Getting a job involves the process of facing interviews as well. We need to prepare for all sorts of questions that may be asked in an interview. You obviously need to be confident while answering the questions as well as be presentable visually. Your selection for a job depends upon how you present yourself and answer the questions in an interview.
While going to attend an interview, one needs to prepare the most questions that may be asked in the interview as well as other probable questions related to the field of your work. One of the most common questions an interviewer asks is “Tell me about yourself”. Its other versions maybe “I have your resume but tell me something that’s not on your resume”, “How do you describe yourself”, “Walk me through your experiences”. They are open-ended questions that you need to sort out how to answer as your interviewer is allowing you to choose how to respond.
Why does the Interviewer ask it?
“Tell me about yourself” or other versions of it is one of the first questions an interviewer asks to know more about yourself. The question serves as an ice breaker, also it gives insight about the summed up version of the background, skills, and experiences to the interviewer, according to which he will find out why you are the best candidate for this job. After you answer the question, depending on what you say they ask follow-up questions and lend an easy flow of conversation while some may directly move to other interview questions.
How to answer “Tell me about yourself” in an interview?
Format your response
While answering the question, you need to organize your answer and follow the format of “Past, Present, Future” or “Future, Present, Past”. Both work for your response but you need to analyze which of the format works best for you. If your recent experiences and accomplishments are most relevant to the position you are interviewing for then lead your answer with the present and vice versa. But whatever you start with, make sure to link it with the job and company.
Mention your past experiences and accomplishments that match the job description
The question is asked mostly to know about your experiences, accomplishments, and abilities that help you to fulfill the responsibilities of the job. So mention your past experiences and accomplishments that match the job description. That’s why first you need to reread the job description properly and identify the skills in order to answer as per the requirement of the job.
Focus on your strengths and abilities
You need to highlight your strengths and abilities that will help in performing your responsibilities of the job. Present your strengths and abilities in a way that benefits the position you are applying in. You need to highlight the new skills that you learned that may help in overcoming the challenges that may arise in the job.
Keep your answer professional
When interviewers ask “Tell me about yourself”, they want to know about you as a professional not personal. So the safest approach to answer is by keeping the answer professional without revealing too many personal details. You can share your hobbies that go with the job you are applying for. It’s not good to share more personal information as it may take more time as well as may leave out the important professional information that the interviewer is looking for.
Show some passion
Show some passion while answering the interviewer. Keep your answer professional along with showing your passion for the job or the company you are applying in. Talking about your passion for the work will definitely grab the interviewer’s attention.
Don’t recite your resume
You need to highlight the most important experiences or achievements that show your potential as well as your accomplishments. The interviewer already has your resume so reciting everything that is included in the resume won’t be good. You need to practice how you are going to present the answer but it doesn’t mean to memorize the whole resume and sound overly rehearsed.
Be concise while answering
You need to know your audience and should answer as per their need. As it is an open-ended question, you need to show how you communicate. You also need to manage the time as you should not be talking for so long i.e. not more than 2 minutes. You need to read the room and see if the interviewer is interested in listening more of it and as per it needs to wrap up your answer.
Some of the examples are:
“I graduated with a bachelor’s in English from XYZ University three months ago with a 3.82 GPA. My English degree gave me strong communication and writing skills. Even from my school days, I’ve always enjoyed writing which led me to pursue writing-related passions.
For example in school, I took part in various essay and poem competitions where I garnished my writing skills. Also during my college days, I worked as a freelance content writer for the company blog. I realized that I love working in this field and expand my experiences and skills. Also, I am confident that I can help your team get better results that is why I am so interested in joining your agency.”
Also Read: Job Interview Questions for Students