Admit it! We’ve all been in an interview where we are asked this universal and much-dreaded question, “Tell me about yourself.” You can see this question coming in almost every, if not all of your job interviews – regardless of the job type, industry and your experience.
Deciphering what the interviewer is trying to achieve through the question and delivering just that is an arduous task. Then what’s the way out? Let’s see how! :)
Asking this question "Walk me through your background" or "Tell me about yourself" is an easy way to for the interviewer to open the conversation. He primarily wants to get you talking through this question. This question indicates the onset of your interview, and as a result, your answer to this question will define the interviewer's first impression of you.
In spite of being difficult, this question also brings along an opportunity! It is a perfect chance to emphasize on points you desperately want your prospective employer to know about you!
Your answer will set the tone of the interview and start the interview on the right note. Hence, make sure you address the following aspects while answering:
Define a USP for yourself
Unique Selling Proposition (USP) is your elevator pitch as a prospective candidate. This should comprise a short summary specifying what makes you unique for this job. Don't forget to customize this depending upon the position.
Studies have shown that an average recruiter scans a resume for six seconds before deciding an applicant fits the role. Therefore, keep in mind that no interviewer will remember all your accomplishments mentioned in the resume. Hence, it is indispensable to make a gist of your niche area and refocus it again. The key is to give a concise and enthusiastic response, ideally less than a minute, explaining about the skills that make you a right fit for the job. You could also direct the interviewer's focus to some of your proudest accomplishments and goals.
Showcase your primary selling points - relevant experience or areas of expertise. Your technical skills or that specialized training you've undergone. Focus on how you'll meet or exceed the job requirements.
Explain your interest in working with their firm
Tell him why you’re interested in being a part of his organization now. You can wind this up by telling him that you already possess enough skills in your existing role and are looking forward to acquiring new skills now. Elucidate that you want to take up new challenges now and be at the top of your game.
Now comes the Skillful Formula:
A brief introduction to your professional background
Start with an overview statement that gives a peek to where you stand professionally, showing off your strengths and hinting a bit about your personality as well. It always helps to prepare a bit in advance. Keep it short and concise, but make sure it summarizes your background.
Something like this here –
I’m a Content Writing Head with almost six years of experience, and have handled different roles – from writing blog posts to cold emailing potential customers – for XYZ publishing agency
Do you get the idea?
Employ your USP now
Time to highlight your achievements here – tell them your areas of expertise and what makes you unique. Elaborate on how your services will help the company grow. Direct the interviewer’s attention to the most impressive part of your career and grab his attention.
The key is to keep him tuned to the conversation. Therefore, the better your USP, higher will be the chances of getting hired.
Try something like this –
In the past five years, I’ve worked on developing my skill - set in the different areas of business, and have been promoted thrice. I try to bring humor into my writings as laughter instantly makes it likable. I want to help people through my writings and wish to make a difference someday!
This answer is a right mix of her accomplishments, goals and her enthusiasm to work.
Wind up by telling them why you’re here
Be positive while narrating your experiences here. Being too candid in this case might risk you coming across as a negative person. Say good things about your previous job, how it helped you widen your learning curve, but also explain that you are looking forward to enhancing your skill-set and want to take up a more challenging assignment now, in their firm.
The key here is to clearly express your interest in this particular job. The interviewer should find you excited about working with them.
A little preparation in advance could help you set the tone for the interview! :)
Image Credit: Freepik