In every interview everywhere, we are asked one common question. "Tell me about yourself?" Not many people know that perfecting this question is an art and requires some story telling skills. The interviewer is interested in knowing your professional journey and you should pick up points really carefully to articulate a storyline that highlights your skills and achievements.
1. Choose the Right Starting Point for Your Story
Your goal when answering, “tell me about yourself,” is to give a brief, concise walkthrough of your career story that will show off relevant pieces of experience. The first thing to decide is where you’ll begin the story. Pick a point that is a long shot away from where you are now, so your prospective employer can see how much you’ve grown as a professional.
2. Keep Your Answer Work-Related
When employers ask, “tell me about yourself,” in an interview, they usually want to hear about you as a professional. The safest approach is to keep your answer work-related and share your career story, rather than personal details. Try to include stories that highlight your character and values as a person, as every employer is looking for a certain set of values that they would want in their employees, some examples would be honesty, openness, integrity etc.
3. Highlight Impressive Experience and Accomplishments
As you tell your career story, explain key accomplishments you’ve achieved, work you’ve done, skills you’ve learned, and key career moves you’ve made. Alongside each achievement or experience, add what you learned and how you grew as a person or as a professional from it, this shows your prospective employer that you hold a holistic view of yourself as a professional and that you plan for the future.
4. Be Concise When Answering (2 Minutes or Less!)
When they say “tell me about yourself,” it’s going to be tempting to give a long-winded answer. It’s such an open-ended question. You need to be concise. Your communication and ability to stay on track with your answer is something they are watching closely. It’s important to keep in mind that this is usually the first question that they’ve asked you and they do wish to get to the nitty gritty of your skills.
5. Conclude by Explaining Your Current Situation
Finally, the best way to finish your story is to bring them up to speed on your current situation.
Why you wanted to apply for their job, what you’re looking to do next, and in what ways you could add value to their company.
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