Tell me about yourself

Tell me about yourself.

No, it is not a pick up line. It is in fact one of those questions at an interview that usually leaves us at a bit of a loss for words.

What do I tell the man/woman sitting in front of me? Do I tell them about me, myself and I, or about the things that keep me awake at night, or about the deep love for my dogs? What exactly do they want to know about me, that they could not have learnt from reading my cv?

It is very important that you have done your research on the company and that you have prepared your answer to the “tell me about yourself’ question with the job position in mind. Practise your answer, and try to fit it into a minute to minute and a half. This answer may very well determine whether or not the interviewer feels that you are a right fit for the company.

When preparing your answer think about the following:

– What makes you a suitable candidate for the position? Think about your years of experience, training and the skills you have. How is what you have relevant to what they want? Tell them who you are professionally and what your strengths are in terms of the position.

– What are your qualifications that are relevant to the job? Yes, they may have your CV in front of them, but they do not necessarily remember the minute detail in it.

– Why do you want this job? Do not say that you are out of a job and want a job, any job, just give you a job. Look at the position and explain why you think that this is a good step in your career.
Just remember, you are not playing soldiers and ‘terries’ and you must not sound as if you are firing a machine gun. You do not need to recite your whole CV- just the highlights. Use this time to establish a rapport between yourselves.

There you go. Now all you have to do is land that interview, so that you can research and write your own, “Tell me about yourself” answer. Remember to write one for each and every interview. This is not one of those things that you just dust off as you walk into the interview room. When you have written it, practice it. Make sure it comes naturally, so that it does not sound like a rehearsed speech.

All the best in your new adventures.

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