3 ways to answer- “Tell me about yourself”

Be it an interview for a Customer Service Representative, a Software Engineer or a Marketeer, one question any candidate appearing for an interview should be sure to expect: “Tell me about yourself”! This usually would be the first question by the interviewer after he has made you feel comfortable in the chair and the course of the interview is set based on your response. Now that it’s so obvious, a little homework from our end would be like cherry on the cake! And believe us, the winners and the go-getters take this question seriously. If not crafted with care, the answer to this question might reveal your innermost fears and deepest secrets. An ideal answer would be structured, outcome oriented and attempting to put you in good light. We are sharing a few approaches for you to let the interviewer know that you’re above others.


1) Start with Strengths:


This is a technique for advanced speakers and experienced interviewees. Start speaking about your strengths. This may seem a little out of the way and somebody in the back may even start yelling “No, no! You’re stupid!” Hear us out sir, we’ll prove you otherwise. An average human’s attention span lasts anywhere between 1-2mins after posing a question. After those two minutes, he’s just waiting for you to stop. It is essential to capture the attention within those two minutes and make them interested in you. Speaking about your strengths is a sure way to ensure you grab their attention in the initial stages and keep them hooked. You should brief an instance to prove each strength you tell. Also, to refine it further you could brief instances chronologically from the beginning of your college/first job according to the strengths you possess. A story out of these strengths is a must and try not to be robotic. As said, this is for experienced speakers and if you're a beginner, scroll down.


2) Start reverse chronologically


Rather than telling about your career chronologically, do it reverse chronologically. Don’t worry if you’re a fresh out of college graduate. Tell them how you got into the college and the roles and responsibilities you executed there. Mention a few learnings/failures and tell them how you overcame them. Once you think you’ve finished telling him about college, talk about your high school and add a dash of personal life (hobbies and any sport). Don’t forget to keep yourself calm with adequate pauses at the right places. If spoken properly, this might work even better than the first strategy and will drive the interview based on this introductory question. 


3) The classic chronology


This is by far the easiest to prepare and answer. Tell about yourself chronologically in the order of events..but here lies the key, story telling! Weave your personal and professional life into a three-four minute story. Tell them the reasons for your transition from one role to another, the learnings from a certain responsibility, and your failures. A failure is a must in everyone's story and it's necessary that you learn from the failure. 


Knowing about yourself is necessary before attending any interview. If you do not know why you're in front of the interviewer, he won't see value in hiring you. Makes sense right! Perform a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis upon yourself before you start preparing for an interview. This would go a long way. These are the easiest ways to answer the deadly “Tell me about yourself” depending on where you stand as an interviewee.

2 Comments

  • Ashekur Rahman

    Posted on September 3, 2012 at 10:18 am

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    • Ashekur Rahman

      Posted on September 3, 2012 at 10:18 am

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  • Ashekur Rahman

    Posted on September 3, 2012 at 10:18 am

    Do sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veni est, qui d tempora incidunt ut labore et dolore magnam aliquam quaerat voluptatem.

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