Too often do interview questions sound like trick questions. A common trick...I mean, interview... question comes hard and fast at the beginning of most interviews. Stop doubting yourself and start getting strategic!
Tell Me About Yourself.
This open-ended question (or rather, request) is a great way for employers to get to know you quickly. What are they looking for exactly? They want to know if you're going to fit in well with the company culture and if your goals are parallel with their ideal candidate's.
So what are the best answers to this interview question?
How To Discuss Hobbies & Interests
This is a great opportunity to bring up any personal (but appropriate!) hobbies or interests, but the best approach is to start off with something that shows that you are just as dedicated to personal growth as you are to professional growth.
Tell the interviewer about your volunteer experience, about any health and fitness activities you participate in, and about any hobbies that show you have skills that would be beneficial to the employer. Healthy and productive candidates are far more appealing than idle candidates.
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Transition To Qualifications
Make sure you start your answer with a non-work related and personal identifier. Remember employers want to connect with you on a personal level. Keep in perspective, though, this is an interview. Transition from your personal interests to the skills or qualifications employers are looking for.
If they need someone with a Bachelor's degree, give a brief overview of your education and mention how excited you are to have graduated and have an opportunity to show what you can do. If the job requires certain skills, briefly discuss how you acquired these skills with examples of how you applied them.
Watch What You Say
It's incredibly important that you keep you answer personal and professional without introducing political or religious activities. While these activities may be very important for you, they could open the door for discrimination.
Controversial topics such as the upcoming Presidential campaign or gay rights may also present opportunities for employers to cross you off their list. Is it fair? No, but remember they not only need to fill a position but bring on a candidate who will be a great fit for the company. If your views don't line up with the company's views, you will likely not move forward.