“Tell me about yourself” is the most common first question asked in an interview. It might seem like an easy one for the candidates to answer; after all, you know all about yourself! And the good thing is it’s often the first thing an interviewer might ask you whether you’re having a preliminary interview, a telephonic screening, or sitting down with the CEO during the final round of interviews.
It’s no coincidence that interviewers typically ask this question first as mentioned before. It is the best way to start the interview and gradually, the interviewer will go to the actual interviewing questions (as per the position or job role being hired for). The interviewees are generally nervous, but – the answers to ‘Tell me about yourself’ or ‘Introduce yourself in the interview’ keep the interviewer getting the candidates’ bearings. Often while conversations are being set up, it is small talk that facilitates further bigger talks.
Questions like the above are also a great starting point that can help to give direction to the interview. The answer you give helps them figure out the next set of follow-up questions. Then the interviewer lends an easy flow to the conversation related to the answers you give while helping recruiters and hiring managers accomplish one of their major goals in the hiring process: getting to know you better.
“Tell me about yourself” -plenty of times you’ll hear these exact words. But sometimes, interviewers might have their versions of asking/seeking the same information from you in different ways. They might ask-
Offer a possible structure for answering the question, such as:
Give an overview of your professional history, experience related to the current role, and where you see yourself in the future. Showcase that you have done your research about the company and by hiring you, they will gain an invaluable asset. Explain to the interviewer that it would be logical for them if they onboard you.
Tell the interviewer how you got this far in your career journey and mention your previous experiences that are relevant to the job and how they will be helpful for the company in the longer run.
This isn’t the only way to build your response to the employer. You can tweak your answers as you believe yourself to be fit for the vacant position. If there’s a particularly potent story about choosing this as a career, start narrating the past story to the employer first and then get into the present one. Whatever order you pick to narrate the story, ensure you tie it to the job and the company’s vision. A good way to conclude your answer is to give a transition of ‘This is why I’m here’.
Interviewing is a skill, and practicing the probable questions in advance is essential for cracking the interview gracefully. Interview practicing is learning how to answer questions related to your role and studying them. If you are preparing for an interview, you might pair with a friend and allow them to ask you a series of questions that you think can be asked of you during the interview. Doing this assessment will let you know your potential to acquire the job as well as your familiarity with the subject matter. Practicing questions in advance can help you work on your posture, appearance, and other things that are non-verbal. For example, notice your hand movement while answering the interviewer’s questions.
Putting in all your efforts to prepare for the interview helps boost confidence and double your chances of getting hired.
Look at the stats that prove preparation is important before an interview –
It is very important to know about the company, which industry they are in, and what their products are. Start your answer in context to everything mentioned and tell them about your educational achievements.
Entry level –
For example, if you are a fresher and you love coding and building websites, then you can answer – “I am passionate about entering the world of coding and advancing my career. I wish to utilize my skills, learn and grow together with your company and provide top-notch services to the clients with a seamless interface.”
Senior Level –
“With this experience under my belt, I’m looking to explore opportunities that will take me to the next step in my career. I’m hoping to do so in an organization like yours that works to improve the environment, which is something I’m passionate about.”
Be concise while answering, “Tell me about yourself.” It is advisable to take only a little bit of time with your response. Also, telling your manager every minutest detail should be avoided. Just give a few important details that will spark their interest in learning more about you, and you’ll get the interview off to a strong start.