As a part of management, I have interviewed many candidates for various jobs. Though I always keep a friendly smile on my face to make the candidate comfortable, I start observations on how they enter the room, the way they wish, sit, stand, etc. My first question to every candidate remains the same: ‘Tell me about yourself.’
It is easy to tell who is ready and who is not. 80%-85% of candidates are unprepared for this question. They start randomly and end abruptly with their irrelevant disclosure of personal and professional life. Such a beginning makes their candidature weak.
Are you preparing for an interview?
Have you prepared to talk about yourself for your upcoming interview?
‘Tell me about yourself’ is an icebreaker question to make you feel comfortable during the interview. This is an open-ended question that provides you an opportunity to brag yourself. Remember, while bragging about yourself, you are giving the image of your personality. You should better be prepared to answer this question which would decide the possibility of getting the job.
Even though it is the most common question, it stumps down many candidates. Although you know all about yourself, it’s a tricky and challenging question to answer. While responding to it in the context of a job, you may feel stressed.
What do the Hiring Managers want to Know?
The employers or the hiring managers want to know who you are, whether you are fit for the job or not. They want to hear about the experience you have had. They look for a candidate with up-to-date technical skills and their ability to learn new skills quickly. By asking you this question, they want to know about your communication skills, work ethics; whether you are self-motivated, team-player, problem-solver, and committed.
The interviewers might have their versions of the same question, ‘Tell me about yourself’. They ask this question in different ways, like:
If you answer it well, you are successful in creating a reasonable impact on the interviewer’s mind that you are the best suitable candidate for the job in terms of your skills and experience.
How to Conquer the most Favourite Question of Recruiters- "Tell Me About Yourself"
‘Tell me about yourself’ might seem like an easy-win question but it is a complicated question to answer. You must craft your answer skillfully. Often when the interview conversation starts, a lot of small talks happen. This question paves the way to transition into the actual interview. It serves as an ice-breaker and transition. As an introductory question, it helps to set the direction of the interview. Depending upon your response, the interviewer figures out the next question. It’s the best opportunity for you to display and demonstrate your communication skills, and present yourself as a professionally fit candidate.
As I mentioned earlier that this question seems simple, but many candidates fail to prepare for it. Remember, this is a crucial question of your interview and may give a turning point to your future. You need not give your complete employment and personal history. Talk about your current role and job responsibilities, experience, and accomplishments.
Craft Your Answer Keeping the Role and Company in Centre
Articulate your answer succinctly and relevantly to the post you are applying for and the company. Tell them that you have the right qualifications, skills, and experience to fit into the job. Spend some time to research the company and figure out a story to tell them how you are fit for the role and to the company.
While constructing your answer, rely on a simple formula “present-past-future.”
If you are a fresher with no work experience, you can tell about your University subjects, your passion for the job. You can tell them about your participation in sports and extracurricular activities. This will create your image as an enthusiastic person who can work in a team.
Avoid Making Statements “I am hardworking, committed…..”
Almost every candidate says that he is dedicated, committed, and hardworking. Such statements have no meaning at all. You can tell your experience and achievements to demonstrate the positive qualities that they are looking for.
Keep your Answer Short and Informative
Make your Tell me about yourself best answer to the point and relevant without being boring.
Create a Personal Tagline
Brand yourself by creating your personal tagline. Tell your interviewers how you are different from others. Your tagline would set you apart from everyone else in the room. It should state what you do and why you do it. It should be a one-liner stating your mission and purpose that must be inspirational and express your strong intention to make a difference. The tagline is more than a job title and an employer.
If you are a software analyst, you may create your tagline as:
“I test every possible situation before delivering the final product.”
A stockbroker may say in his tagline:
“I help people grow their wealth.”
A doctor can say:
“I ensure public health and fitness.”
A personal secretary can say:
“I make things easy and simple.”
A fresh graduate student looking for a job of office assistant may have a tagline:
“I’m fresh, enthusiastic and full of possibilities.”
A lawyer can say:
“I agree to disagree with my lawful skills.”
An Image Consultant can say:
“I transform perspectives to build successful images.”
Keep ‘Tell Me about Yourself’ Positive
Brief them about your positive points. Avoid bad-mouthing of your present or past employers. Do not give any impression that you are trying to escape your awful boss.
Let’s Summarize - ‘Tell me about Yourself’
Good morning Mr.Gomes.
First of all, Thank you very much for giving me this opportunity to sit before you and share my journey.
My name is Jennifer Costa.
I work with a German company as a Personal Secretary to the Vice President.
I’m known to make things easy and simple.
I have completed my Masters in commerce in the year 2000. Post which I got my diploma in the Secretarial course. I have been working as a personal secretary for the last two decades. I’m passionate about serving the Leaders of the organization and take pride in being an integral part of the machinery.
I’m curious to learn new things and love to organize everything so that it accelerates the momentum at work. I enjoy my job because it gives me an opportunity to deal with challenging situations from which I have been learning a lot. My role as a personal secretary has helped me evolve into a good listener, being approachable, a problem solver, and a multi-tasker.
I’m privileged to serve the Masters of Fortune 500 companies and I must say it was a wonderful journey so far, with no complaints at all.
I see myself as an achiever and would like to continue with the same enthusiasm and agility.
Practice your Answer
Rehearse your answer either by standing in front of a mirror or record it if you have a webcam. This will help you to get rid of certain wrong habits like fidgeting, unnecessary hand movements, too loud or low while talking.
Most hiring decisions are made in the first few minutes. Be prepared for this question and show your confidence to the interviewer. Take care of your dressing style, handshakes, etc. That goes without saying.
Tell me about yourself best answer should be yours and you should be confident answering.
When you fail to prepare, you should be prepared to fail. This stands true in all walks of life.