Blogger, Trainer and Career Coach, Janice Taylor, shares expert advice about responding to the infamous interview question "Tell me about yourself" to ensure you are chosen for the next step of the recruitment process.
Why do interviewers ask us to present ourselves?It gives the interviewer an opportunity to get to know you a little and gain some background to you, the person. They may also see it as a way to break the ice and put you at ease if asked at the start of the interview, which it generally is. The one thing you should be able to talk about is yourself, though I must admit a lot of people do find this question pretty off putting. In an interview, organisations will be looking for your skills and competences, but they will also want some idea about whether you will be a good fit for the team or department.
Can you give us any advice about how to respond?It's helpful to frame your answer and provide a structure along the lines of:
- Perhaps I can tell you about the last five years of my career and then provide a succinct summary of your highlights,
- Or perhaps I can tell you about the time I spent travelling and what I gained from that experience.
- Or perhaps I can tell you about how I come to be sitting here today, again you can use this as a way to succinctly and briefly summarise your career and finish on why this job appeals to you now.
- Or maybe I should start by telling you something about the course I have just completed, and what I gained from it.