The seemingly innocuous request, “Tell me about yourself,” made by virtually every hiring manager to every interviewee, is so critical it has acquired its own acronym in the HR community: the T-MAY.
Now that you know its importance, how do you handle it? First, remember that the best spontaneity is planned. “This is no time to ad-lib,” advises Laman Snyder, director of Human Resources at Kitchell, an Arizona-based construction and real estate development corporation. Anticipate the T-MAY and be ready with a compelling response.
At the same time, be relevant. Don’t ramble on and boast that you were a cheerleader in high school, like cats and absolutely love Italian food.
The T-MAY response should be, “a little bit about your interests and a bit of background,” says Dr. Gregory Ketchum, a clinical psychologist who now offers services as a career coach. Ketchum goes by the name Dr. Greg when he gives employment advice on television and the Internet. “It’s really about your accomplishments and what you’re passionate about,” especially as they relate to the prospective job.