Handling the ‘Tell Me About Yourself’ Question
Aug. 25, 2017
Anyone who’s been through a health care interview, or any job interview, has heard the question. And, if you have yet to partake in a health care interview, you will.
Tell me about yourself.
It appears to be a fairly innocuous question on the surface. But how you answer it at your health care interview could provide you the edge you need to get hired.
Of course, we want all of our Concorde graduates to ace every health care interview and get the job. So, we enlisted the services of some of our resident experts – aka Graduate Employment Specialists – to provide some helpful tips on how to properly respond.
Give the “elevator speech” during a health care interview
“’Tell me about yourself’ is a common question during a job interview,” said Johnni Corwise, MBA, CSA, Graduate Employment Specialist at Concorde’s campus in Memphis, Tenn. “You may even hear it in casual conversations amongst new friends. The best way to have the best answer is to prepare and rehearse. Know exactly what you want to highlight about yourself, and don’t go over three powerful facts. You never want to come off as bragging or boastful. Keep it short and sweet.”
Corwise said she loves the concept of the 30-second “elevator speech.” The idea is you only have 30 seconds – the length of an elevator ride – to make a strong impression. Write your speech – be sure to keep it to 30 seconds – and read it aloud. A basic example:
“I am Johnniecia Corwise, a Certified Senior Advisor with a green belt in Six Sigma and a Master’s degree in Organizational Development. I am very pleased to meet you.”
If you were talking to a potential employer, you would add a sentence or two about how those credentials would benefit their company.
“There is no right or wrong answer,” Corwise said. “Choose your proudest accomplishments, and say it with confidence. No one can answer this question better than you.”
What to say and not say during a health care interview
Joan Kilna, Graduate Employment Specialist at Concorde’s campus in Portland, Ore., said your tell-me-about-yourself sales pitch should be no more than four sentences.
Here’s what to say:
- Why you are going into the health care field.
- That you are a graduate (or a student) at Concorde.
- Highlight your certification if you have one or will soon.
- Why you applied to this clinic (or, why you want to extern there).
Here’s what not to say:
- Don’t give your personal history.
- Don’t mention your age.
- Leave out unnecessary details.
“To create your pitch, write out answers to the above questions,” Kilna said. “Trim them down to 30 seconds. Practice your pitch. This is the only part of your interview that should seem rehearsed.”
Here’s another example of a “Tell Me About Yourself” answer:
“I finished the dental assistant program at Concorde three months ago. I will be taking the EFDA exam later this month. I chose to go into dental care because I had a lot of problems with my teeth when I was little. I learned how important dental health is and how wonderful it is when you don’t have any more cavities and your teeth look white and straight. I would love to work here at Smile Keepers because of your focus on the comfort of the patient as well as their dental health.”