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How to answer the question 'Tell me about yourself'
The whole idea of an interview is that the the company thinks you are the best for the position.
Think of yourself as a doctor, a healer if you will.
The company is in pain and hence it has advertised for a position.They need someone who can come in, take charge of things and take care of them, they need someone to reduce that pain.You are the doctor they are seeking out.
The interviewer is there to select you and not to reject you.
Every Interview Question seeks to find out / draw out/ bring to the fore some trait or the other. The interviewer uses a number of questions to get a 360 degree view of the candidate (YOU) and make up his/her mind on the following:
- Are you the right fit for the company / position / team?
- Do you know what the company does/ company's mission / vision etc?
- Do you really, really want this job?
- Are you as talented/hard working/ sincere/ etc etc as you are trying to show?
- 10 Avoidable Interview Mistakes
- How to Set up a Successful Interview as a Job Seeker
- 5 Ways to Practice For Your Interview
As with any performance, such as acting or public speaking, the more you practice the better you will get at it. here are our 5 suggestions on how to practice to get the max results!
- What To Do Before Any Interview
Why ask the question 'Tell me about yourself'
Why would an interviewer ask the question 'Tell me about yourself'.
Generally this is a ice-breaker question. This is probably the first or second question asked in every question and the interviewer is wants:
- time to read your resume - he/she will go over it while you are delivering your answer.
- check you communication skills - your entire interview is one big communication skills test, but this question sets the tone. The vocabulary you use, your tone, your fluency in the language, the pitch, the sentences and the logical flow of the answer, will tell the interviewer where you are (by and large) and he/she will then conduct the rest of the interview with that in mind.
- find something interesting to for the next question - a lead for more information, if you will.
- Some of them may even look for attributes like positivity, creativity, time management skills. (I will detail how to achieve these below)
So How to answer 'Tell me about yourself'
In the past I have been of the opinion that you must not repeat what is on the resume, but call it experience or watching a lot more recruiters and HR heads at work, I have to say, I have changed my opinion.
Most expect you to tell them (in a shorter/ crisper version) exactly what is written on the resume.
You should start with your education (schooling onwards - especially if you went to a top / 'A' school), move to your early years and then your recent work experience.
What is important is that you do not repeat verbatim what is printed on the resume. Take the form of a story with a little narrative and add things that may not be there.
However, once the basics are done, I suggest you end with something that catches the eye or more aptly makes their ears stand up. Finish off with a super sales performance mention or a skill set mention that you know they are looking for / hiring for (that will come from preparation - see How to Set up a Successful Interview as a Job Seeker )
I would be more than happy to help you improve your answer. Please leave the following in comments:
- Name, age, education, position applying for
- exact words you currently plan on using to answer this question.
I will then try and improve it for you.
These are random examples.
I was always fascinated by hotels. After my 12th from XYZ school, I secured admission at the prestigious ABC college. Graduating in the top ten, I joined MNC company as a Management Trainee. Over the last 5 years with them, I have had the privilege to lead XX people, create and launch YY.
I was recently awarded the MD's star for a developing a system that reduced complaint response times by 30%