The hiring manager’s primary concern is whether you are right for the position. When she asks you to tell her about yourself in an interview, she does not want details of your personal life. She simply wants to hear how you view and articulate your qualifications for the position. If you touch on something personal, it should relate to your ability to do the job. According to TheCampusCareerCoach.com website, your response should run 60 to 90 seconds long.
Start by stating your credentials, which lay the foundation for the rest of your summary. You might say: “As an accounting supervisor at XYZ Company, I oversee the accounts payable and receivable duties of five employees.” Then tie where you are now into where you are coming from, so your interviewer understands what led you to, and your passion for, your career path. For example: “I’ve always enjoyed working with numbers. When I was younger, I used to help my family and friends solve complex math problems. I was their go-to person.” If you lack work experience, draw on your involvement in school or volunteer activities you engaged in, or mention someone who inspired you professionally.
Next, tell why you are interested in the employer’s industry and the position. You might say: “My last position gave me a lot of insight into the wholesale and auto parts industry. Since then, I haven’t wanted to venture into any other field.” If you have no experience in the employer’s industry, or to explain why you want the job, you might say: “With the need for wholesale auto parts doubling over the last three years, and with my knack for selling, I would like to be part of a sales team that contributes to that industry.”
Show that you have a career plan by describing how you see yourself growing in the position. You might say: “At the moment, I qualify for a nursing assistant position, but when I’m done with college, I hope to work full-time as a registered nurse.” Another example: “The first step in my full-time career involves working for a company that promotes professional development, which I view as a win-win situation. The additional skills that I will learn will not only benefit me, but also my employer and its clients.”
Maintain eye contact and confident body language during your interview. Keep your demeanor pleasant and respond to the question with enthusiasm and honesty. Talk to him as though you were conveying a good short story, so your response feels interesting and real instead of mundane and scripted. Practice answering the question with someone else before the interview, but do not over-think it. Regard it is a simple question that requires a direct and professional response.
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