Tell Me About Yourself: What to Say in an Interview

July 25th, 2016


“Tell me about yourself.”

When an interviewer asks you about yourself, he or she doesn’t necessarily want to know where you were born, what your hobbies are or a laundry list of your job skills.  In reality this is an extremely important question.  What this question really means is, ‘Tell me something that will matter to me as I consider you for this job.’ Interviewers ask it for a number of reasons:

  • To get a sense of what you feel is most important about yourself;
  • To see how well you’ve prepared for the interview; or
  • To find out why you think you’re the best candidate for the job.

There is a lot riding on your response to this question, so make sure you knock it out of the park.  Here are a few quick tips for answering the “tell me about yourself” interview question the right way:

  • Be brief.  Keep the answer short – under a minute. Touch on education, background and past work accomplishments and how they relate to the job your interviewing for
  • Practice, practice, practice.  Write your answer out, then rehearse it until it’s second nature.
  • Cite examples.  When you develop your answer, include one or two examples that best demonstrate why you’re well-qualified for the available position.

Take advantage of your time in the driver’s seat by selling yourself, creating a great first impression and setting a positive tone for the rest of the interview. If you’d like some ‘mock’ interview practice, give us a call and we’ll set up an interview coaching appointment. We’re here to help.

This blog was written by Joan Pajari, Senior Marketing Specialist at ABR Employment Services and Kinsa Group.


Interview Answers: How to Answer 4 Sneaky Questions

July 18th, 2016

Interview answers. They can propel you forward or stop you from moving on to the next stage in the hiring process. Certain questions can seem so unimportant, but rock star candidates know every question can be used to their advantage. If you’ve been asked the following four questions at some point in your job hunt, and were puzzled why, there’s good reason. The interviewer is trying to gauge if you would be a good fit for their company culture.

Here is what you shouldn’t – and should – say the next time you find yourself vying for a new position.

Why Don’t You Tell Me a Little About Yourself?

What Not To Say: “I like long walks on the beach and the color green.”

Interview Answer: What You Should Say –  Talk only about the characteristics and experiences that make you a great fit for this position. Practice beforehand.

Why Are You Interested In Working Here?

What Not To Say: “I need a job.”

Interview Answer – What You Should Say: Before the interview, create a story around why this company and this position make sense for you and your experiences. It can be as simple as seeing an article in which the company was rated a top place to work or more passionate if this is truly your dream job.

If You Were A Car, What Kind Would You Be?

What Not To Say: “Umm…how does this apply to the job?”

Interview Answer – What You Should Say: Keep calm and answer the question with a smile. Companies have various reasons for asking unusual interview questions, so do your best to think of a clever or memorable answer.  You might say something like, “I would be a Toyota because they are dependable; just like I am. They rarely break down and I rarely take sick days”.  Then move on.

Do You Have Any Questions?

What Not To Say: “Nope. Bye!”

Interview Answer – What You Should Say: Show interest in the position by having a few questions prepared in advance. Ask about the team, what a typical day is like, or what the opportunities for advancement are in this role.

Remember, nearly every question asked during an interview has a purpose. With a little preparation, your answers will shine during your next interview.

What’s the most unusual interview question you’ve ever been asked? Let us know and we’ll address it in a future blog post. 

Congratulations Carl, June Free Rent and a job! Winner

July 15th, 2016
(left to right) Ken Johnson, Travis Sonsalla, Leigh Kinyon, Carl Luther, Rhonda Noonan and Dave Kelsey.

(left to right) Ken Johnson, Travis Sonsalla, Leigh Kinyon, Carl Luther, Rhonda Noonan and Dave Kelsey.

July 14 was a lucky day for Carl Luther; he was hired on full-time at Whitehall Specialties, Inc. AND received a check from ABR for $1,000. Watch the check presentation video on our Facebook page.

Carl is the June 2016 winner of ABR’s Free Rent and a job! employee appreciation sweepstakes. He stared working at Whitehall Specialties through ABR in April on a try-before-hire basis. Carl was hired full-time by Whitehall Specialties after working a certain number of hours.  We’re so glad Carl accepted our job proposal and said ‘YES’ to working at ABR! #SayestoABR


New Job Advice: Three Must Do’s

July 11th, 2016


You did it! You made it through the interview, your references checked out and you got hired. You’ve made it through the hardest part, right? Well, maybe. The first few days on a new job are always tough. Take our new job advice to ease your first day on-the-job stress:

1. Just say hi
Every time you shake a new coworker’s hand, you’re not only making a new friend – you’re making a connection. Explain that you are new to the job and ask  if they have any advice to share.

2. Write it down
You won’t learn everything on your first day so keep a running list of questions.  If you’re unsure about something, ask your on-site supervisor or contact us.

3. Take the time
It’s one of the easiest ways to make a good impression, yet it’s so easy to overlook. Show up on time, take only the allotted lunch break, and don’t sneak out the door three minutes early – every minute matters! There’s only one chance to make a first impression. So make it a good one.

For more tips on what to do on your job assignment, review the ABR Handbook. If you have misplaced your handbook, please contact any ABR branch for a copy.

ABR HR Insights Magazine – July/August 2016 Issue

July 7th, 2016

ABR HR Insights Magazine July August 2016

ABR HR Insights Magazine: July/August 2016

One key to success is having the tools and information you need to get the job done. But it’s not just a matter of the critical elements falling into place all by themselves: you have to know how to use what you have—and how to get what you need but don’t have yet. The July/August 2016 edition of ABR HR Insights Magazine tackles those issues head on.

Time is perhaps the most valuable asset an individual can possess, but most of us have trouble managing it efficiently, especially in the workplace. In this issue’s feature article, “10 Tips for Defeating the Time Thief,” Valerie Grubb outlines how to measure, evaluate, and reallocate how we spend our time on work, and presents a step-by-step plan that can help employees at all organizational levels and in any industry use their time better.

People are at the top of the list of assets that are critical to a company’s success—after all, without people to make products and provide services (and sell both), organizations can’t exist. Karl Wierzbicki, in “In Recruiting, “ROI” Means “Return on Impression,” underscores how important it is for a company to put its best foot forward (specifically, in its candidate experience) if it wants to attract top talent.

And when your company brings new people on board, be sure to tell them why you hired them. As Sharlyn Lauby points out in “Why Were You Hired?” when organizations and employees share their reasons for working together, they built a trust-based relationship.

In all cases, it’s critical to know what your priorities are. “Think about what adjustments you need to make so you can focus on what really matters,” urges Grubb in the feature article. Once you know what you need, you can then figure out how to accomplish it. If your organization needs help identifying its needs, let us know—we’d love to help you chart a course toward your future success.


Why A Job Reference Matters

July 5th, 2016


At ABR, a job reference matters. Our applicants need a minimum of 2 references. And we check them before making a hiring decision.  A good job reference can be the deciding factor in whether you get the job offer or not. By properly managing your employment references, they can be a valuable tool in helping you get the job you want. Put your best job reference foot forward by following these reference tips from

1. Keep your reference list information complete and up to date.  Information to include on your reference lists includes:

  • reference’s full name
  • reference’s current job title
  • company name of where your reference works
  • street address
  • city, state, zip code
  • reference’s phone number
  • reference’s email address
  • your relationship to the reference (example: Ms Jones was my direct supervisor from 2010 – 2015)

2. Keep in touch with your job references. Get in touch with your reference and share details about the job description with them. Refresh your references memory about how your past job experience and skills relate to the job you’ve applied for. This will help your reference answer common reference questions that may be asked.

3. Never suggest that a reference stretches the truth in giving information on you or submit a written reference letter that is inaccurate.  You also don’t want your reference to overstate your skills and abilities to help you get a job for which you are not properly qualified. As the saying goes, honesty is the best policy!

If you have any questions about references or need to provide us with an updated list, contact any ABR branch for help.