What is the best answer for the question: tell me about yourself?

Tell me about yourself

What is the best answer for the question: tell me about yourself?

Interview halls are usually the places where people with most desires came across. The point of conflict occurs when people assume that it is only about their grades, qualification, and experience that can make them eligible for a job. For a starter, that’s a wrong notion. Job interviews are not simply meant to hire the expertise of a field, they also tend to have a deep look at your personality as well. 

To begin the conversation during an interview, open-ended questions like “Tell me about yourself” are often asked. Since it is always the first question to be answered in an interview, it is your perfect chance to make a first impression. This problem (or a variant such as “Take me through your background”) appears in just about every job interview and almost every job searcher gets stumped by it. 

This question is an opportunity — an opening for you to set the tone of a work interview and to highlight the things that the interviewer needs to know about you most.

Don’t destroy this opportunity by simply babbling about your likes and dislikes, or about your personal preferences. The interviewer has nothing to do with it. Instead, seek a neat, enthusiastic response that fits the big picture for the work. We’ll give you the Main Interview Formula in this article to craft your perfect answer to “Tell me about yourself.”

The interviewer’s perspective

What is the interviewer trying to achieve when he asks you, “Tell me about yourself”?

 Well, it is an easy and open way for the interviewer to start the conversation. His main aim for this interview is to find out enough about you to determine if you’re a good match for the job opening he gets paid to fill out.

Tell me about yourself
Photo Credit: simon fraser university

He tries to show you that he likes you, in most situations. His life will be simpler when he can easily find a great candidate. He is also on guard, however, because a bad hire will poorly reflect on his judgment. Possibly be a mark against him, when it comes to requesting a raise or promotion or bonus.

Your response to this question will determine the first impression of you by the interviewer, and set the tone for the whole interview, enabling you to lead with your best selling points.

How not to answer: “tell me about yourself?”

  • Don’t mention highly personal information such as marital status, children, affiliations with politics or religion, etc. There may be sensitive subjects that could work against you as a candidate.
  • Don’t list several, ambiguous strengths with no examples to help. You may want to pick two or three attributes about yourself instead. Help each one with short, polished stories in which your work experience can help.
  • Don’t jump through discussions about what you’re looking for in the job or how the business will help you. Save those subjects for the final stages of the interview process when they’re being “sold” to you as an applicant and you’ve got more power.

How to answer: “Tell me about yourself?”

  • Who you are: Your first paragraph should be an introduction to who you are professionally, a brief statement that shows off your strengths, and also offers a little taste of your personality. This is not easy to do gracefully on the fly. It pays to prepare a bit in advance.
  • Expertise highlights: Don’t presume that the interviewer has read your CV closely and is aware of your qualifications. Use your elevator pitch to highlight 2-4 points briefly, which you believe will make you stand out.
  • Why you are here: conclude your answer by telling them your interest in the job and the company. In simple words, tell them you want the job and why.

Be consistent with the notion that this question carries an invisible addendum—”as relevant to this role and company”—you are best off keeping your answer professionally. 

A strong interview is not a monolog but a dialogue. Keep it succinct and provide an opportunity for your interviewer to dig in and ask further questions.

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