How to Answer, Tell me about yourself?

Tell me about yourself is obviously the most common question you will ever hear in an interview.

Whatever you expect the least comes running to you so don’t sit there expecting that you’ll get the job. Go with the flow, listen to your interviewer, be yourself and you’ll do wonders.

Here is your first opportunity to start creating your impression in the eyes of the Interviewer. Once you start connecting, consciously or unconsciously, you’re boosting up your confidence.

Why is this question being asked?

  • It is an easier question to answer and gets the candidate to open up.
  • They want to get to know you in the context of the role.
  • Is your opportunity to showcase your key selling points and why are you qualified for this job.

Here are steps to follow:

    • Grab their attention up front.
    • Share 2-4 highlights or accomplishments which is something you did above and beyond. It should not be a summary of your job duties. Keep the highlights very business outcome-based and not based on personal interests.
    • Focus on your professional experience and skills which are relevant to the current job.
    • Your answer should be 2 minutes or less.
    • Give an aerial view of your resume. Do not go into detail. That is for the hiring manager.
    • Dedicated job seekers make sure they have carefully read the job description and picked up the keywords that they have used to describe in the new job interview.

To give you an idea, here are 12 of them for a Sales Role career path:

1. Business Development

2. Competitive Analysis

3. Consultative Selling

4. Contract Negotiation

5. Cross-Selling

6. Customer Retention

7. Lead Management

8. Marketing Management

9. RFP, RFI & Bid Preparation

10. Sales & Marketing Strategizing

11. Sales Cycle Management

12. Sales Forecasting & Budgeting

Use these keywords while describing your experience. This expresses your domain expertise.

Formula says

Use reverse chronological order in sharing the breadth and depth of your experience, which means the entire answer must be starting from your most recent job and go backward. We recommend the PPF principle when the interviewer asks the golden question.

P = Present

Talk about your current job role. Pick up elements that are most pertinent to the job description for which you are applying. Remember to use keywords.

P= Past

Describe how you got here, a little bit about your past role(s), and talk about some experience that would be fitting to the current job interview.

F = Future

Lead now into what you want to do next, why this position excites you, and how the current job and company are aligned with your aspirations.

  • Write bullet points for each section of the PPF model.
  • Practice but also leave room for making it conversational.
  • Many of you think that just by listening to the video, you’re prepared. But what you need to do is to jot down key bullet points. Give yourself the opportunity to prepare and think about the apt answers. Then, practice a few times.

What you don’t want to do while answering this question:

1. Most people begin in chronological order from their first job. That is where they lose the Interviewer. What this person is interested in most is your current role and achievements and not something years ago.

2. Avoid sharing details about your personal life, kids, hobbies, dislikes, and likes in the entire interview. Remember, this is a job interview and you have only 30-60 minutes to be assessed if you are the best fit for the role.

3. Going way too much into the past, say 8-10 years of work experience is needless. Beyond 10 years, the work experience becomes less relevant. Example- If you are a college student, most high school activities that you did are outdated.

4. At times, there is a past accomplishment of which you are passionate and proud. Without realizing it, you spend too much time talking about it. It appears you are still stuck in the past.

5. Going into an entire life story bores the Interviewer.

6. Speaking nervously

Here is an example of a Technology Project Manager answering this question.

Technology Project Manager Role

Less Effective Example

I have always been really interested in computers since I was in school. My parents wanted me to follow in their footsteps. I completed my Computer Science Degree from Capitol University. I started as a Developer in Digital Technology for 4 years. For the past 3 years, I have managed a project team at High Technology. I play football on the weekend and am married.

What could this person have done better?

  • There is personal information that is not relevant to the job interview which is a red flag for hiring managers.
  • He does not talk adequately about his professional experience.
  • “I” is used too many times.
  • Is chronological. However, he should start with the present job first and go in reverse order.
  • You have a limited amount of time to answer this question, and you want to showcase your most impactful professional experience.

More Effective Example.

(P = Present)

Over the last 3 years at High Technology, I have worked on 13 Projects and won 2 awards on timely project execution and quality of work delivered. I am well versed in HTML, Java, and JQuery. I have managed a team of five developers. Team Building is one of my fortes.

(P = Past)

After completing my Degree in Computer Science from Capitol University, I worked for 4 years in Digital Technology. There, I learned the importance of getting the customer requirements right. Paying attention to detail in project management goes a long way in delivering a quality output.

(F= Future)

I aspire to become a Senior Project Manager. Am confident about my technical lead knowledge and team management experience. I am eager to work on cutting-edge technologies that your company is using.

What is good about this example?

  • Shared a high-level relevant job experience.
  • He followed the PPF model.
  • Job Experience is getting highlighted with data that is powerful.
  • Matching job Key Words used such as HTML, JavaScript, JQuery, team building, project execution, customer requirements, detail-oriented, quality output,
  • Important job skills are described which is an attention grabber.
  • He is showing excitement for the current position in job search and establishing a connection with what he aspires to do.

The list of roles and their good/bad examples are never-ending but what you need to understand is how to present yourself correctly. Know your strong and weak points and you’ll realize some epic benefits of effective public speaking.

A lot of people are highly experienced and great fits but fail in their interviews just because of poor first impressions or inappropriate communication.

According to the latest statistics by Legaljobs :-

  • 10% of job interviews crash due to bad handshakes
  • 39% of the candidates fail due to a lack of confidence, voice quality, or facial expressions.

Your smile goes a mile!

    • 67% of job seekers are not able to make eye contact.
    • You only have 7 seconds to make a strong first impression.
    • 85% of people lie on their resumes.

Wow, what would that feel like?

It is never too late to start evolving. Working on your communication skills will always help you in one way or the other, both professionally as well as personally.

uSpeek is out there waiting for you to kickstart your journey to build your personality and take it to the next level. We wish you all the luck on your next interview!

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