Human resources professionals are trained to ease candidates into the interview. In other words, make the interviewee feel comfortable. This is done by asking a few routine questions. Preparing for these standard questions will allow you to set the tone of the interview and come out with a bang.
One common question often used to start off interviews is “Tell me a bit about yourself”. This question is purposely vague. We, as HR reps, want to see the kinds of things you want to highlight about yourself. Will it center on your experience, your job, your family, or maybe your hobbies. Your explanation of yourself will be the platform for the rest of your interview. Although this may seem simplistic, be cautious and take time to articulate YOU.
Immediate judgments are made on the first few things you say in an interview so consider this to be of significant importance. Be unique and enthusiastic about your explanation. Say something interesting and uncommon about yourself. Something that will be remembered by the hr rep and distinguish you from the crowd. I recall a candidate telling me about her journey to Israel and connecting this thirst for adventure with her desire to start a new career with our company. This was impressive and memorable. She got the job.
Be personable and sincere about your message. Make sure that you tie your YOU statement back to the job you are applying for. For example, it’s great that you played pro baseball but why will this make you the perfect candidate for the job. Is your background or work history interesting and relevant to the position you have applied for? Make it fun but make it relate to your interest in the job.
What you say in answering this mundane question can impress or depress the interviewer. If done correctly, as mentioned above, the rest of the interview can be the frosting on the cake. You are the foundation of the interview and how you let your personality shine will capture the interviewer’s attention. Be unforgettable and the rest will be forgotten!