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Why ‘Tell Me About Yourself” Is The Worst Interview Question

Why ‘Tell Me About Yourself” Is The Worst Interview Question

Apr 11, 2014

We’d bet those are four words every job candidate hears during an interview. And possibly the worst interview question a hiring manager can ask. Here’s why:

Time. Time is always something we need more of and when it comes to hiring, time is money. It’s important to hire the right candidate in a timely manner so your company maintains productivity and core business functions.

The “tell me about yourself” question offers no direction to how the candidate should respond, ensuring that your answer won’t be what you’re looking for. As a hiring manager, do you want to hear about their personal hobbies, their college clubs or their fluffy white dog? The answer is no. You want to find out if they are motivated and able to do the work.

We believe an interview is a fact-finding mission; time that is specifically devoted to identifying the candidate’s experience and their plans for succeeding in the role. We recommend you utilize your time with a potential candidate to collect data like examples of their success in previous positions and decide how their experience will apple to the job you’re interviewing for. After all, if you don’t ask the right questions, you won’t have anything to support your claim that they are the best candidate for the job.

We recommend asking the candidate to describe their current position or inquire about their most significant accomplishment. Then listen for cues to tasks and experiences that would help them succeed in the open position.

Using an interview to ask the right questions can help you avoid making a hiring error and save your company time and money. Before you leave an interview, make sure you have all the information you need to support your decision to hire a candidate.

We want to hear from you. What questions do you ask your candidates to determine their motivation and dedication? Please share them with us on Facebook or LinkedIn.


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The traditional job search process is outdated and no longer effective in finding the perfect candidate for your organization. With our methods of objective evaluation and custom interview questions we use performance based results to find the candidate that fits your company culture and needs.

It’s important today to go beyond the resume and interview to find out their natural talents and non-talents along with their level of motivation in order to recruit top talent.

During your Free Strategy Session, we’ll go through the professional recruiting tools you need in order to spend minimal time, money, and energy recruiting top talent for any position.  You’ll receive an overview of the Performance Based Hiring process in addition to:

  • Why the Performance Based Hiring process is critical in the modern marketplace of information to winning the war on talent.
  • Step-by-step insight into how the Performance Based Hiring Process would look in your business.
  • How to effectively craft candidate profiles to attract the right talent for any position.
  • The top signs to look for in a candidate to determine not only their level of talent for the position but also their motivation and commitment.

The Talmadge Group was founded in 1998 to provide integration, support, and technical programming services to clients of all shapes and sizes. Our long-lasting relationship with past clients speaks to the success that our Performance Based Hiring Process brings to companies looking for the right person to fill the position.

To schedule your free strategy session, call us at 678-325-2301 or fill out the form below. When you schedule, you also receive a free copy of Lou Adler’s in-depth guide to recruiting, Hire With Your Head.

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