How to answer THAT question: “Tell me about yourself”
“Tell me a bit about yourself” is probably one of the most common interview question that candidates are faced with. So how do you respond to this?
They have your cover letter and your CV, but this is their opportunity to delve a little deeper into who you are and what you can offer them should they choose to recruit you.
This question allows you to elaborate on who you are and why you are the ideal candidate for the available position. But you don’t want to waffle, so remain focussed and keep to a reasonable timeframe:
Talk about your relevant skills and experience that match those required for the job. Emphasise why you are right for the position.
Highlight your strengths and demonstrate your success to showcase that you a high achiever and an expert in your field. What can you bring that differs to other applicants?
Finish your “About Me” discussion with how you want to move forward and why you are interested in the role you are interviewing for. Express your passion for the job and what you find exciting about it.
Tailor your response
The company you are interviewing for want to see how your skills and experience match that of the job vacancy. But they also want to see how you will fit into the culture at the company. So you need to show them that your qualities match that of the perfect candidate.
If they are hiring for a Software Developer with Java experience, talk about your Java Development experience and how you have “used modern tech stack and methodologies to develop a variety of innovative solutions.”
Do your research into the company via social media sites to find out what the team do and what their culture is like. Are there pictures on Instagram of a team night out bowling, or a picture of the corporate football team or a charity bake sale at work? If so, talk about any similarities you have, ie; “I played football each week with my previous company and we managed to reach the final last month in an exciting penalty shoot out, so I would be hoping to find a company that enjoy a friendly game of sport with its team mates.”
Prepare and Practice
Each interviewer would have their own reason for asking this question, it could be they are just interested to find out more about you, but it is also an excellent way to see how you handle unstructured questions and articulate yourself in a pressured environment. It shows your ability to adapt and think on the spot.
Therefore, it is worth brainstorming a few ideas on how you are going to reply. You don’t want to come across like you have rehearsed a script, but try to have some bullet points to have a confident response on the following:
- Skills and experience
- Strengths and success
- Moving forward
- Your goals
Talking about yourself doesn’t come naturally for many of us, so run this through with a friend or family member so you feel you can answer this question confidently and effectively in the interview.
These guidelines should help position you for success when asked that question many applicants dread: “So, tell me about yourself”.