One of the most difficult questions to answer in an interview is one of the most popular and usually the first one asked: “Tell me about yourself.”
This may be because the question is so broad that most candidates may not be sure where to start or even what relevant information to say. This question and what it represents should be viewed as the foundation for the interview. By understanding how to answer it you can have a successful interview.
Part of the context of where to begin in answering this question can be found in your company and candidate research. Then you can focus your answer on the academic and career interests, projects, or experiences that are the most relevant to this potential employer.
What To Know: Hard and Soft Skills
Hard skills, also known as technical skills, are your provable, quantifiable skills and background. Some examples are: educational and work background, computer skills, physical skills, and technical knowledge. It is important to understand how these skills match up to the job for which you are applying.
Soft skills, also known as personality, is who you are as a person. These are your non-quantifiable skills such as communication, teamwork, organization, initiative, professionalism, and many others. One potential trap you may fall into is just focusing on your hard skills and neglecting this area. However, most of your competition will have similar hard skills, so this area is what can make you unique.