Many job candidates are given bad advice. They’re told to write out their accomplishments and practice them so they’re ready to respond to the oft-answered question: “Tell me about yourself.” Then they proceed to babble on and on and on.
The Real Question
The subtext behind the question really is: “Tell me about yourself and what you can do for my department and company.” It’s all about the benefits you bring to the table. Think of a job interview as a presentation or sales pitch. You don’t want to simply read the entire menu, but choose those “entrees” that will whet the interviewer’s appetite to hear more.
But how do you know what those are? …Read more…
Writing an impromptu speech isn’t a non sequitur, though it may seem contradictory.
While you don’t have time to write down your thoughts if you’re called on to say something extemporaneously, you do want to make a positive impression.
The secret is to prepare in advance so you’re ready with your “impromptu” remarks.
Tell Me About Yourself
“Tell me about yourself” is one of the questions that people fear the most. It’s usually the first “surprise” question you’ll get in a job interview, or when meeting a prospective client in a new business pitch…or even in a media interview. Don’t start sweating. Instead, take a breath and then respond with the key points you had prepared in advance because you expected that opener. …Read more…
An interview with Bill Heyman, President and CEO of Heyman Associates, a retained executive search firm specializing in senior-level communications positions
A job interview is always stressful. What techniques do you use to help candidates relax and be more open?
We start with small talk at first and spend time getting to know someone’s personality. You get the most open and honest information when a person is comfortable, so I try to be as personable as possible at the outset. We encourage people to be their true selves, to listen carefully before they speak, but to make sure they get their points across.
I think that any interviewer who tries to make the conversation more stressful will cause the candidates to become very stiff. They will not give their best answers and will think through the questions more than you want them to. …Read more…