Tell Me about Yourself Interview - Part 1
Can you tell me something about yourself? This is often the most common interview question that any applicant may encounter. It is also somewhat similar when you will be asked to describe yourself. However, we often find ourselves grasping for answers once we were asked by our interviewers. Some doesn’t know how to answer it. While others thought that they might be bragging if they are going to say something about themselves. The worst view is to perceive this as an introductory remark just to fill-in the gaps in an interview.
In my previous article on “Misconceptions about Job Interview”, we mentioned that the “Tell me about yourself maybe an open-ended statement but the content that you share with your prospective employer have a great impact in their decision to hire an applicant. So how can we answer this question without being perceived as boastful, overconfident or nonsense by our prospective employers?
There four different perspective that you can do to answer an interview question. These perspectives are from the point of view of the Human Resource, Department Head, Financial Controller, and the Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Remember that you only have a minute to sell yourself. Your interviewer doesn’t have the time to listen to your long story. Here are just few examples on how to respond when being asked to “tell me about yourself.”
HUMAN RESOURCE PERSPECTIVE
Human Resources are more concerned on the people skills and leadership ability of an applicant. They also want to get a general view of the technical skills. They are usually the first level of interview that a candidate should pass. They do the preliminary evaluation of the resume and initial screening to come up with the best possible candidate for the position. When answering the question, you should focus more on teamwork, communication and cooperation. Here’s a sample response. . .
“My career has been highlighted with my ability to work well with a lot of people in the different levels of our organization. I have worked closely with various departments to come up with possible actions to enhance operational systems and procedures to improve customer service. I also tried to reach out to involve others in the decision-making process. This has enabled me to become successful in my chosen field.”
DEPARTMENT HEAD’s PERSPECTIVE
Any Department Heads are more focused on the technical skills of the applicant. In larger companies, you might also be interviewed by the Area Manager or Division Manager. They want to know what you can do for the team. They usually interview the shortlisted candidates that were endorsed by the Human Resources. When answering the question, you should tell him more of your professional expertise and specialization. Here’s a sample response. . .
“Throughout my career, I have focused myself on improving customer service in order to drive more sales to the company. I am the type of a person who loves to help others and also does multi-tasking. However, my expertise is on software and web programming. I have designed a program that made it easier for our customers to check their request status through online. With this, it has increased the sales of our company by approximately 10% last year. I look forward to use this skill to help you and the team in any possible way.”
FINANCIAL CONTROLLER’s PERSPECTIVE
Financial Controllers are more concerned on the company’s finances. They are more likely be interested on the expenditures, expenses or the IN’s and OUT’s of the funds. When answering the question, you should deal more on the cost cutting measures and the efficient way of spending money in the organization. Here’s a sample response. . .
“I have been successful in my career by making sensible decisions based on careful analysis on factors that affects the company. I am the type of a person who is very meticulous on details. My department came up with measures to cut on costs to help our organization especially in this economic recession. I believe on spending wisely for a good cause.”
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER’s PERSPECTIVE
Usually the Chief Executive Officer interviews applicant applying for a higher position. In some companies, they have a President or a General Manager. They are more concerned on your accomplishments and possible things that you can do for the company at a macro-level. When answering the question, you should focused more on organizational development, business opportunities and profitability. Here’s a sample response. . .
“I have been successful in my career because of the support of the whole organization. I have implemented actions that enhanced teamwork and cooperation of all the departments. I have sought out opportunities to increase the sales, control expenditures and expenses to maximize profitability. I made changes in the procedures and established a standard that caters to excellent performance. I would love to work to help maximize market opportunities in order to achieve the company’s vision and mission.
Here is a video courtesy of Denham Resources that will show you an example of a good and bad example of answering an interview.
Tell Me about Yourself - Bad Example
Tell Me about Yourself - Good Example
By understanding the different perspectives of the position that you are applying, you will be able to give the best possible response that your prospective employers are looking for in a candidate. However, you should first evaluate yourself and know your strengths and weaknesses, your skills and accomplishments before you go to any interview.
Job seekers must also take note that some interviewers will no longer ask you this same phrase of “tell me about yourself”, but rather they will ask you at the end of the interview this question, “Is there anything you would like to share about yourself that we haven’t discussed?” The tendency of an applicant is to say “nothing more.” Actually, such question is your chance to tell more about yourself, which now becomes your closing statement instead of an opening statement. Take every question as an opportunity to sell yourself as a potential and excellent candidate for the position.
Good luck to all!
You might also want to check out related job articles on:
- Tell Me about Yourself Interview - Part 1
Can you tell me something about yourself? However, we often find ourselves grasping for answers... There four different perspective that you can do to answer an interview question. These perspectives are . . .
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