Articles for Professionals

Preparing for One of the Hardest Interview Questions


We’ve all been there, hoping to deliver the interview of our life and then you’re hit with a question along the lines of…

Tell me something about yourself‘ or ‘Tell me something that I won’t learn from your CV

That’s a pretty big and open ended question. How do you provide an answer that is going to help your application? What is the recruiter hoping to learn from this?

While there could be any number of reasons why a recruiting manager is asking this, here are a few easy ways to prepare for this question.

First and foremost, look on this as an opportunity to highlight parts of your resume that you feel might not have been immediately noticeable.

Keep your core strengths in mind

Go into the interview with a solid understanding of what your core strengths are in relation to the role. Then use your answer as an opportunity to highlight one or more of these relevant strengths. Keep in mind that what you think is your key strength may not be the same thing that the employer is drawn to. So take note of what the interviewer is most interested in.

Be ready to elaborate on previous experience

If there are quantifiable achievements in your CV, you could use this as an opportunity to tell the interviewer something about yourself in the context of this achieved goal.  For example, it might be about your marketing process, your experiment with a new system, use of a favourite tool or ability to manage a team.

Share something personal

If the question comes towards the end of the interview, and you think you’ve already made a good case for your job skills, you might choose to highlight something from your personal life that reflects well on your character. Consider sharing only personal things that are universally accepted as positive, like being an avid climber or collector of stamps, rather than anything that could be considered controversial, like volunteering with a political cause.

Explain why you want THIS job

This could be a great opportunity to explain why you’re particularly passionate about this job. It might be because the stated values of the business resonate with you or you see real opportunity for career progression.

Your answer to this challenging and open ended question is a chance to show how you fit into this new job opportunity. Please note that as important as it is to think about these questions before you go into the interview, it’s equally important that your answers sound friendly and conversational, not memorised and rehearsed.

Picture 15Founder and Managing Director of HealthyPeople and suffer the curse of thinking all my ideas are good ones. Driven by a desire to help people enjoy the  career/business in fitness that they’re looking for. Catch me at the HealthyPeople Feed – @dennishosking


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