Let’s start by first breaking down exactly why hiring managers ask this question.But first, we wanted to let you know that there are over 100 difficult interview questions you could be asked in your job interview. Don’t worry, because we created a free PDF that outlines the most common questions and gives you word for word sample answers that you can use at your next interview. In many ways, for the same reason they ask the question “Tell me about yourself.” No, it’s not to make you uncomfortable, and it’s certainly not an opportunity for you to sit back and treat them like a therapy session and go into deep detail about how your early childhood turned you into the person you are today.Interviewers ask this question because they are looking for two key pieces of information; they want to honestly know how you perceive yourself and exactly how well you’ll fit into the company if you’re hired.
Odds are that company wants an employee who can adapt quickly to a wide variety of different scenarios. I proved this during my tenure at Hershey’s when we had a power outage on Christmas delivery day but every last bar of chocolate still left the factory.” Boom. I’ve spent the past 15 years learning the ins and outs of this industry and know exactly what I need to do to provide the highest level of medical supervision and overall coordination of all components required for the smooth operation of any medical facility.” Can you say corner office, company car and annual bonus?!? Now that we’ve covered some example answers, go ahead and play around with your own qualities and characteristics adjectives and see how well they relate to the job you’re interviewing for.
Now let’s go through your list of qualities and characteristics and see if there’s one that would apply to this job description. Remember, your goal for any interview is to demonstrate to the hiring manager that you’re the right person for the position.
While there is some overlap, they require you to focus on different things in your answers.
When you answer “Tell me about yourself,” you’re highlighting the key professional strengths and skills that you have that bring value to the company…what you can do.
You’re “self-motivating.”This word hints at your attention to detail, your precision, your organizational skills, your ability to prioritize, and the fact that you hate letting anything slip through any cracks. You’re in it for the team—you don’t just show up for you.
If you’re meticulous, you’re thorough and self-managing and trustworthy. You realize that your work is part of an ecosystem of other people’s projects and you don’t let anybody down. You can be relied upon to do your job, do it well, and deliver whatever needs to be done. You can totally brag here at this point, and throw in a mention of any accomplishments or awards you may have earned along the way.
Imagine this: you’re sitting in an interview for your dream job. You’re knocking every question out of the ballpark and the hiring manager is genuinely laughing at all your jokes. You can tell the interview is wrapping up and you’re already figuring out what thoughtful bit of insight you’re going to include in your follow up thank you note that will make the hiring manager smile and bring you in for round two. Suddenly all that certainty dissolves in a puff of confusion and fear and the only words you can think of are “screwed” and “dazed,” with a dash of “perpetually unemployed” thrown in just to really mess with your psyche. Before you slink off defeated with your tail between your legs, ready for an endless cycle of help wanted ads and disappointment, we’re here to tell you that answering the question ‘describe yourself’ isn’t the end of the world.
All it takes is a bit of prep work before you get to the interview.
Go ahead and say what a difference you made at your last gig. This word shows you don’t just make promises; you get results.
You don’t quit until the job is done (and done well). You’ll put in the extra work until the solution is found. You’re able to adapt to challenging circumstances and find the work-around that no one else can see. You’re the kind of employer everybody wants because you’re willing to do things outside the purview of your job description—provided it makes sense for the company and for the goals of your team.