Job interviews are notoriously stressful. While you can’t really prep for every single question an interviewer is going to hit you with, there are a few questions you can prepare yourself for that will likely set the tone for the remainder of that hour-long interview. The first question someone is likely to ask you: “Tell Me About Yourself.”
It’s an open-ended question that you can respond to with information about everything from your personal life to why you left your last job. However, while it might seem like just an ice breaker, there is a “right” and a “wrong” way to respond. If you plan a little in advance, then you can really knock this one out of the park and set a positive tone for the remainder of your interview.
CNBC Make It recently talked to a few interview experts, Joan Kuhl and Sandy Gould, about the right way to respond to the notorious interview question.
One of the best takeaways? Tailor your response to the job you’re interviewing for.
This one seems like a no-brainer, but it’s also something a lot of people mess up on. When you think about your response to the question, think about the position you’ve applied for and what qualifications the interviewer is likely looking for.
Before your interview, prepare a few appropriate stories about how you meet those criteria. Those don’t have to be specific work-focused stories. If you don’t meet specific job requirement through your career, but do through a volunteer position, mention that as well. And no need to mention “I see you’re looking for someone who has great organisation skills…” to the conversation, just tell your story and let your interviewer put two and two together.
And be confident in your experience. It’s easy to fall into thinking that your personal experience isn’t “good enough” for a particular job. If you put that out there during your interview, then your interviewer is likely to think that you don’t have the right experience either, even if you do. Instead, walk into that interviewing convinced you’re the perfect candidate for the job. If you believe it, then there’s a better chance your interviewer will feel the same way.
Check out the full list of tips on CNBC.