The end of the interview is near. You’ve discussed your past experiences, you bonded with the recruiter over a shared understanding of how vital organization is, and now they’re wrapping things up. As a final question, they might ask you if there’s anything that you’d like to share about yourself. At first glance, this question might make you nervous. For some reason, the questions about ourselves are often the most challenging to answer.
However, you can get excited about this question if you consider the opportunity it presents. This is a chance to share some personality or creatively share that you’ve researched the company and are excited about the possibilities.
Why You Should Love This Question
Realistically, every aspect of the interview, from preplanning to follow-up, should communicate your enthusiasm for the role. But for the most part, you have to follow the recruiter’s lead. They choose the questions to ask and the areas to focus on. When it comes to open-ended questions, such as “Do you want to tell us anything else about you?”, you have a unique opportunity to steer the conversation for a moment.
So, take advantage of that. Not sure what to say? We’ve got some ideas to get your creative juices flowing.
Clarify an Earlier Answer
Interviews are nerve-racking. If you gave an answer that you’re feeling wasn’t well-thought-out, or you might like to expound on, now’s the time. Generally, those are the questions that require you to think on the spot. For example, this might look like this:
“Earlier, you asked me to give you one word that my previous supervisor would use to describe me as a manager, and I said ‘results-oriented,’ which I’d like to expound on. As the store manager, we had goals to meet that I always felt my role focused on. However, as a manager, I’ve always understood that my team members’ goals should be customer-focused rather than numbers-driven. So, while I was always challenging myself to meet the goals that were set, I was intentional in presenting those goals in ways that were appropriate to their roles while supporting the company’s overall mission.”
Discuss Relevant Skills
Do you have experience or training that wasn’t discussed? Now’s the time to highlight it. Especially if it might appear at first glance that it doesn’t correlate. For example, suppose that you noted that you took coursework in user experience on your resume. During an interview for a content creator role, you might add this:
“We didn’t have a chance to talk about my experience with user design. I recognize that it’s not directly related to content creation. However, I felt the training was extremely beneficial in helping me to approach content from a user perspective. Taking a deep dive into how to create content that is easily digested and useful for the consumer has helped my writing substantially.”
Showcase Your Research of the Company
You did a lot of research and discovered that this is your dream company to work for. Don’t be shy about letting them know how enthusiastic you are to work for them. Now isn’t the time to play hard to get. This is a chance to share that enthusiasm.
Rather than simply stating that you would love to work for this company, you should share a specific reason why. Suppose you discovered that they frequently post about employers participating in volunteer activities during your research. Your response might sound like this:
“I was excited when I noticed that the company frequently supports volunteer efforts with Habitat for Humanity and the local food bank. I’m eager to join a company that supports the local community. It’s been one of my passions to volunteer with several local organizations, including the veteran’s group and the animal shelter.”
Ask a Question
If a question hasn’t been answered so far, this is the time to ask for some clarification. Perhaps it’s around the team structure or the scope of responsibilities. More than anything, you want this time to show that you’re an active listener and that you’ve truly invested your time in trying to determine if this will be a great fit. In practice, that might look something like this:
“I’d like to ask a question if that’s alright. You mentioned that the job has a hybrid remote schedule, which I’m very excited about! Can we talk about what a typical hybrid schedule looks like here?”
What Not to Say
Along with best practices around what you should say, there are some topics to shy away from. The best interviews feel like a conversation, and regardless of how friendly you feel towards the end, you should still remember that you’re on the spot and some subjects don’t belong.
Stay Away From Politics and Religion
The company’s mission and values should be easily located on its website and social media. There should never be a time when you or the interviewer discuss politics and religion during your interview.
While you certainly want to work for a company that you respect and can be proud of, you also need to stay away from legally protected topics. It will create an awkward situation, as the recruiter must hold a more professional line. You also might come across as being difficult to work with or having a bias against others if you’re trying to establish the demographics of the team’s opinions and beliefs beforehand.
Instead, research a company before even applying to ensure that the company culture will be an excellent fit for you. When you’ve discovered that their platform and beliefs match yours, you can feel good about submitting your resume.
Don’t Ask About Benefits
Specific benefit questions that are company-wide rather than related to the role are best reserved for an HR rep. Most times, the recruiter or the manager won’t speak in-depth about the benefits, as they’ll want to ensure they don’t misrepresent something. They aren’t the subject matter experts in this area.
Also, it’s somewhat of a waste of their time to do so. Even if you love vacations and wonder how many vacation days you’ll get and how soon you can start using them…well, you’re presenting yourself as focused solely on yourself rather than what you can provide the company.
Don’t Discuss Weaknesses
Perhaps you’ve heard that having the business acumen to recognize your weaknesses and discuss them in terms of goals is crucial for development. Admittedly, this is a question frequently asked by recruiters. However, if they haven’t requested your weaknesses, don’t volunteer it. This is a chance to put your best foot forward. Focus on what you know and what you can provide for the company.
Consider This Your Conclusion
Love them or hate them, questions about yourself are a fantastic way to end your interview with a touch of your personality and ensure you’ve clarified any details that were missed. While you don’t have any ability to determine if you’ll be asked to tell the interviewer about yourself, practicing ahead of time ensures that you’ll be ready to share a little more about yourself if you are asked to.
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