Tough interview questions: ‘Tell me about yourself’

February 13, 2020

By Stephanie Vozza for The Journal of Accountancy on February 10, 2020

Editor's note: This article is one in a series on how to answer some of the toughest job interview questions.

Looking for a new job is stressful enough, but to make matters more challenging, some interview questions seem like minefields. But understanding more about what hiring personnel want to know when asking these questions can help you prepare. You can then formulate an answer ahead of time, which can help calm your nerves and allow you to tackle the challenge with insight instead of guesses.

We asked human resources experts for their insider knowledge on the traditional-but-tricky phrase that opens many an interview: "Tell me about yourself." Here they share what this prompt is designed to reveal about a candidate, and good ways to reply to it:

What the hiring manager wants to learn

Your answer to "tell me about yourself" gives an interviewer their first impression of your communication style, confidence level, understanding of the position, and personality, said Sue Arth, a San Diego-based career consultant who coaches people in accounting and other fields.

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