Yep. You’ve heard this one before, but it’s almost guaranteed that you will hear this request in your next interview. It may seem cliché and boring, but it is a workhorse of a question. Think about it. This question gets the conversation flowing, gives you a chance to brag a little and, hopefully, make an awesome first impression. Your answer to this question will set the stage for the rest of the interview.
So, how can a question that is so easy, trip up so many people? To be honest, most of us overthink it. While you want to make sure you get out all your important points, you also have to sound like someone that will be a good match for the company. Let’s take a look at some of the things you should and shouldn’t say when answering this question.
You should talk about…
- The job at hand. Know as much as you can about the available job, the company, and the work you may be doing and sprinkle that into your answer. Let the interviewer know what attracted you to the position.
- Your relevant experience. Don’t get too specific yet, but you may want to start introducing your strongest skills, personality characteristics, knowledge, and experience that are relevant to the job.
- Your current situation. Tell them what you are doing now and where you want to go.
You probably should avoid…
- Information overload. Try to refrain from unloading your entire life story, your favorite TV shows or the name and ages of all your pets.
- Sounding too perfect. You should definitely sound interested in the position and company and talk about how you may be a great fit, but nobody’s perfect.
- Controversial subjects. Regardless of your view, you should probably refrain from introducing politics, religion or similar subjects in this response.
And, remember; your answer to this question isn’t the only thing that matters. What matters even more is your confidence, passion, tone and delivery. This is not the place for stalling and reflecting on your life. This is your time to stand out.