“Tell Me About Yourself” – Tips for Answering Open-Ended Interview Questions

If you’re preparing for an upcoming job interview, expect to be asked predominately open-ended questions. Hiring managers only have a short period of time to get to know you and determine if you’re the best choice for the position, so they have to make every question count.

This line of inquiry is the most telling, as it allows you to take the response in any direction you want. Open-ended questions are great for interviewers, but are of course more difficult for you, so it’s important to do as much advance preparation as possible.

Use these guidelines to give winning answers for even the most challenging open-ended questions:

  1. Use Relevant Examples. Each open-ended question can be answered with an infinite number of responses, but they won’t all get you the job. Tailor your response to fit the position by using relevant examples. When asked “If you could have the perfect job, what would it be?” use the responsibilities associated with the position to create your dream job description, instead of sharing your fantasy of becoming a rock star.
  2. Be Specific. Interviewers ask vague questions to see where you’ll go with them. Offer a detailed response to paint a clear picture of the reason you’re the best choice for the job. The more pointed your response is, the easier it will be for the hiring manager to gauge your fit. Rambling and veering off-track will only earn you a rejection letter.
  3. Practice Replies to Common Inquiries. Expect to be asked standard questions like “Tell me about yourself” and “Why are you the best person for the job?” Anticipate these inquiries ahead of time and prepare a winning response. It can be difficult to think of a great reply on the spot, so do your homework and come to the interview ready to give your well-rehearsed reply.
  4. Let Your Personality Shine. Many companies ask quirky questions like “If you were an animal, which one would you be?” to get a glimpse of your personality and see if you would be a good fit for their company culture. You can’t really anticipate these inquiries, so be ready to think fast. Let your true personality show, because that’s what the interviewer wants to see. If you’re a good fit for the position, then great. If not, it’s better to know now than after accepting a job offer.

Contact Sparks Group if you’re ready to take your career up a notch. Our team is committed to helping you find a more rewarding position that makes you excited to go to work each day. We offer temporary/contract, temporary/contract-to-hire and direct placement opportunities.

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