As you get the tips on how to answer “Tell me about yourself” interview question, it is important to first and foremost understand what makes a great interview answer.
They have a few things in common. Great answers are…
- Detailed and specific- use numbers, statistics and real proof, not general statements.
- Direct and to the point- employers want someone who communicates clearly and gets to the point quickly. Even if your job doesn’t require much communication.
- “Tailored” to the company- the average job seeker gives answers about themselves. If you want to get the job, you need to “tailor” your answers and make it about the company’s needs too. You’ll notice this in the examples below.
With that interview information in mind, lets now tackle the question that you are certain to be asked during any job interview.
Qn. Tell me/us about yourself?
It’s one of the most frequently asked interview questions: Tell me about yourself.
Your response to this request will set the tone for the rest of the interview.
For some, this is the most challenging question to answer, as they wonder what the interviewer really wants to know and what information they should include.
Interviewers ask this interview question in order to learn about your experience, gather your knowledge or information that is pertinent to the job you’re interviewing for and also to see if you can stay on track with your story.
The key in responding positively is to be concise and avoid getting sidetracked.
The perfect interview answer may vary depending on whether the position at stake is an entry level role or for an experienced job candidate’s opportunity
Example Answer for Entry Level Candidates:
“I graduated with my bachelor’s in Computer Science mid this year from Kenyatta University. I’m very interested in mobile app development, and I’ve created two apps that are in the Google store, one with 5,000 downloads.
I’m actively searching for jobs and my goal is to find an entry level position with a company that’s committed to mobile apps as a part of their strategy, so this job seemed like a great fit from what I read online about the work your team is doing.”
Example Answer for Experienced Candidates:
“I graduated with a degree in Business in 2011 and immediately found a sales position with a small healthcare startup. From there I was promoted to Account Manager, and ended up managing a team of 10 employees.
After four years with the company, I left for an opportunity with Telsumy, a well established Communications strategy firm. I’ve been here two years and was promoted to Senior Account Manager.
I enjoy the role but I miss being in a fast-paced startup environment, so I’m looking for an opportunity to use my skills to help a fast growing startup like yours.”
To ace this interview question, you must practice with your own script until you feel confident about what you want to emphasize in your statement.
Your script should help you stay on track, but you shouldn’t memorize it—you don’t want to sound stiff and rehearsed. It should sound natural and conversational.
Even if you are not asked this type of question to begin the interview, this preparation will help you focus on what you have to offer.
You will also find that you can use the information in this exercise to assist you in answering other questions. The more you can talk about your product—you—the better chance you will have at selling it or rather selling yourself.
The end of your story should bring them to your current situation and answer the question, “why are you here today?”