Once you get the job interview for that positon you are pursuing, it’s your time to shine. The preparation that needs to be put into preparing for that interview can feel almost like a second job. That’s how much research, practice and reflection should go into each poistion you apply and interview for. They like you on paper, so now this is your opportunity to show the employer how you react and present yourself face-to-face.
The First Interview Question
The first question many employers ask during a job interview may be the hardest for some job seekers to answer—correctly and confidently, that is.
The interviewer briefly looks down at your resume, looks you in the eye, and says, “Tell me a little bit about yourself.”
This can be the best question you can get in an interview or the worst if you’re not prepared to answer it. The next five minutes is crucial! You don’t want to read (or recite) word-for-word what you’ve written on your resume. The hiring employer can read and should be familiar with what’s there already (not always the case).
Instead, take this opportunity to highlight some points on your resume; explain your thought processes for decisions you’ve made in school, in your career and in your personal development.
Demonstrate how your decisions have moved you toward your career goals. And, prove you have excellent verbal and interpersonal communication skills—a quality that employers always look for in job candidates.
In five minutes—that’s all the time you should take to answer this question—you can offer interesting details about what’s printed on that little piece of paper—and give your interviewer a glimpse of your abilities while opening the door to a discussion of the skills and talents you can bring to the workplace.
Things You May Want To Include
- Open with a great one-liner. For example, “I am extremely fortunate to be in a profession that is also my passion.” Right off the bat, you grabbed their attention, now keep the momentum moving.
- How has your professional career prepared you for this position. Here, you can mention the various or “diverse” experiences you have had in the field. Showing the range of adaptability can say you are able to adjust to new settings. Make that a strength.
- How has your educational career prepared you for this position. Show the extent of your education, be it short or long, but turn it into a strength. Show it as a learning experience.
- What steps have you taken to further your personal and professional development. Employers love to see that you value self improvement. You may want to mention that “learning is a life long process.” Then explain why you value learning.
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