Many interviewers start their interviews with an open-ended statement like “Tell me about yourself.” Some interviewers could also use other examples like “Walk me through your resume,” “How will you describe yourself,” Tell me something about yourself that is not on your resume,” and May I know you?”
These questions appear simple at first to many interviewees. After all, you know who you are better than everyone else. However, a lot of people lose out in the competition because of these questions.
This is because a professional interview differs from a casual date conversation or a friends club chat, and these questions don’t just begin the talk—they tell the interviewer a lot about you. Remember, you’ve got some competitors to deal with.
So, how do you give a perfect answer to a “Tell me about yourself” question in an interview? This article will show you how to craft your response, delivering your solution, hitting the main points, and leaving a positive impression on your interviewer.
You will also find useful tips that will help you gain flexibility in doing this in different interviews. Let’s get started!
Read More: How to Answer Tell Me About Yourself?
Find Out the Expectation of the Interviewer
Knowing an expected answer helps you answer a question better. “Tell me about yourself” is a simple and open-ended question. However, it is an ambiguous question that can leave you talking for many minutes without saying anything meaningful to the interviewer.
Generally, most interviewers want you to tell them something that is not written in your resume. They also look out for your communication skills, confidence, calm, charm, and personality. However, you can politely ask the interviewer for his interest in his question.
You can use sentences like, “Sir, there’s a lot about myself. Can you be specific with what you want to know,” or “Sir, can I get a clue to what you expect to know?” Don’t forget this: if you meet the interviewer’s expectation, you will leave a better impression.
Plan You’re Answer
If you don’t plan your answer before speaking, you are likely to say things you shouldn’t know, and leave out the things you should say. Don’t just start chatting. Calm down and take a few seconds to brainstorm your answers.
Quickly ask yourself these questions:
- What are the unique qualities that make you the best person for the job or role? This could be your skillset, years of experience, and other skills that you possess beyond the requirements for the position.
- Why are you interested in the job or role? You should remember what motivates you to apply at first.
- What do you know about the company or industry? This could be current news, some grand statistics, the mission and vision statement of the company, etc. Ensure you do some research on the company or industry.
The best way to plan is to plan on time and on time. It is advisable you know all these things before D-day. Practice with these questions at home before showing up for the interview.
Past, Present, and Future
Your answer should be organized. It tells about your organizational skills too. One of the best ways to organize your solution is to use the “Past, Present, and Future” rule. Begin your speech from your previous experiences, stating your challenges and successes.
For example, saying, “I increased sales by 15—20% every quarter. However, stick to your most recent history. Talk about your present skill set and your goals for the role you’re applying for if you’ve spotted any background fault in the company or organization around the part, state how you intend to solve them. Lastly, talk about your plans.
This could be about a degree you are hoping to get, and your overall career objectives. Speaking in this sequence will communicate your message and help you stay on track.
State Your Personality
Talking about your personality will take away the “Robotics” in your response. Talking about your character turns on the real you. This involves stating your hobbies (such as reading, volunteering, travelling, and cooking) and other non-professional skills that you have like playing the guitar, playing chess or soccer, etc.
It is advisable to tailor everything in your resume to the role you are applying for. However, when stating your personality, feel free—express who you are.
End with a Question
Ending your speech with a question like “Is there anything else you would like to know about me?” is a great way to tell your interviewers that you are mindful of what they want to know. Other examples include “Sir, did I say all you expected me to say,” or “Please, did I miss anything?”
These questions also tell about your confidence and humility. They also help the interviewer tell you about his expectations if he did not at first. You could get an answer like, “I expected you to talk about your software skills—this or that.” These kinds of responses help you to be more specific to the interests of the interviewer.
Useful Tips for Answering a “Tell Me About Yourself” Question in an Interview
1. Be Specific and Succinct
This is just the beginning of the interview, and there may be other applicants in the queue. You need more time for the rest of the meeting. So, talk in an active voice and use cut-to-the-chase sentences.
2. Be Assertive and Confident
Remember that you’re talking about yourself. Be enthusiastic in your outlook and say everything with a tone of certainty. Don’t avoid eye contact and watch the gesture of everyone in the room carefully.
3. Stay Professional
Don’t initiate deep conversation, and never try to blackmail your interviewer emotionally. Avoid talking about personal issues like your marriage, family, etc. Stick to the role and speak at the interviewer’s pace.
There is no book or college course about you.
However, your overall storytelling and public speaking skills will come handy when you’re thrown your first interview question. Even when you don’t have an upcoming interview, try to learn about yourself and how to tell anyone about ‘you’ in a few minutes without missing anything.