I’m Dr. Hassan, a Board-Certified Physiatrist and Independent Practice Owner. I help physiatrists start and grow their own profitable practices so they can achieve financial independence and live without limits.

During this interview season, it’s almost inevitable that you will be prompted to “Tell me about yourself.” It’s often the first question you hear at a job interview. The individual hiring you may be stalling because they haven’t had time to study your CV, Or they may realize that the open-ended question effectively identifies candidates who can fit in and perform well.

In any case, they’re often deciding whether it’s worth continuing the interview based on how you answer this seemingly casual icebreaker. There’s a lot at stake, but you can make the situation work to your advantage. Learn how to describe yourself quickly and compellingly so you can land more job offers.

Welcoming the question

1. Stand out from the crowd. While you may feel awkward talking about yourself, it’s really a golden opportunity. Think of it as an invitation to tell your potential employer what you want them to know about you and what makes you unique.

2. Guide the conversation. Instead of waiting to see what the interviewer will do, you can steer the discussion towards your strengths and concerns. A good opening will prompt the interviewer to ask follow-up questions about areas where you shine.

3. Determine your fit. Remember that you’re evaluating the organization while they are screening you. Do you sense a connection with the interviewer (especially if they will be your supervisor)? Are they listening attentively or shuffling papers? Your initial rapport suggests what your working relationship will be like.

4. Practice for real life. You rarely meet someone at a party who asks about your five-year plan. Most conversations are unstructured, so it can benefit you to learn how to sound articulate and make a good impression.

Answering the question 

1. Keep it professional. The interviewer is most interested in whether you can excel at the job and mesh well with the organization’s culture. Talk about your career path and achievements, rather than your family background and hobbies, when you describe yourself.

2. Write it out. The ideal response time is about 1 to 3 minutes. Developing a script enables you to check that you can cover each main point without sounding too long-winded.

3. Rehearse your pitch. Practicing your statement will help you to come across as competent and confident. You can practice in front of a mirror or recruit a friend or family member who can give you feedback.

4. Be flexible. It’s also important to sound natural. Even if you’ve delivered your pitch 50 times, you want to sound fresh and engaging each time you describe yourself.

5. Customize your approach. Just like you tailor your CV and cover letter to each employer, you can adjust your self-description to fit the situation. Depending on the position, you may concentrate on your accounting, patient care, or bedside manner. Background research will help you determine what’s appropriate.

6. Provide testimonials. While it’s essential to be able to talk about yourself, what others say about you is often even more influential. Mention the flattering comments you’ve received from your attendings, other coworkers, and even patients. You’ll also be showing the interviewer that you work well with others and appreciate feedback.

7. Tell stories. You’re more than a list of keywords. Share interesting anecdotes that will make the interviewer remember you in a positive light.

8. Create interest. Your self-description is like a movie trailer or the first chapter of a novel. Instead of trying to cram in your whole life story, make the interviewer want to hear more.

Walk into your next job interview-ready and eager to describe yourself and why you’re an outstanding candidate for the position. Focusing on the intersection between your strengths and interviewers’ needs will help you find a job you will love.

Are you lacking confidence in how you feel about yourself? Check out our blog here for strategies for believing in yourself.


This is Dr. Hassan, Board -Certified Physiatrist and Independent Practice Owner. I help physiatrists start and grow their own independent practice so that they can achieve financial independence and live without limits. Please go to businessofrehab.com/contractnegotiations to pick up the free guide to help you negotiate the contract after you’ve done an amazing job on your most recent job interview.


Attention, Physiatrists! Stop leaving money on the table. Sign up for the free video series: How To Build A Profitable Practice in 90 Days or Less: http://www.sixtytosuccess.com

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