While job hunting can be very exciting, looking at companies and wondering what the workplace might be like, there is one part of the process that is always stressful: interviews. This new blog series is designed to cover the toughest questions that may catch you off guard. Check back each week so you can answer all questions calm, cool, and collected.

The Challenge of Interviews

Waiting to hear back after sending in a resume can be tough for the inpatient, but the worst case scenario is that your experience did not measure up to what they expected, so you just move on and continue applying. However, in an interview, you have made it through the first stage and now are wholly responsible for whether or not you are offered a job. While your mileage with similar answers will vary since every interview is unique, thinking ahead and having a mindset of how to respond can go a long way.

So let’s jump right into our first question: Can you tell me about yourself? This deceptively innocent seeming question does not mean the recruiter is concerned with what Netflix shows you can’t seem to stop watching, or that you hold the record for most wings eaten at your local tavern. What they are really doing is giving you an opportunity to link all your past work experiences together, and show why the sum of them and your personality make you the right candidate for the open position.

Painting Yourself Positively

While it would not hurt to give a small amount of background on yourself, don’t go too much into detail unless your hobby/passion translates directly into relevant work experience. It is true that they have likely extensively reviewed your resume, which means they know what experience you have, but only on paper. This is your opportunity to bring your experience to life, and position yourself as the only possible candidate for the job. Showing how everything you’ve done translates into making you the right candidate will leave the interviewer impressed, and allow you to calmly move on to the next question. Look forward to another question next week!