The first question that you are most likely to get asked in an interview is "Tell me about yourself." This question is going to set the tone for the remainder of the interview, so make sure to take some time practicing your answer before the actual interview.
"The Past-Present-Future Method"
- Do: Talk about your strengths, successes, and achievements, related to your line of work.
- Don’t: Talk about your personal life, hobbies, children, etc.
Start by talking about the Past. Explain what experiences you have had and the skills you have gained through your previous job, education, projects, etc. Next, lead into how these past experiences got you to where you are now, your Present.
End with your future
What makes you the best fit for this particular opportunity. Preparing for a big interview? Learn How to Answer the 16 Most Common Interview Questions.
Tell me about yourself
- You: “Well, I come from a management background having worked at The Sales Guys for over five years. While I was at TSG I managed our sales team of roughly 8 sales reps. My team was constantly exceeding quota every quarter due to the great work environment that we had created. However, I am currently looking for a new challenge and the opportunity to manage a larger team. I have a passion for renewable energy, cars, and sales so I can’t think of a better place to be interviewing then right here at Tesla. I would love nothing more than to bring my sales management expertise into the constantly growing and already amazing team here at Tesla.”
One thing that is absolutely crucial to remember is that your answer should slightly vary depending on the job you are applying to. The example given above would really only be appropriate for a sales/management position.
If this same person were interviewing for an engineering job, that pitch would not be very effective. You want this to sound natural, not scripted, but you also want to take the time to practice your answer before going into the interview.
I hope by reading this you will feel a lot more confident the next time you are asked, "Tell me about yourself."