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How to answer 'tell me about yourself' question

The "job interview tell me about yourself" is one of the most frequently asked interview questions and is usually used to initiate interviews. You will need to give a good and persuasive answer to set a positive tone for the rest of the interview. Likewise, because first impressions are so enduring, a bad response can quickly derail the interview. If you don't understand what is required of you, ask for clarification otherwise there will be a tendency to meander off course and you must avoid this at all cost.

You might have wondered why the interviewer wants to hear you talk about yourself, even though your resume is in front of him / her. The reason is that the interview question "tell me about yourself" helps the interviewer to assess you as a person, gauge how confidently you can talk about yourself and how clearly focussed you are about your career aspirations. He will also want to see how your explanation bears relevance to the prescribed job and the organisation. You should therefore ensure that your introduction is pertinent and bears relevance to the prescribed job. To do this smoothly, you will need to practice your answer repeatedly until you are satisfied.

Because of the nature of this question and because of the need to give a convincing answer, it is best to start by writing down your answer and then practice reading it. If you have already mapped out a clearly defined career plan for yourself, the rehearsal will be that much easier. When you are comfortable with your answer, practice it in a mock address until your delivery is smooth and confident.

Your answer should embrace a brief overview of your recent career, highlighting your successes and strengths, in relation to the job you are being interviewed for. So, if for example, you are seeking an engineering project management job, you may wish to include among your recent achievements how you reduced procurement costs by 40% and streamlined operating procedures while successfully managing projects within tight schedules.

With adequate preparation, the job interview "tell me about yourself" question is your opportunity to set a positive tone and excel in your interview. For example, if you are an experienced sales professional, you might want to begin like this: "I have been in the sales industry for over ten years and in the last three years I have worked as Regional Sales Manager for the Thames Valley catchment area. One of the most fulfilling aspects about the job is overcoming initial client resistance through persuasion, and offering clients tailored solutions that best meet their particular needs. I enjoy the challenges and like building strong client relations and trust. In the last year, I have increase turnover by 30%."

You can develop this further by touching on your strengths:
"My main strength is the ability to motivate teams and lead them to set targets. I am at my best while working under pressure and faced with challenges. I am able to achieve optimum results by delegating tasks proactively, multi-tasking and planning ahead."

Finally, conclude by steering your introduction towards what you now want in your career:
"I now wish to capitalise on my skills and experience within an organisation that values and nurtures its sales force, where I can make a positive contribution leading teams to significant results."

These tips and the above example should give you a good insight on how to answer the now familiar job interview question "tell me about yourself."

Job Interview Tell Me About Yourself