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Career Coach: Preparing For An Interview

CHICAGO (CBS)-- As more businesses reopen and some jobs come back, CBS 2 is Working For Chicago by bringing you advice from a career coach every week to help you reenter the workforce.

This week, CBS 2 is focusing on the art of the interview and the infamous question, "tell me about yourself."

Lynee Alves, president of Interview Like An Expert, has some advice.

"When someone asks you to tell them about you, they're just asking for a short answer, maybe 30 seconds," she said. "They're really not looking for your work history and your life's story. So, just make sure you have a quick beginning middle and end."

Alves, says your short answer should tailor to the job and position you're applying for. Make sure to specify what you're looking for professionally and also avoid reciting what's on your resume.

She said you should be ready to talk about your top skills.

"In today's workplace, there are some key buzz words that you want to be aware of," Alaves said. "Talking about being organized, being a great team member, being flexible and adaptable."

Practice is key when preparing.

"It's really important to practice out loud," she said. "That's the most important to practice out loud. That's the most important thing. So, whether you do it by yourself, by yourself in front of a mirror, with somebody you trust, practicing will get you more comfortable and prepared for the live interview situation."

Alves says you're not only being judged on your answers, but also your ability to listen and communicate effectively. So, only answer the question asked. Make sure to keep details to a minimum so you don't ramble or deviate.

"Prepare to answer behavioral questions that showcase your teamwork, conflict resolution skills and problem-solving approaches," she said. "These are questions that sound like 'tell me about a time when you...' or 'give me an example of.'"

Try to avoid too much detail. Often times candidates get down a path where they can't get out of it.

"They're looking for 30 seconds to 45 second sound bites," Alves said.

For more resources, check out Interview Like An Expert on Facebook.

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