Interview Question: “Tell Me About Yourself?”: How To Answer?

In a job interview, hiring managers resort to using different types of questions to dig into a candidate’s experience and personal qualities. “Tell me about yourself” in an interview is an open question that arises at the beginning of the conversation and aims to identify the applicant’s personality. In this article, we explain why employers use this question, how to answer it properly, tips, and more details on the subject. Most Valuable Job Search Tips

Why do employers use the “Tell me about yourself” question?

“Tell me about yourself” or any other similar phrase is common at the beginning of job interviews since they serve to establish a first contact between the hiring manager and the applicant. Allow the employer to briefly hear a summary of your career path and the key personal skills you possess to guide them about your level of qualification. It usually generates uncertainty in people, because it is open to endless possible answers and interpretations.

For some employers, it is an opportunity to break the ice and create a friendly bond with the other. The most important thing in these cases is to remain calm and transmit security. By responding well from the start, you set the standard as someone who is confident, manages under pressure, and is attentive to job qualifications. Top 10 Questions to Ask Candidates During a Job Interview

Considerations before talking about you

During an interview process, it can seem difficult to answer even the most frequently asked questions. However, having a mental organization allows you to speak clearly and convey information accurately. Here is a list of questions you can ask yourself that will help you structure a good answer:

  • What are the qualities that make you ideal for the position? Think of all the elements that make you stand out as a qualified person for the position. Analyze the job description and identify the areas in which you excel, such as your years of experience, training, specialization, or technical skills that are in high demand in the industry.

  • Why do you want the position? Brainstorm what motivates you about the position, how this fits in with your career goals, and why you think it’s the best path forward.

  • Why are you interested in the company or organization? Researching the organization beforehand allows you to define the reasons why you want to be part of the team. Find out what you like best about the company, what excites you about your future there, how it can help you advance your career, and much more.

  • What are the positive characteristics that you possess that will serve you for the position? Think about the characteristics you have on a professional and personal level or the way others perceive you. Then, consider recent examples in your life where you applied these characteristics.

  • Do you have any unique elements in your background that make you stand out? Identify a special element that allows you to stand out from the other candidates and that serves to capture the attention of the interviewer.

How to answer the question “Tell me about yourself”

How you answer the “tell me about yourself” question can set the whole tone for the interview. When you talk about your qualifications, you want to tell a great story that you can summarize in a few minutes. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to talk about yourself:

1. Talk about past experiences and successes

You should first detail the job description and write down the essential skills that the company is looking for, as this helps to guide your response towards these elements. Focus on inquiring about your recent professional experience or achievements that add value to your profile. You can also support your narrative with some type of volunteer work you have completed to demonstrate your commitment to the community. Phone Interview Tips That Will Help You Get Hired

2. Consider how your current job relates to the position you are applying for

Establishing a link between your current job and the position you’re applying for helps the hiring manager learn more about your goals. For example, if you are currently in a semi-senior position and want to get a job as a senior, you can talk about how you are taking on more responsibility in your current job. Describe how your skills would suit the new position.

3. Focus on your strengths with examples

Supporting your answers with examples serves to support your speech. When you go to create the script for each example, dig into the details and measurable results. Using phrases like “improved customer service” has less impact than saying “I increased customer service response rates each month by 10  % to 15  %.”

4. Highlight your personality

The “tell me about yourself” question also helps the interviewer further identify your personality and determine if it aligns with the organizational culture. This is a perfect opportunity to mention activities that demonstrate your intellectual development, discipline, community involvement, or other quality. Briefly discussing the most relevant personal interests can help you conclude your response on a professional note. 3 types of job interviews and how to prepare for each one

5. Organize your answer

Following a structure or format will help you make your answer clearer and more concise. Usually, people apply the following options:

  • Present past and future

  • Past, present, and future

The selection of the ideal formula for you will depend on the type of experiences that you want to highlight or that are valuable for the position you are applying for. For example, if the most recent position you held mentions many of the skills the vacancy requires, you might want to start with the present. If you’re transitioning in your career and your past journey ties in with your current application, it’s a better idea to start with the past.

Tips for responding successfully

Here is a list of tips you can apply to successfully answer the “tell me about yourself” question in an interview:

  • Tailor your answer to the position you are applying for. You should always answer based on the position you are applying for to show that you are the ideal person for the team.

  • Avoid mentioning too much personal information. Talking about topics such as your marital status, children, and political or religious ideas are unnecessary details in a job interview. These factors have nothing to do with your ability to perform or professional quality.

  • Talk about your justified strengths with examples. Choose one or two qualities and support each one with short stories that support them.

  • Do not repeat the information on the resume. Instead of talking about the resume data itself, discuss the points that are directly tied to the position.

  • Practice your answers. Before going to the interview, practice the possible answers to the most common questions of the interviewers. This way, you make sure you speak coherently and directly.

Sample response “Tell me about yourself”

We share an example of response to “tell me about yourself” that you can use as a guide:

“I have been a person with a passion for design all my life. My parents remodeled their house when I was in high school and allowed me to actively participate in the interior design process. From that moment I knew that I wanted to dedicate myself to this area, so I decided to study interior design at Wavewood University and graduated eight years ago.

At university, I started my professional career independently and collaborated with multiple companies on design projects. In my previous position at Wavewood Design, I built my portfolio designing residential and commercial spaces. Thanks to this, I have extensive skills in cutting-edge technologies and managed to build strong relationships with many clients nationwide. 5 effective ways to finish a job interview correctly

The most rewarding part of my job has been working on the reconstruction of historic buildings in my town, as it helped me become familiar with the conservation of buildings of this type. In the future, I would love to be part of a company like yours that specializes in the design and reconstruction of historic buildings. I believe that my experience and passion will be a great asset to his team.”

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