During an interview, my least favorite question is always the one that comes first. You know the one - it's "So, tell me about yourself.". It's a tricky one to answer because on one hand, you don't want to give your life story while on the other hand, you don't want to bore them or sound just like everyone else
So, how can you stand out?
There are several ways that you can answer the question, but my favorite is to answer it in a way that makes you memorable. When formulating your reply, you have to understand that in reality, the interviewer doesn't care that much about who you are. The content itself isn't the main thing. What the employer really hopes to achieve with the question is to break the ice and get a general idea about your confidence and enthusiasm. You're goal is to make them interested in who you are.
You can accomplish that by having a creative way to let them know who you are, while making yourself someone who is difficult to forget. Of course, I don't mean that you should be theatrical or resort to elaborate pranks or jokes, because while those things make you memorable, it isn't in a good way.
Here are 5 great ways to answer the question "Tell me about yourself."
"My favorite quote is" - if there is a quote that you especially like and you think it sums up your outlook or the way you live your life, share it with the interviewer. Not only will it tell them something about you, but it will show that you're someone who thinks that personal development is important and that you are self-motivated. For example, "One of my favorite quotes is by Mother Teresa. "I do not do great things. I do small things, with great love." For me, it is a reminder that it's the small things, the details, that make the difference. We can all achieve great things by starting small and giving our best."
"My personal philosophy is" - Start by sharing your personal philosophy. It shows that you are a thinker and someone who has the potential to be a star. For example, "I have a ceramic Buddha bank on my counter. When I come home, I throw my coins into it. It serves as a reminder of my personal philosophy that change comes from within. If I'm not happy with something in my life, I am the only one who can change it. I can choose to react differently or accept whatever is causing me unhappiness. I can choose to be happy. This philosophy helps me be more aware and more focused on personal responsibility. It makes me more flexible and allows me to take a step back and think outside of the box."
"The people I have worked with in the past say that I'm" - This answer helps show your level of self-awareness. Just make sure that the things you say are actually things that people have said about you in the past. Of course, feel free to leave out anything you think doesn't make you look your best.
"I am passionate about" - Depending on the job you are applying for, talking about your passion can be a great way to answer the question - especially if you are passionate about something that relates to the job. Not only does it make a great impression, talking about the things you love will raise your enthusiasm and let the employer see you with your face lit up with excitement.
"I did a web search on myself and this is what I found" - This can be a funny and memorable way to answer the question. For example, you could say, "I googled myself just this morning. I found out that I have a reputation as a great salesperson, I spend a lot of time hiking and taking pictures of amazing views and evidently, I have a very sick dog in Montana." If you choose this approach, make sure that you actually do a search on yourself and use the results. Also, it's a good idea to mix in one thing that came up in the search, but that isn't true, just to add a little more humor to your response.
I hope that these 5 suggestions will help inspire you to come up with some creative answers of your own. How do you answer the question? Please share your thoughts in the comments.