Tell us about yourself: The most difficult question in an interview

Tell us about yourself- The most difficult question in an interview

Tell us about yourself- The most difficult question in an interview

When you as a job seeker asked the most common and at the same time the most difficult question, “Tell me about yourself”, your answer can wear or break character. Very often, an interview for a job candidate fails precisely because the applicant focuses on what he wants from this work, including industry, position, location of the company, income, bonuses atmosphere. And in answer to the question of the applicant itself comes precisely from this premise. However, the story of the achievements of the candidate in nature may be the exact opposite of what they want to hear potential employers.

Don Straits argues that there are two main reasons for the success of candidates for interview. The first is concerned with understanding the needs of the organization to which they want to settle, the second – with the understanding of the needs of people working in this company. The author invites readers to reconsider your answer to the question “Tell me about yourself”, taking into account that it needs someone with whom dialogue takes place at the interview.

To begin with the author proposes to learn a little more about ourselves, in order to then apply these skills to understand the needs of others. Most social psychologists are four main personality styles: analytical, soft, expressive and “driver”. As a rule, each of us has a pronounced personal characteristics of one of these styles, and less important features inherent in the other three.

Each of these personality types has the following general characteristics.

Analytical style

Positive traits : accuracy, orderliness, organization, rationality, attention to detail.

Negative traits : criticality, formalism, the uncertainty, the tendency to condemn.

Soft Style

Positive features: warmth, ability to listen and negotiate, reliability, propensity to cooperate.

Negative traits: lack of discipline, dependence, obedience, excessive caution, pliability.

Expressive style

Positive traits : enthusiasm, persuasiveness, optimistic, communicative abilities.

Negative traits : self-centeredness, emotion, susceptibility to exploitation, a tendency to counter, self-confidence.


Positive traits : independence, decision making, efficiency, perseverance, strong will.

Negative traits : aggression, cruelty, hardness (lack of flexibility).

Next Don Straits of transfer of ownership to how to use the knowledge of these personality styles for a successful job search. Realizing to start your own style, try to determine the styles of those around you, says the author. When you meet a new person, try for the first two minutes of dialogue to understand who is in front of you. You can determine the identity of the interlocutor to a particular style of his behavior, conversation, gestures, looks. If the named style to make the business environment – in various management positions, then that’s what happens.

Analytical style

Finance Manager (as well as programmers, engineers and accountants). They love the systems and procedures. They slowly make decisions because meticulously analyze every little thing, but their decisions are always considered and weighed. They prefer to work alone and often are not able to act as a team. They buy cheap used cars with high mileage. The clothes prefer conservative style. At the party, they will ask why was bought such an expensive beer when you could buy another brand is much cheaper. They come to the party with their laptops.

Soft Style

HR-manager. Around the people oriented. They are independent, committed, not fussy and very compassionate. They know how to listen and appreciate the team in which one “do not rock the boat.” They are conformists and followers; very rarely – leaders. They avoid conflicts and are reluctant to make decisions. They control the four-door “sedan” or minivans, which is convenient to transport children to sporting events. After the party, they are the only ones who remained to get out.

Expressive style

Sales Manager. Full of enthusiasm and energy. Excellent generators of ideas, but usually are not able to bring the idea to its logical conclusion. Very arrogant and selfish. The main motive – money. As a rule, they are good communicators. Prefer to specify and control than to ask and listen. They drive the red sports car with excellent stereos. They speak first with the idea of ​​a corporate party, but are never clean up after it, because in a hurry to the next.


CEO. Smart and hard. Their success is based on intrinsic motivation and constant desire to call. Money for them – only measure of success, but not the driving factor. They are results-oriented. They may be lenient with serious flaws and zero tolerance for laziness and whining. They have expensive cars, but not because this car attracts attention, but because it is a reasonable investment. They want to know, and why, in fact, have a party, which we will benefit from it and we invited investors.

In an interview for a job you’ll talk to one of these personality types. And each of them by asking you a question, “Tell me about yourself,” wants to get different answers. Mindful of the need to focus on the needs of the other person, the author gives examples of the responses to each of the managers.

The answer is the financial manager: “The success of my career, explained my thought-out decisions based on a thorough analysis of all the details. In working with you I was very attracted by the possibility of developing effective systems and procedures that would allow our two departments jointly operate with maximum result. ”

Answer HR-manager: “My career is largely due to my ability to work effectively with different teams of people. I’m always looking for opportunities to be involved in the decision making process the whole team. Cooperation and constant communication – that is what has allowed me to succeed in my division. I think people – the most valuable resource of any organization. ”

Answer Sales Manager: “Throughout my career I have always followed the principle that everyone in the company should focus on sales growth. My department has always been well prepared in terms of customer service, providing excellent support team “salespeople” and our customers. Without sales all other functional units remain without work. I intend to promote your company’s sales by all possible means. ”

Answer CEO: “I have achieved career success due to the fact that it is always focused on the end result. I am always looking for innovative ideas with which tasks can be solved with maximum profit. Regardless of the nature of the problem, I want to show the best performance indicators and quality standards. I do not care to maintain the “status quo.” The company, in which the changes occur not just doomed to extinction. I’ll be glad to cooperate with you in the development of new markets that will contribute to achieving the ultimate goals of the company. ”

In each of these examples, concludes Don Straits, the answer to the needs of the individual person. And this is the best guarantee that your “right” replicas corresponding to different needs of different managers become the benchmark by which all others will be judged candidates for this position.

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