Question Guide: Tell me about yourself

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After the handshake, quick chat about the weather and first sip of coffee, 99.8% of the time an interview will start with: So, tell me about yourself. You’re laughing now, but it could be the most important question thrown at you. Some of us don’t really know what the interviewer wants to know about yourself. Do they want to know about what you like to do socially or about your career? Do they need to know about that time when you– no, no they don’t. In this week’s question guide, we’re going to give you a few tips on how to answer this obvious question.

Timing is everything

Keep it short, sweet, and chronological. It’s a good idea to prepare an answer of a minute to a minute and a half. Prepare yourself, the information should be in organized timeline form, starting from point A and staying on track until point D, avoid wandering from one bit of information to the next like this: A – C – D – B. It may confuse the interviewer, as your CV is in front of them and if your information doesn’t stay consistent, it won’t look good.

Keep it minimal and relevant

Details aren’t needed, your grey tabby cat with a left green eye and the right blue one is not as important as that company and position you held in the past. Drop subtle hints by talking about previous experiences which will be a great contribution to the job you’re discussing.

The Funnel method is your best friend

As the image it conjures up, the Funnel method, invites you to share first relevant general information about yourself and to finish with specific information that matches the job you are interviewing for. So you can begin with your values, your education and relevant activities that bring skills you need for the job into the conversation. And end with your last experience mission and link it to your future missions.

Don’t be negative about yourself

We all go through hard times, and after being pulled down so often you can feel like telling the story of your hardships and almost begging for the job – but this is never a good idea. Showing interest and enthusiasm is more important than the reasons you haven’t been able to get settled in enough. Negativity always brings a bad feeling, and starting the interview off with it can set an awkward or more negative impression.

Don’t think it’s all business

Your personality and interests are just as important as your work experience, don’t hesitate to present yourself personality-wise. Tell the interviewer about your love of adventure and hiking whenever you have time off. A brief history of how you ended up where you’re sitting now is what is needed.

While the interviewer is reading you, make sure you try to read them. How are they reacting to your responses? Do they look distracted or are their eyes wide in excitement with the story you are telling? Reading their expressions can help guide your answers in the right manner.

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