In Depth

‘Tell me about yourself’ – How to answer this in an interview

Sharika S Nair
17th Apr 2017
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This is one of the most frequently asked questions in an interview. Your response to this ice-breaking question generally determines what is in store for you. Although you might have answered this a million times, the way you answer it each time becomes a challenge. Often we may wonder, “Hey, how tough can it get? After all I’m speaking about myself!” But truth be told, that is exactly why this is a tricky question. It is more of a command than a question. You have to make an impact and also make a good first impression so that the rest of the interview is carried out the way you want it.

Image credits: www.creativecommons.com

Image credits: www.creativecommons.com

You could either start by doing a recital of your life history or you can nail it then and there by pitching and convincing the employer about how you are the best one suitable for the job.

Try wrapping up this question in less than two minutes. It’s better to go from present to past. Highlight all your achievements and what will be relevant to the job that you are applying to and then move on to other areas.

While you are briefing the employer about your work experience, speak about your accomplishments and how you were applauded for them. Tell them how fast you achieved them and how they were important to the company you worked for previously.

Speak about any challenges you faced. But also ensure that it is worth talking about. It can be any incident that highlights your worth. Explain briefly how you overcame it. It could be an incident at school, college, your workplace, or even an experience you had while doing a road trip or while on vacation.

It would be nice to also give an idea about what defines you as a person. Your leadership skills, sense of humour, creativity, or any other talents or passion that you have been pursuing will add value to the interview. Back them up with examples and instances.

Finally, make sure that you only speak about facts you are sure about. You never know what might attract the attention of the interviewer making him or her to dwell deeper into the topic. You would not want to be in a situation wherein you have to admit to not knowing what came next. Be thorough with your resume as well.

Concentrate on your skills and experiences and back them up with stories and references. If you just speak about what has already been printed in your resume, the hiring manger might not find any relevance in your answer. Even if you have given an answer for this question in a million job interviews, never go without preparing for this one. Above all, smile and appear confident while facing the interviewer. So relax, take a deep breath and ace the next interview.

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