Can you guess what the first question the interviewer usually asks is? Whether you just have a preliminary phone screen, first or second interview, “tell me about yourself” interview question is the first one that eases both you and the interviewer into the discussion.
These kinds of questions are vague and make it hard to find out what the interviewer wants to know. But take those questions as a chance for you. Your interviewer allows you to choose how to answer “tell me about yourself”.
This article will unveil the most effective tips and ten best ways of answering “tell me about yourself”.
Tips on “Tell me about yourself” interview question
We recommend the implementation of the PPF formula in your answer. What does that formula stand for?
Present: First of all, speak about your current role and your responsibilities in it. Don’t forget to mention your recent accomplishment.
Past: Talk about your previous experience relevant to the job and the company you want to work for.
Future: Mention your plans and what interests you.
We have included some tips you should follow when answering one of the most common interview questions:
Adapt your response to the role and company
Whatever you tell should be relevant to the company and the position you’re applying for. The recruiter gives you the opportunity to highlight your best qualifications related to the company.
How can you tailor your answer? Take your time and read the job description carefully, learn more about the company, and find out how you can answer the question in a way that shows your interest in the company and the position you’re applying for.
Maintain a professional attitude
Keep in mind that you should have a professional attitude and not dive into private questions. Although in some countries talking about personal details is forbidden, in the USA you should be more professional and avoid talking about your personal life all the time.
Infuse passion in your answer
Even though you have to stay professional, never be afraid to talk about your passion when you answer the “tell me about yourself” question. If you feel passionate about something, mention it without hesitating. That will help to engage the interviewer and be more memorable. The recruiter does not want to talk to robots. Personalize your answers with your personal stories without going into a vast amount of details. You can start with the following simple sentence: “I am really passionate about… That’s why I felt attached to your company…”
Don’t regurgitate all the details of your resume. The interviewer doesn’t want to hear a dissertation about your career path. If you do so, you’ll definitely bore the interviewer to tears.
Your answers aren’t only important for the interview. The way you answer will also show how you’re going to speak at meetings at work. For example, are you going to talk for more than 10 minutes if someone asks you a question at the conference? It is not the best thing to do.
Accordingly, remember to be succinct and talk no more than a minute. If you’re speaking more than that, you might be telling too much info.
As you’re talking, pay attention to the reaction of the listener. If the interviewer looks bored, then it’s time to sum it up. On the other hand, if they show interest in one part of your answer, it is better to expand on that topic a little more.
If you were laid off or fired from your last job, it’s probably not the best place to talk about it. Instead, wait until the interviewer knows you a little more and asks you why you have a gap on your CV or why you want to change your job.
Never badmouth your previous employer. It will have adverse effects on the results of the interview. Especially when answering this question, the first thing you tell is how bad your previous employer was. You will have no chances for the second interview.
“Tell me about yourself” examples
The tips sound great in theory. But what does an actual answer look like? Below you can find a few examples that will help you answer this tricky question during the interview.
- Thanks for your question! I am currently working as a marketing manager at Skyline. Here I am responsible for the execution of marketing campaigns. Before that, I worked at a company where I was a marketing assistant engaged in digital marketing campaigns. I enjoy my job and would love to get the chance to dig deeper into the sphere of marketing with your company.
- Well, I’ve always enjoyed writing, even at high school. I was an editor for our newspaper at college. After college, I started working as a social media manager at Smiths, writing copy and social content for the company blog and social media platforms.
- I’ve been in the marketing industry for more than 5 years now, mostly working as a project manager. Recently I worked as a senior PM for a large IT company. Here I managed large marketing campaigns. Now I aim to expand my experience in different industries. Fintech is where I see myself now. That’s why I decided to apply to you. Would be so happy to join an agency like yours.
After reading the above-mentioned examples try to write your own and practice it at home. That will make you more confident and ready to impress the interviewer with your interesting answers! Remember that your answers create the first impression about yourself. So, think twice before saying anything.