Career and Life Coaching
LOS ANGELES—How many of you have been asked during a job interview to talk about yourself? That question is usually asked during the first three to five minutes after the interview has started. Many people believe that this is a very easy way to start an interview, but many others believe that this question is one of the hardest questions they have had to answer during an interview. I agree with those who believe that it is a hard question, but I will also want to add that it is one of the most important questions during a job interview.
When you are asked to talk about yourself during a job interview, what the interviewer is trying to do is to get to know the type of employee you are and if you have what it takes to perform the job. It is important that I mention that when you are asked this question, that is not the time to talk about how many children you have or if you are the oldest in your family. Let’s be honest: the interviewer doesn’t want to know that, nor does he cares. After you get the job, you will have plenty of time to share that information with your boss and co-workers.
This question, as easy as it looks, sometimes pushes people to rumble through the answer and to present the wrong image of themselves during the interview, making the interviewer disqualify them from the position within the first couple of minutes after the interview started.
If you are getting ready for a job interview and want to “ace it,” I will suggest you to keep reading. Below, I will share with you couple of tips that will help you prepare an excellent answer for the “what can you tell us about yourself” question. Following my tips will not only help you create a great answer for the question, but also develop a powerful 30-second speech to impress the interviewer and to get the job you have always dreamed of.
Tip # 1: Do your research: Read the vacancy announcement and carefully study the skills and qualifications required for the position. Once you know the requirements, and if you possess the skills, make sure to add those skills to your speech. By doing this, you will catch the interviewer’s attention right away and position yourself among the most qualified candidates. This doesn’t mean you are going to lie about your skills and qualifications. What you will do is use the same terms the interviewer is using in the vacancy announcement and to show them right away that you possess those skills.
Tip # 2: Make a list of your strengths and weaknesses: Having an idea of what your strengths are can help you to use them to your advantage during the first couple of minutes of the interview. At the same time, knowing what your weaknesses are can help you show the interviewer the areas that you need to improve. Having weaknesses doesn’t make you an unqualified candidate. It shows that you are human and that you are fully aware of the areas that you need to work on. Let’s face it. We all have weaknesses, and the interviewer knows that. What is important is to be aware of them and to be willing to improve them.
Tip # 3: Go straight to the point: When you are asked the “can you talk about yourself” question, make sure you go straight to the point. What the interviewer is looking for is a brief description of your professional experience, education, and the skills you posses. In other words, what your professional background is, what makes you the best candidate for the position, and most of all, what you have to offer to the company. Give that to him without deviating from the important information.
Bottom line is that preparing for a job interview requires time and dedication, and creating a good impression during the first couple of minutes after the interview starts requires you to have a great introduction paragraph. Preparing, practicing and presenting a powerful 30-second speech about your skills and qualifications during the initial part of the interview could be the difference between getting the job or going home empty-handed.
Remember; “What a man thinks of himself, that is what determines, or rather indicates his fate.” - Henry David Thoreau
About the Author:
Marielys Camacho-Reyes is a career/life coach with more than 10 years of experience in the human resources field and human relationships. If you would like to receive a one-time free coaching session, visit her website at mcrcoaching.com or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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