about this opportunity and your passion for this new job. Let the interviewer see that all the passion and excitement that you hold for the work you currently do will easily transfer over to the opportunity at hand.
You have shared some personal information about yourself showing that you’re trustworthy and will fit in with this new company. You have talked about your work with passion and finished off with interest and excitement in this new opportunity. Be prepared to practice your answer over and over again. Look in the mirror and recite your answer until you’re comfortable and it fits into the recommended time frame of 20 – 30 seconds at the most. Don’t worry about it sounding rehearsed – it won’t. It will sound natural, confident, poised and professional. Good luck!
Quin Blake, of zenPeak Recruiting, services Clients from Toronto GTA North up to Newmarket and Barrie. Using zenPeak’s proven system, she delivers peak performers to Clients who don’t have the time to do it themselves. zenPeak Recruiting helps Clients hire the best people, cut costs and reduce risk.