Tell me about yourself is the first question that students face when they appear for a job interview. This Question allows you to make an excellent first impression. In fact, your introduction enables interviewers to determine your eligibility for the job.
To reply to this Question, present a brief and a comprehensive response that gives your complete overview to the recruiting managers. Students should learn how to answer tell me about yourself in a job interview.
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The Interviewer’s Viewpoint
When the interviewers ask you, Tell me about yourself, what are they trying to achieve? From the interviewers’ perspective, this is a formal way to start the conversation. They want to get an insight into your personality and skills.
The interviewers expect an honest reply when they ask this question. In most cases, the interviewing panel notes the points when you discuss details about yourself. By doing so, they evaluate you on the criteria they have set for the job.
Things to Avoid While Answering “Tell me About Yourself?”
Often, students make some fundamental mistakes when they come across this Question. Following are the common mistakes that candidates make.
1.The Resume Recap
When interviewers ask this question, many candidates start reciting their resume in response. You need to understand that the interviewing panel or the HR department has already gone through your CV.
After checking the details, they have invited you for the interview. However, you can briefly mention the important points written in your resume. The interviewer(s) want to engage you in a meaningful conversation, and they do not expect a monologue.
At times, the interviewer may ask you to walk them through your CV. But, it won’t necessarily mean that you have to mention each and everything of your resume. You can give them an overview and then talk about your current or most recent experience.
2. Over Modesty
Many students try to sound too modest, and this is not the right approach. Sometimes, their humble or incomprehensive introduction does not convey their strong point relevant to the job.
So, the attempt of being overly humble does not go to the interviewee’s benefit. In today’s world, competition in the job market is quite intense. So, do not think that interviewers are only looking for humility in the candidate.
Try to focus on making an impactful statement. For example, for an accountant position, you may say that I always aspire to take up this position. Furthermore, you may say, I can utilize my skills effectively in this organization.
Try to give them an impression that your skills genuinely match the position you are giving an interview for. Importantly, discuss your past achievements relevant to the job requirement.
3. Discussing Personal Life
Keep in mind that interviewers do not want to hear much about your personal life. “Tell me about yourself” means that you need to discuss your academics and current/last job experience concisely. You may discuss your aspirations briefly.
Sometimes, students start talking about their likings such as they enjoy rainy days etc. These things are not desirable in the job interview. In addition, discussing such things do not depict your professional and mature image.
In reality, many students are not familiar with the norms and techniques of the job interview. They spend most of their time in the educational environment. Therefore, you need to focus on the information that is pertinent to the job requirement.
The interviewer(s) may ask about your hobbies and you need to give a brief reply to this Question in a pleasant way.
4. The Inexperienced Ramble
Some students make a confusing statement in response to this Question due to overthinking. Some of them ask counter Question: Do you mean my professional experience, my schooling or what type of information?
This Question or similar kind of questions are the outcomes of inexperience as they do not have enough exposure to the professional world. Asking for clarification won’t serve the purpose. Additionally, the interviewers may get the impression that you are hesitant.
If they want you to say something precisely, they will let you know. Stick to the basics, i.e. briefly and comprehensively discuss your academics and your relevant job experience.
How to Hit the Nail, “how to answer, tell me About Yourself?”
Consider this Question as an elevator pitch. The elevator pitch is a brief summary that specialists use to define some product, service or businesses. In other words, think that you are indirectly replying to the Question: Why should the company hire/select you?
Ideally, you do not have to come up with a long explanation. All you need to do is to shortly and comprehensively describe the value that you would employ to this job or organization. As a job candidate, the elevator pitch will be useful for you to answer, “Tell me about yourself?”
The most appropriate answer will address the following points:
1. What are your salient fundamental features relevant to the job?
The number of years of your working in a similar field will be your fundamental point. Since you are a student, so you may not have enough professional experience.
However, you can express your knowledge about the job requirement. For this purpose, conduct thorough research about the job description before appearing for the interview.
2. Why you applied for this position?
You can conclude by answering why you are looking for a new opportunity. Additionally, why you consider this role as a further step toward your career building.
The Interview Formula to Answer this Question
Students should learn how to answer tell me about yourself in three parts during the job interview.
1.Who You Are
In your first sentence, you will give an introduction to who you are professional. It will be a statement that would indicate your strengths and a brief overview of your personality.
2. Skills Highlights
During the interview, highlight your specific skills that are relevant to the job.
3. Why You are Here
Conclude by telling the interviewers that why your interest lies in this position or the value, you could bring in to the job.