It is important to be able to talk about yourself calmly and confidently in a professional setting. Whether you are in an interview, at a networking event, or anywhere in between, it is best to be able to articulate a response as to who you are and what qualities you possess. Below is an instructional guide on how to construct your answer to the question “tell me about yourself”.
Step 1: What to keep in mind
Prepare a script that contains several bullet points about yourself. Remember, we want to get this into a conversational tone. This isn’t a speech that should be memorized, it’s a general outline of what it is you want to say about yourself. But the more you work on it and practice it, the more comfortable and confident you will become.
Step 2: Writing the script
For the script, you are going to make a list of bullet points or short sentences that describe you. As a tip, type your script in CAPITAL LETTERS and in a big font with plenty of white space around it. This way when you print out your script, you are able to read it easily while you are walking around practicing.
Your script should contain three major parts: introduction, professional experience, and special skills.
The introduction should include your name, where you went to college, any specific certifications, and a brief summary of your professional interests.
Professional experience should include your most recent employment and any previous position you had that relates to your current situation. Discuss your role in the organization and some of the daily tasks you carried out.
Special skills should include anything that differentiates yourself from others. Really search deep within yourself and look for “what makes me different from everyone else.” Write down a couple of these traits and incorporate them into your conversation.
Step 3: Practicing
Remember, this is a conversation. If you engage someone in a conversation there is going to be some back and forth between what you say and what they say. While this should be executed as a conversation, you are writing your script as if you are saying the whole thing all at once for the sake of practicing.
This is why it is important to write your script, print it and say it out loud, edit it, and repeat. What starts as a script will soon turn into a meaningful conversation that you have prepared yourself for.
Step 4: Real life scenarios
There are two situations in which you would use your Tell Me About Yourself script in real life. The two examples are in an interview and when you meet someone professionally (like at a networking event).
In an interview, the question “tell me about yourself” is one of the first questions an interviewer will ask. The first question is typically an easy one and is set up for the interviewee to hit it out of the park. The more often you practice your Tell Me About Yourself script the better prepared you are for this question, and the better the chance you are going to get the job!
When you meet someone professionally, the conversation varies slightly between that of an interview and a networking event. The person you are conversing with might not necessarily ask you to tell them about yourself, but you can still have your script memorized as a way to incorporate your key points throughout the conversation.