​​”Can you tell me about yourself”

How to answer the question “can you tell me about yourself” and similar interview questions

"Can you tell me about yourself" has to be the worst interview question.

These type of questions are the type that kill most job interviews and only the most confident will be able to answer in the right way.

Interviews are already stressful and most interviewees are nervous. In addition,  they don't know how to answer even if they do have the answer.  How to start?​​ What to talk about?​ Most interviewees don't even know what the interviewer wants to hear when they ask this question. Thus they will babble about irrelevant details of their work history. Some will even talk about their life and education. But that's not what the interviewer wants to hear. The question is asking interviewees what their qualities are in relation to the job in question. What skills and experience do they have that make them the right fit for the job. How their previous experience build their skills to be able to take the current job role. What projects they had, what achievements they accomplished.

And that is what the answer needs to include. Not your masters degree in engineering or your ten years of experience in the industry. Rather, clear relevant details that show who you are and what skills and abilities you bring to the job. Any details you include in your answer should be related to the job you're applying for in some way, to show that you are the right fit for the job.

When responding to this type of question, ask yourself how you fit in with the job and what skills you bring as well as relevant recent experience and any achievements you have.

It would definitely help job seekers if the question were rephrased to make it easier for the interviewee to answer, such as, “so you worked in (xyz)...(industry or product)”

Many people will get into the flow and continue the statement without even thinking about it. 

As employers, we always need to help others to feel relaxed around us, and reduce the pressure that is normal in these situations, so that job candidates can be their best selves and not fail due to nerves or stress, which will benefit everyone involved.​

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