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How To Answer The Interview Question “Tell Me About Yourself”

executive job interview questions

The job interview process is by far one of the most nerve wracking parts of the job search. You aced the resume and found your dream job. Now you just have to get through the interview! No matter how much you prepare, job seekers tend to get stuck on one particular question: tell me about yourself. While it’s an innocuous question, it tends to trip people up, which is why Signature Source is here to give you some tips on how to answer this question.


What Hiring Managers Really Want To Learn From This Interview Question

The reason the question “tell me about yourself” seems so difficult is that it’s very broad. It’s hard to decide what should be highlighted and what you should be talking about? Do you need to mention the hobbies that you do in your free time? Is it important for them to know about that time you built a castle out of cardboard, which in turn kicked off your interest in architecture? Ultimately, the question is used to get a better sense of you in a professional setting. Career coach Phoebe Gavin says, “[T]hey’re trying to understand what your professional narrative is. How did you get to this point, and why does it make sense for you to be here talking to me about this job?”


How To Answer The Question “Tell Me About Yourself”

Talking about your professional narrative is easier said than done. Below are three tips to help you come up with an answer that will blow the hiring manager away:

Come up with a theme. A theme can help you stay on track and give you an outline to follow when answering the question. This theme can be a passion, a skill, a mission, that you’ve portrayed throughout your job history. For example, maybe your theme is “creating a sense of community” and you can talk about activities your third grade class did that encouraged teamwork and the work you did as an event organizer. Once you’re confident in your theme, use that to frame your work experience.

Follow this formula. Gavin says she often suggests clients use the following formula when answering “tell me about yourself”:

  • Introduction: take 2-3 sentences to summarize your career thus far
  • Resume highlights: pick a few experiences from your resume that strongly support your interest in the job you’re interviewing for. Take a few minutes to explain how these experiences have prepared you for the position
  • Conclusion: to conclude, take 2-3 sentences to summarize why the job, company, and/or team is of interest to you

Add some personal touches. While you don’t want to go off on a tangent about your porcelain teapot collection, adding some personal stories can actually make you stand out to a hiring manager or even point out specific skills. For example, Gavin often mentions that she comes from an impoverished background. This gives some context as to her work history and also weeds out employers who act turned off that she comes from an impoverished background. Gavin also notes that some hobbies can  highlight skills, such as how being a marathon runner has helped someone break down bigger goals into smaller, achievable steps.

We hope you found this post helpful. If you have any questions about answering the interview question “tell me about yourself” or just job hunting in general, feel free to contact us.

Job Seeker Resources Everyone Should Have

job seeker resources executive recruiter


Whenever you go on a new adventure, it’s always good to be prepared. New to executive job searching? Or have you grown your career with several jobs? Regardless of your answer; t’s always important to have helpful resources on hand.  Signature Source has compiled a list of four resources vital for any job seeker to have in their arsenal.


Resources For Successful Interviewing

Maybe you’re looking for a new role or you’re about to meet the hiring manager for your dream job. Having resources for having a successful interview will provide peace of mind before an interview. If you are re-entering the job searching phase after some time – this is a must to have handy.

Arguably two of the most important aspects of the interview are your resume and your presentation. You resume shows employers your work history in a succinct and organized way; your presentation basically means how you present yourself (clothing, posture, etc.). Once you have your resume and appearance nailed down, you should think about how to prepare for the interview. There are several resources on this, including on the Signature Source website.


Resources For Networking

Networking is beneficial for both employed and unemployed people. You never know what kind of connections you can make and where it can lead in your professional career. Three of the biggest sites to network on professionally are LinkedIn, Facebook, and Meetup. All of them offer groups and events for specific industries so you can meet people that can give you insight in your current or future field.


Resources For Salary Calculation And Cost Of Living

Not many people think about their budgets when it comes to changing careers. Having resources on how to best manage your salary and other life expenses can be essential. Sure, it might be exciting to have a steady incoming flowing in, but if you’re mismanaging your money, then you’ll end up struggling. Check out some cost of living calendars to get a sense of what you need to do to maintain your current standard of living and look at sites like Salary.com and Payscale.com to see what people with your skill set typically earn in your industry. This way, you can make sure you’re making the most of your income and utilizing it in the best possible way depending on where you live.


Resources About Your Industry

Finally, all job seekers and employees should be on the lookout for resources about your specific industry, especially if you have no experience with it before. You might have rose-tinted glasses on when it comes to certain industries (working at a remote tech start-up should be fun, right?), but do some research. Employee review sites like Glassdoor can give you a sense of what the company, work ethic, and benefits are like, and googling the company can bring up any recent articles on search results. There are also likely to be specific groups for your industry that you can join via Slack or by subscribing to certain podcasts. This is an easy way to get a bunch of resources and talk to people who can give you more insight.

Signature Source offers employee resources, but we can also help with resume building and connecting potential employees with their perfect company. Check out our website or contact us here. If you want to see more resources, go here.

Should Your LinkedIn Profile and Resume be the Same?

LinkedIn and Resume Tips Signature Source


Before the internet, job seekers would only have a paper resume and cover letter to send to a potential company. It was an easy way to get a sense of someone’s work history at a glance and it provided people a way to highlight their greatest career achievements. Fast forward a few decades and resumes are still a must for any job seeker, but now they can be seen in a variety of formats. One of the most popular ways to share your work history is through the career website LinkedIn. While the website essentially acts as a digital resume, there has been some confusion about sending a LinkedIn profile and sending a resume. So what’s the difference (if there is one)? Should your LinkedIn profile and your resume highlight the same things?


Should Your LinkedIn Profile And Resume Be The Same?

The short answer: NO. According to Erin Kennedy, a professional resume services founder, your LinkedIn profile should be written in a more informal way.  Your LinkedIn profile should also be more detailed than a resume. We’ll go into more detail below:


What Should The Content On My LinkedIn Profile Be Like?

Writing in an informal way doesn’t mean you’ll come off as unprofessional. In fact, having an informally written LinkedIn profile can make it stand out and let some of your personality shine through. You don’t want to sound stiff and boring!

In addition, you want to make sure that you’re striking a nice balance between general skills and more focused specialties. With resumes, you need to tailor it to the specific job you’re applying to, but with LinkedIn, it’s important to not get to niche, otherwise you’re missing out on potential opportunities. Some good advice is to include some highlights that will appeal to a wider audience and then some points that show your more detailed interests.


How Detailed Should I Get?

Many career coaches are always saying to keep your resume to one page. “Cut out the irrelevant experiences. Don’t include anything that’s older than 15 years.” While this can be good for resumes, LinkedIn profiles are actually better when they’re more detailed and include a lot about your past work experiences. LinkedIn allows you to really go into details regarding each experience and talk about the job in a way that resumes limit.

Another benefit to LinkedIn is that you can also include attachments. Think about projects that you were proud of or some documents from your portfolio. While it has no place in your resume, it will definitely make your LinkedIn profile stand out.  Having a media rich LinkedIn profile can help recruiters get a sense of you and your skill set.

We hope that you found this post helpful. If you have other questions about your career, building a resume, or finding a job, check out Signature Source. We’re your premiere partner for recruiting in the global mobility industry so that both employers and professionals feel fulfilled and valued in their work.

Returning To The Office: What To Think About

returning to the office

People getting vaccinated and the more things open up, employers are faced with a new dilemma: getting employees returning to the office. Unless you were an essential work place, it’s likely that most companies had their employees working from home. This leaves many wondering how the transition back to the office will work.

Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., President and Chief Executive Officer of Society for Human Resource Management, said:

“Many employers have found telework during COVID to be successful for their organizations [but] people managers have seen a decline in the productivity gains experienced at the outset of the pandemic, citing employees’ need for the psychosocial elements of work. Savvy employers have found safe means for engaging in return-to-worksite with a focus on building better people manager mechanisms and resources for employee wellness.”

This isn’t to say that there won’t be any remote work being done. Working from home is likely to remain for many companies.  This is especially so for departments like customer service and IT.  For the rest, there needs to be a clear and organized strategy for transitioning back to the office. Ashley Cuttino, an attorney with Ogletree Deakins in Greenville, South Carolina, said the number one thing that employers should communicate is the safety of their employees and how the workplace will address this as people come back into the office. There are a few things to keep in mind when addressing the return-to-work strategy.


Key Issues to Consider for Return to Work Strategies:


Business Productivity

Companies can argue that having employees return to work increases productivity and allows managers to check in and assess employee well-being and project progress. As Taylor had mentioned before, some companies have seen a decrease in productivity. Some believe that being in the office actually increases one’s productivity thanks to relationships with co-workers and collaborating in-person.


Employees’ Well-Being

While there are definitely employees that like working from home, others have been feeling isolated and miss the camaraderie that can be found in the office. Even with all the technology that helps people connect, being around people in real life can not be substituted. According to a survey of more than 500 people, the company Seyfarth at Work found that a majority of people miss in-person workplace conversations, followed by the daily structure of reporting to a worksite. Also noted were lunches and happy hours with co-workers and reduced interruptions by kids.

In addition, Diane Welch, an attorney with McDonald Carano in Las Vegas, said:

“[Employees like] the convenience of [being at the worksite] with easy access to technology, equipment and supplies, which facilitates working faster and results in a better work product.” 

Scheduling Challenges

If your employees have school-age children, then scheduling can get sticky. One benefit of working from home is that parents can work around their kid’s schedules; when they have to juggle their own work schedule and a school schedule, then it gets hard.

CDC Recommendations

Lastly, all companies should be following CDC recommendations for bringing back in-person businesses and interactions. They constantly update their guidelines and they can easily answer questions regarding seating arrangements, or how to help employees keep six feet of distance, or what to do about masks indoors.

Thinking of these four different points will be vital to making the return-to-the-office strategy that much easier and smoother. Ask yourself how your company is going to address these issues. What can you do to address some of these issues? Signature Source is your resource for recruiting the most highly desirable talent and work as your consultant for organizational development solutions. We can help with some of these return-to-the-office issues. Check out our website for more information.

Signature Source is of course always here to assist with any consultation you may need!  Feel free to learn more about our consulting services here: Signature Source Consulting Services

Top Interview Questions Asked Over Video

top interview questions


As the job market revs up again, companies are looking to fill positions with top talent. Whether are looking for new opportunities or you’re thinking of quitting and starting anew, Signature Source can help!

We recognize that the interview processes have changed. Here are the Top Interview Questions being asked below.

Thanks in large part to a constantly changing pandemic, many employers are still looking for people that understand the nuances of remote work, which often pop up in their interview questions and the fact that video interviews continue to be popular with companies.

Top Interview Questions And How To Answer Them

Great news! You’ve heard back from the hiring manager and they want to schedule an interview! But what will they ask you? How can you prepare for the questions they’ll ask you? While no one can know exactly what the interviewer will ask, more hiring managers are asking about the remote experience and will expect you to have thought about how you’ll approach it. See below for some of the most popular interview questions of 2021:

How have you approached building professional relationships while working remotely?

A version of this question has been making the rounds during interviews and it can be tricky to answer. With a recent study showing that 80% of employees expect some kind of hybrid remote model, it makes sense that your new employer will want to know how you work remotely.

This question is already half answered as soon as you started your video. The way you engage and connect with the hiring manager is being noted from the start.  If you want some thoughtful answers, try to think about how’d you connect with people in real life. For example, you could mention how much you enjoy meeting people over virtual coffee hours or the time you called someone to connect because video conferencing felt too impersonal.

Tell me about your biggest strengths?

This interview question continues to be one of the most popular, yet it always tends to trip people up. One of the best pieces of advice? Use the words of someone else. That way you don’t have to feel pressure to come up with something that doesn’t come off as conceited. It also helps to brainstorm your “golden skill,” meaning the one thing that sets you apart from other candidates and but is the perfect fit for the specific role.

What are your salary expectations?

This is another popular interview question that seems to trip people up, mainly because you don’t want to aim too high, but you also don’t want to be underpaid. Especially now, employees are unsure whether remote work requires less pay or even if the company is struggling and can’t afford to pay as much. Basically, this question requires two questions:

  1. Know your worth
  2. Do your research

Glassdoor is a good place to start to get an idea of how much your position makes. You can also tell the employer that you’re flexible and open to discussion of salary amount.

Video Interview Tips

Now that you’ve gotten your interview question answers down, you’re ready for the actual video interview! Keep these tips in mind and you’re likely to impress the hiring manager:

Setting and location are important.

Be sure that you’re interviewing in a clean and quiet area. If you have pets or roommates, make sure they can’t bother you. Try to avoid rooms with a lot of glass (this can cause backlighting) and don’t sit facing a window as this can cause echoing.

Be aware of your camera’s positioning.

Make sure your camera lens is at eye level for the most flattering angle. Try to have the camera four to six feet away to show your head and shoulders. Choose a plain background or if you don’t have one, make sure your background is organized looking.

Dress professionally.

Even if you’ve been living in sweatpants and baggy t-shirts, dress professionally for your video interview. It’s true they can’t see your whole outfit, but even seeing that you’re wearing something nice on top will show the hiring manager that you respect them and the company.

Be engaged and focused.

Make sure you’re making eye contact and smiling. Just because you’re on video doesn’t mean you should act distracted and hop on and off your camera. That tells the interviewer that you’re not interested in what they have to say and that you have more important things to do.

Check out Signature Source’s post on how to ace the video interview and let us know in the comments what’s worked for you. Signature Source is your resource for recruiting the most highly desirable talent and work as your consultant for organizational development solutions. We can help with some of these return-to-the-office issues. Check out our website for more information.

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