Many times interviewers begin the process with this question to break the ice and help make interviewees more comfortable. However, you must be prepared for the question with a quick and laser sharp answer. Remember, the interviewer is not just noting your answers but also the manner in which you answer them. Stalling or asking “what do you want to know” indicates that you haven’t given much thought to the question. You should always be prepared for this one and answer it with confidence, ease and no hesitation.
A good rule of thumb is to answer the question beginning with one personal fact or interest that doesn’t relate directly to your work. Steer clear of topics like politics or religion and avoid any references to topics that would cause concern about character, productivity or work ethic. You also do not need to share private information such as spouses or children. Then give a quick synopsis of your education and training. Transition into professional by highlighting your strengths and qualities that you would bring to the position you are applying for. Then, be ready to share three or four of the personal qualities, skills or areas of expertise which would help you to excel in the job that you are interviewing for.
When you walk into an interview, always expect the “tell me about yourself” question. Prepare ahead of time by developing a statement that clearly tells who you are, your major strengths and the clear benefit to the employer.