Tell Me About Yourself: Interview Question
“Tell me about yourself”, “What are your interests?”… The formulation of the question may vary, but it is used regularly at the beginning of an interview. Although it can be quite scary to gather your thoughts and answer “ tell me about yourself ” interview question. It is also a unique opportunity to highlight the reasons that motivated you to apply. And to distinguish yourself from your competitors. This question also allows recruiters to know the priorities of candidates and to better understand their personality.
So is there a right response for the question “ tell me about yourself ”? Your answer is a great opportunity to focus on the skills that make you the ideal candidate for the position. Knowing how to narrate your career path during an interview is essential to enhance your experience in the field and convince a recruiter of your skills. If you want to answer this question correctly and easily, you must be able to highlight your professional qualities, by sharing relevant information.
How to answer the question “tell me about yourself”?
Here are a few tips to help you answer as accurately as possible.
1. Structure your answer:
Before you begin to formulate your answer for the question “ tell me about yourself ”, be sure to read through the job description included in the job posting and research the company. This way, you will learn more about the skills, experience, and ability to integrate into the company culture than what the hiring manager is looking for.
Then prepare a short script highlighting the skills, strengths, and specializations that make you the best candidate for the job. Continue by developing the reasons why you are applying and highlighting your professional motivations, such as your willingness to enrich your experience and take on more responsibility.
In your response, remember to focus on the experiences and skills acquired in the past, which will be critical for the recruiter in finding a suitable candidate for the job
You can follow this three-step model:
Start by introducing yourself, where you come from etc… This part must be very brief; it is not about describing your family situation to the recruiter.
Present your academic / professional background: the course you have taken, your training, one or more professional experiences that are related to the position for which you are applying…
The goals you aim for, what you aspire to, your professional project.
Generally, your presentation should last between 3 and 5 minutes to be as clear and concise as possible.
2. Do not read through your resume! This is an important thing to remember when answering the question: “ Tell Me About Yourself ”
Focus on what is not in your resume when you are asked this question. Recruiters have read it already prior to the interview. Don’t hesitate to link your work history to your skills, mention your accomplishments, aspirations and motivations in life. This will help the recruiter get an idea of your strengths and assets. Enrich your speech with stories and anecdotes related to your experiences; these elements will allow him to further define your personality and connect with you.
3. Explain your motives
Rather than engaging in a detailed timeline which is not always relevant, focus on the professional experiences that motivated you to apply. Talk about experiences in which you see transferable skills or knowledge, and let your recruiter see the benefit of choosing you over someone else. Give factual examples, it is also expected that candidates reveal themselves. It’s time to say what you care about, what motivates you both in your professional and personal life.
4. Don’t be too talkative
Be careful not to talk too much to answer the question “ Tell Me About Yourself ”. You do not need to list all the reasons why you are the right candidate for the job. Just approach the recruiter with a few important details, 1 or 2 strong ideas that show how your profile or motivation fits the job. Give some facts that illustrate your abilities and the skills you propose to bring in relation to the position for which you are applying. Don’t fall into the trap of an endless monolog. Keep in mind that your interviewer may have other questions.
5. Practice makes perfect
Practice answering this question seriously, with a friend or colleague. You can also rehearse in front of a mirror, and prepare your response by writing it down. Preparation will allow you to reduce some of your stress, but also to detect faults in your speech: repetitive words, tics and nervous habits. Trust yourself; the recruiter isn’t trying to trick you but only to get to know you. So be enthusiastic, smile and stay positive! The important thing is to remain spontaneous and to be confident and sincere.
And if you need a little bit more help guiding you, here are 3 Topics you can explore to answer “ tell me about yourself ” interview question:
Talk about your qualities, identifying the top three. And what they have brought to you in your professional and personal life so far.
Speak about your most recent job experience or last degree and what made you apply for this position.
Talk about your achievements in previous positions by mentioning your successful and praised projects, your added value in your position, etc.