Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter, offers an advanced answer to the traditional opening question at job interviews, “Tell me about yourself and what you’ve been doing professionally.”

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In the previous video, I addressed the question of how to answer the traditional job search question, "Tell me about yourself." You can watch the video on YouTube or at my website, or any other site that is picked it up. In this video I gave you the basic answer. Now I want to offer a more advanced answer to the question.

You see, most interviewers are going to ask you something along those lines because they want to open the door up with you about talking about your work. That is the easiest question that they can ask to do that. However, let's do a quick review.

They ask, "Tell me about yourself and what you been doing professionally."

"Well, I have been in my field for x years and for the last 2 years I've been working for So and So where I have been involved with…" Then you lay out your responsibilities and what you did previous organization. For those 6 months and began you lay out your responsibilities. That is a pretty standard answer. Let me give you more advanced version.

You lay out your answer just like you did before. What you did, how you did it, how you help them make money or save money. You try to keep your answer the 30 to 45 seconds in length so that they don't tune you out.

The advanced answer allows you to continue on from there, pause, and say, "I'm sure you hear different people say things much along the same lines when they answer it. But what makes me a little bit different is…" Then you talk about what makes you different from all the other people that you usually compete with this kind of job.

You can talk about the difficult situations that you stepped into where you outsold your quota by 3x, you turned around the failing department by doing training . . . Whatever it is, you talk about what makes you different from all the others that they might be interviewing.

What that allows you to do is to differentiate yourself from the pack and show how you walked into a situation and outshined everyone else that they hired before.

Again, what this allows you to do is to differentiate yourself from all the others. However, if you're doing fairly standard work this answer isn't for you. But for those of you who can really answer this question well, DO IT!

So, remember, the phrasing is, "and I'm sure you hear this pretty often. But what makes me different is . . . " And then you start talking about what you did that would differentiate yourself from all the other people at your previous firm who did pretty similar work and all the other individuals who competing with for this job.

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves life coaching, as well as executive job search coaching and business life coaching. He is the host of “Job Search Radio,” “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” and his newest show, “No BS Coaching Advice.”

Are you interested in 1:1 coaching or interview coaching from me?  Email me at and put the word, “Coaching” in the subject line. offers great advice for job hunters—videos, my books and guides to job hunting, podcasts, articles, PLUS a community for you to ask questions of PLUS the ability to ask me questions where I function as your ally with no conflict of interest answering your questions.  

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