Consulting Interview Questions Tips
How to answer,"Tell Me About Yourself."
Interview Series Part 1
Most of the time, employers like to start the interview off with this mystifying question. For what seems like it may be a very simple question to answer, this question can make your palms sweat if you aren’t prepared.
Should I tell them about my love for dogs? My obsession with traveling the world? What my favorite food is?
No! Do not blurt out your entire life story. Your potential employer does not want to hear your personal business. Save that for after you get hired.
What is the hiring manager really asking?
This is your time to pitch to them why you are the perfect fit for the job. They want you to give them a general overview of your professional background before they dive into specifics.
- Who are you as a learning professional?
- What can your background bring to this position?
This type of question is called an “unstructured” question. Unstructured questions are open-ended and allow the interviewee to respond based upon their own knowledge. This allows the hiring manager to see how you answer more so that what you actually say. Giving a professional rather than personal response will demonstrate to the hiring manager what you think is important for a potential employer to know about you. It will also demonstrate how articulate and confident you are. Remember, first impressions matter!
What does a good answer look like?
First and foremost, remember that this is an icebreaker, meaning, your answer needs to be concise.
Your answer should be about one-minute in length and should highlight how you got started in your field, where you currently are in your career, and how your experience is beneficial for the position you are applying for.
Past, present, future.
For example: “I got started as a trainer about 15 years ago when I got promoted internally at the bank and realized my love for training. Over the years I’ve had the opportunity to train many leaders, from small businesses to Fortune 500 companies, on different technical systems. Most recently with my project at ABC Bank, I led a training team in the rollout of XYZ software, so I’m no doubt very excited to help your team implement XYZ software as well.”
Notice how the current position being applied for is looking for someone with XYZ experience, and how the example tied in previous experience with XYZ right off the bat.
Also note that ABC Bank was named dropped. Name dropping a highly respected company is a smart move because it stresses that since you’ve worked for that company, you must be good at what you do.
Practice makes perfect
Make sure you practice your pitch out loud before you go into an interview. If you don’t practice, your words may not come out exactly as you wanted them to. Ultimately, you’re trying to sell yourself.
What not to do
Don’t ask the hiring manager “Well, what exactly do you want to know about me?” This shows that you’re unprepared.
Don’t regurgitate the information on your resume. The hiring manager already has your resume in front of them. They don’t need you to read off each position that you’ve held. What they want from you is to highlight relevant accomplishments which gives you a great opportunity to showcase why you’re the best fit for the position.
Don’t give a 15-minute monologue. Good rule of thumb: keep the interview as a dialogue, not a monologue. A concise answer will allow your interviewer to dig a little deeper and ask you auxiliary questions.
Answering in any of these three ways will be sure to send your chances of getting hired down the drain.
Do you feel better prepared?
Hopefully you’re excited the next time your interviewer asks you this question because you know exactly how to respond.