There are some interview questions that are bound to come up in any job interview that you give. “Tell me about yourself” is one such commonly asked question which contrary to most people’s beliefs can make or break your chances of landing the job.
What people generally think is that this particular question just serves as an ice-breaker and nothing else. Hence, they make the mistake of rambling on about their past and blurt out irrelevant information such as what high school did they go to, what are their parent’s occupation, what do their siblings do. And then when they are done with reciting their life story they start to narrate their resume point by point. Thus, they end up shooting themselves in their feet.
“Tell me about yourself” is one of the most dreaded questions because people are perplexed about the way in which they should go about answering this question. But don’t worry.
Following is a foolproof method of answering this question in such a way that you will not only be able to build rapport with the hiring managers but also prove to them why you are the ideal candidate:
Firstly, you should highlight “who are you” by specifically telling the recruiters about your professional background which in turn helps them judge your personality, attitude, and ability. A to-the-point, one-line introduction could be “I am a financial consultant with four years of experience in multi-national/ fortune 500 companies such as XYZ and ABC.” The sole purpose of this statement is to bring to attention the fact that you need to be concise, relevant, and talk only about your professional background.
Then you should proceed further by ‘selling yourself’. Think about what are your primary selling points. What are the skills/experiences/specializations that separate you from your competitors? Find the answer to this question so that you can provide valuable information when answering the “tell us about yourself” question. You need to emphasize on what makes you the perfect candidate for the job if you want to keep the recruiters interested in you. Not only should you list your unique attributes but you must also provide proof of your performance and woo them with the diverse experiences you have.
Finally, state why you have applied for the position, how eager and interested you are in the particular job opening. Depict your enthusiasm for the job. Just remember to never bad mouth your past employers and don’t be too candid.
To sum it up, while answering the question “Tell me about yourself”, you should consider first talking about your present. Speak about your current or most recent professional experience. Then delve into the past. Talk about the positive differences you created, the leadership positions you held, and link your selling points by giving concise examples. In the end, talk a bit about the future and what you bring to the table. You have 2-3 minutes to make a good first impression so make the most of it by practicing in advance.