It comes up in some shape or form during every single job interview. “Tell us about yourself.” It’s so vague! And it really puts you on the spot. As regimented and formulaic as job searches are—the formatting of your cover letter, the length of your resume, the number of references you need to have, what to wear to the interview—they don’t leave much room for free response. Until you hear that question. How should you answer it? Here’s how to share interesting facts about yourself in an interview.
Why share interesting facts
Sure, your interviewer wants to see some flashes of your personality and your passions, but there are also a lot of transferable skills that might be tied up in some of those interesting facts. A commitment to volunteering might reflect selflessness and loyalty. Marathon running and bodybuilding show a solid work ethic and self-discipline. Even just the fact you have a spouse and young children will hint you’re driven to succeed, with a lot of little ones who depend on you.
You know this question is coming so be prepared for it. Think in advance about your hobbies and life experiences. Which ones can you spin and frame as relevant to the job you’re interviewing for today? What did you learn from them? What skills or traits do those hobbies reflect about you? For example, if you play for a club soccer team or pick-up basketball, it shows you’re a team player with the ability to work and communicate with others.
But be cautious
Go slow. There’s a risk in sharing too much too soon or revealing too many details, like any bad habits or vices you may have. If the story you’re about to share doesn’t paint you as a better person, don’t tell it. You don’t want to seem silly, irresponsible or offensive. You want to seem lighthearted and fun, but you also want to be someone people can take seriously.
Don’t lie about or exaggerate your hobbies and interests. Maybe you haven’t backpacked through the Andes or you never worked as a killer whale trainer at Sea World, but there must be something interesting about you! Think about your travel tales, achievements, trophies you’ve won or volunteer work you do. Remember, it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it that counts. Emphasize what you learned and how those experiences changed you as a person.
Charity work and any other type of volunteering will always go far in establishing your good character and worldliness. When you mention it, be specific. Where? When? How often? Talk about what inspired you to commit to it, any other interesting facts about it, and how it changed your worldview.
For more tips on preparing for your next job interview, contact PrideStaff Thousand Oaks today.