Yes! Finally, your hard work paid off. You applied for the job, and after waiting patiently, you got a phone call, and now you have been invited for an interview. Now, you are sitting across the table, and the hiring manager asks, “Tell me about yourself.”
This is the only chance you must prove to the hiring manager that you are the best candidate for the job. Remember: the first impression is always the best, and you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression.
“Tell me about yourself” is one of the most asked interview questions, and it can either make or mar the interview. Other examples include, “How would you describe yourself?” “Walk me through your resume”
Though this question may seem ambiguous; it is an opportunity to set the tone for the interview. That means you can either win points or lose points with the interviewer. In every application, there are at least a thousand applicants, so what exactly is going to make you stand out?
This article gives you practical tips you can use to answer the most essential and common interview questions. Many candidates struggle with this question because they do not know why hiring managers ask the question.
So, let’s highlight the reasons why hiring managers ask this question
- Why do hiring managers ask; tell me about you?
- Why do hiring managers ask this question anyway?
- What exactly do they want to know?
- Where do I start?
These are questions that go through the mind of a candidate when asked this question.
When hiring managers ask this question, below are their reasons:
- What value are you bringing to the company if given the job?
- How confident are you? It is an opportunity to put your best foot forward. When answering the questions, be calm and confident. Maintain eye contact but don’t stare. Lack of confidence could make you lose points with the hiring manager.
- Why are you interested in the position?
- What unique qualities do you have that makes you different from other candidates?
Let’s look at common mistakes candidates make in answering this question:
- How you should NOT answer “Tell me about yourself” question not to talk about your personal story: Avoid talking about your own life and your hobbies. The hiring manager need not know how many siblings you have or your favourite food. Giving out personal information can make the interview go downhill.
For example, “My name is Mary, and I was born in 1991. I have two older brothers and a younger sister. I love singing, reading, and meeting people. I love plantains.”
The above answer is unnecessary. Yes, the interviewer asks, “tell me about yourself,” but don’t take the question too literally.
- Don’t recite your resume: Avoid repeating what’s in your resume. That means explain from your oldest work experience to the latest work experience. This would sound like a long monologue, and the hiring manager will lose interest in what you have to say.
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How You Should Answer “Tell Me About Yourself” Question?
Now, you have an idea of what you shouldn’t say, let’s discuss strategies for answering this question. Your answer must align with what the hiring manager wants to hear.
Read More: How to Answer Tell Me About Yourself?
When answering this question, try not to focus on what’s best for you. Instead, focus on what’s best for them.
In every job application, it’s more about them and less about you.
Talk about Your past Work Experience
It’s essential you research the company and thoroughly review the job description. Take note of the specific skills, knowledge, and experience the hiring manager is looking out for in a candidate.
Tailor your answer to fit the job description. Think about at least two work experiences that relate to the job role and talk about your achievements. Also, talk about the skills you gained from your work experience.
Talk about Why You Are Interested in the Role
Here, avoid talking about how great the pay is or how it’s easy to commute to work from your home. Also, avoid saying you are interested in the role because you want a job.
This can give the impression that you aren’t interested in helping the company grow. To answer this question, carry out thorough research and think about why you are excited to work in that position. Also, identify how the role fits into your career goals.
Talk about Why You Are Interested in the Company
Again, avoid talking about the pay. To answer this question, thoroughly research the mission, vision, and goals of the company. Also, research about the values of the company and its work environment to gain more insight during the interview.
When answering this question, ensure you align your goals with that of the organization and how it can help you achieve your career goals.
Focus on Unique Traits and Abilities That Make You the Best Candidate
This is an opportunity to sell you. Think of it as an elevator pitch. Talk about at least three unique abilities you have that are relevant to the job you are applying for.
Generally, when answering this question, your first sentence is a brief introduction of who you are. Then an overview statement of your strengths that makes you the best candidate for the job.
Then end by talking about why you are interested in the role and why you want to work in the company. Always remember that an interview is a dialogue. It should be a conversation. Keep it short and give the hiring manager the chance to ask questions.
Finally, Practice, Practice, and Practice!
Practice, they say, makes perfect. Practising your answers will help to keep your anxiety at bay. It shows you prepared for the interview. Practice your answers, but don’t memorize them. Memorizing them makes you sound like a robot, and companies don’t hire robots.
Read More: How to Decline an Interview?
You must ensure you stay as natural as possible on the phone. You can practice in front of a mirror or a family member. Your goal is to provide the hiring manager to see you as a future employee.