How to answer "Tell me about yourself"
Did you know that over 80% of interviewers make their hiring decision in the first five minutes of the interview? You don’t have a lot of time to stand out from the crowd.
For many interviewers the first thing they ask you to respond to is: “Tell me about yourself.”
This question can often create an awkward moment, especially if you are not prepared. Sometimes the unknown of whether the interviewer is looking for a detailed run through of your CV, an autobiography or both. Here we offer some tips in preparing for this question….
Three tips to include
- Aim to keep your answer concise and engaging. Try not to ramble. Highlight your strengths and keep to around 2 minutes. Make it personable letting your personality shine through, this can be the opportunity for you to show your softer skills, interests, and hobbies. Focus on points that paint you in the best light, i.e. volunteering shows you care about your community or training for a marathon highlights your self-discipline
- Emphasise past activities and proven success. When preparing your answer go over the job spec and pick out two or three examples of how you can relate, meet, and exceed the criteria. These can be work based but drawing on outside your profession is also fine.
- Discuss strengths and abilities – prove you match the requirement with examples of how your skills and experience make you an idea candidate.
What to avoid
It’s easy to go off on a tangent if you are not prepared. Keep a focused answer
- Avoid mentioning personal information – whist letting your personality shine through there is no need to discuss family, religious or political beliefs. This won’t help the interviewer decide if you are suitable.
- Avoid making unsubstantial claims – always have information to back up strengths or facts
- Reiterating your CV – the interviewer will have already read your CV. Pick out points which allow you to provided engaging examples and really think about enhancing your strengths.
If you are looking for a new role and would like advice from one of our dedicated recruitment professionals, please get in touch today