SD #47 | The Most Dreaded Interview Question and How You Can Ace It!

#audienceconnection #interview #interviewanswers #interviewquestions Jun 18, 2023
Woman sitting at a table in front of an interview panel of 3 smiling people.
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Read Time: 4.0 minutes 


“My opinion is that most hiring decisions are made in the first minute,” which includes your greeting, handshake, eye contact, and the first thing you say, which may very well be your response to, “tell me about yourself.”
Steven Davis | Job Search Strategist and Interview Coach


What’s the Tip?

It's very possible that an interviewer may make their decision about whether or not to move you forward in the hiring process within the first minute of speaking with you. And often, that first minute begins by them asking one of the most common, and most dreaded questions, "tell me about yourself".

This should be easy to answer. But it's not easy. In fact, it can be a virtual minefield if you aren't careful. This is where a simple storytelling framework can help you (once again) craft a personal narrative that gives you not only a competitive edge, but confidence in delivering your unique story.

How Do You Use It?

When it comes to sharing the story of why you would be an awesome candidate, the simplest storytelling framework, And-But-Therefore, can come in handy. This framework will allow you to state your past experience, talk about why you want a change, and why you would be great for the role.

What's an Example? 

Here's a great example we found online responding to, "tell me about yourself". We've revised it to fit the And-But-Therefore story structure:

And (the opening or current situation):

“So, I've always enjoyed writing and public speaking, even as far back as high school. This led me to pursue writing-related passions—for example in college, where I was an editor for our school newspaper. In addition to writing, I got to learn how to manage a team and how to approach the writing process. After college, I took a job at Acme as a social media manager, writing copy and social content for the company blog.

But (the turn or the change): But I raised my hand to work on the communications plan for a product launch, which is where I discovered my interest in product marketing. After switching to a product marketing role and managing the two most successful new product launches last year, I realized I'm excited to take on a new opportunity.

Therefore (or that's why): That's why I jumped at the chance to apply when I saw the open posting.” 


What's the Benefit to You?

Potential employers will ask you to talk about yourself because they want to know 3 things:

  •  If you have good presentation skills.
  •  If you can tell a story well.
  •  If you can connect with an audience. 

Knowing a simple storytelling framework can help you check the boxes on the above three items, as well as craft your personal narrative. You will find that your response to, "tell me about yourself" will not only serve you well in interviews, but will be perfect for LinkedIn bios, elevator pitches and more. 



Answering "tell me about yourself" in job interviews can be stressful. How well you craft a response can make the difference between representing yourself well, or not making the cut. Applying the simplest of storytelling structures, And-But-Therefore, to your response can help you craft a personal narrative not only for perfect for interviews, but also for LinkedIn bios, elevator pitches and more.

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New Workshop: Craft Your Personal Narrative: Master Your Answer to "Tell Me About Yourself"

Are you interviewing and want to feel confident answering one of the most commonly asked questions, "tell me about yourself"? This question can be a real minefield - and your response can go really well, or really wrong. We'll teach you a storytelling framework to help you nail your response.

Explore the Workshop