Being asked to “tell me about yourself” in an interview can be a daunting task. You want to make sure you summarise your skills, experience and interests without going on too long or sounding rehearsed. Knowing how to respond effectively can help you stand out amongst other candidates and make a great first impression.
Keep it Short and Sweet
When responding to this question, it is important to know that the interviewer wants a brief overview of who you are as a professional—not your life story! Keep your response to 1-2 minutes long and focus it toward the role and organisation you are applying for. You should be concise yet informative; you want to show that you have done your research, but also leave room for further conversation topics.
Focus on Your Professional Qualifications
Focus on your relevant qualifications, an overview of your recent experiences that pertain to the job position, and, most importantly, highlight the big achievements in your career. If you are applying for a data entry role make sure the interviewer knows how many words per minute you can type, if you are running a supply chain operation, mention a cost saving initiative you achieved. If possible, try to incorporate some of the language used in the job description so that they know you have read it thoroughly and understand what they are looking for. This will demonstrate why you are the ideal candidate for this role.
Add in Some Personal Details
Although it is important not to drone on about your personal background, adding small details about who you are outside of work can help give the interviewer insight into who you really are as a person. For example, if there is something unique or interesting about yourself that relates back to the job or company mission statement—like volunteering at animal shelters or playing guitar—it may be worth mentioning here! This will show that there is more than just skills and experience behind your candidacy; there is personality too!
Answering this open-ended question during an interview does not have to be difficult or scary if you come prepared with thoughtful responses that highlight both your professional qualifications as well as personal interests. By striking this balance between professionalism and character, you can ensure that the interviewer gets a comprehensive understanding of who you are and why they should hire you.