The Most Difficult Interview Question

Posted by Jeff Pelliccio on Jun 29, 2016 8:31:00 AM

In Interview Tips

You know this is coming: the TMAY question.

TMAY stands for Tell Me About Yourself. Yes, all about you! You will have to answer it at some point, so why not prepare? It is by far one of the most commonly asked (and most commonly fumbled) interview questions.

Well, what do they really want to know? The surefire 3-pronged approach is to talk about your professional past, present, and future.

First things first! This is a business meeting, and is, therefore, not the time to discuss your personal life, no matter how many Instagram followers you have or how sweet your dog is. IF you are qualified, the interviewer will take the time to get to know all about you.

Instead of responding with a blank stare, start here:

1.Tell your professional story not like a novel, but like the blurb on the book cover:

Summarize your career in 5 or 6 sentences (about 1-2 minutes). Your career probably deserves more than this allotted amount of time, but this is the hook that will have the interviewer ask for more.

2. Then humble brag about your current skills:

Identify two accomplishments in the past five years. Then, go farther and illustrate how those accomplishments are significant to the role and company you are interviewing for. Be very specific with your examples by listing the problem, solution, and the takeaway.

3. Finally, say, “What I am looking for in my next position is…”:

You’ve already listed your past and present, so move towards the future (and bring your present company along!).

Whether or not you realize it, you have been practicing the answers to this question. You have already written a resume and sold your skills to potential employers. So relax! The TMAY question is not an attack; it is a chance to take control of your own story and image. It is also a chance to fill in the blanks and bring your resume to life. This way, your interviewer will know exactly where you have been, who you are, and what you want to do next.

Now that they know that you see this particular company in your future goals, the company will hopefully include you in theirs.