Tell us about yourself – How to answer the question “Tell us about yourself”

Have you applied for a job or thinking about applying for one or probably you have a Job Interview at the Corner, you need to be as fully equipped as possible to land that all-important Job. With the increasing number or Graduates Unemployed (with more joining the group) and the limited number of jobs available, you should know that no interview is a walk in the park.

Sitting before the Interview Panel with a well-dressed Suit and Tie, your Destiny is in your hand, the ball is in your court. What you say will either give you the vacant position or send you back to writing another Cover Letter for another Job Hunt. Most persons have made the mistake of being too quick to profer answers to interview questions without paying attention to some important tips that can help them give good answers to these questions.

An interview is always Daisy but there are questions that will certainly come up in the course of the Interview. One of such questions is, “Can you tell us about yourself?”.

This question is one of the first (if not the first) questions you will likely be asked during the interview and this can certainly be your Hit point or a total Miss. Remember, you will not want to create a Bad Impression from the Start. It is for this reason, that we are here and poised to see you through this process of learning how to answer this important question.

Firstly, Why you need to understand why interviewers usually ask the question.

The question is simply asking you to introduce yourself briefly to the Panel. Let me rephrase it so you will understand better. It simply means; “Give us a rundown of who is sitting before us” or probably, “May we Meet you?”. You get the point now right. The question gives the interviewer an opportunity to get an abridged version of your background and skills, providing them with your personal thoughts on what experiences you think are relevant for the job and how many of them you do possess.

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A correct answer to this question sets the tone for the interview, presenting you as a smart applicant but flustering on the first attempt is a warning shot, remember, it comes first.

Let’s get started….

Tackling this question, there are two questions you must ask yourself;

  1. What are the qualities you possess that make you the best candidate for the job?
  2. Why are you interested in that company.

When you try wrapping your head around the answers to these questions, you will begin to understand exactly what you need to say. The Interviewer is trying to know you and why you decided to apply, this is an opportunity to sell yourself. Below are important things you should know and how to respond.

  1. Do your Background Research

As a Job applicant, you have to do proper research about the company you intend to work in, be conversant with the company’s mission and goals, and then align your professional goals with them. One thing interviewers appreciate is someone who is proven to have studied the company values and sheds light on them. Understand the outstanding features that make the company unique and hold onto them.

  1. Outline Past Experiences

The answers you will give throughout your interview should be given with the intended position in mind. Having established this, state your work Experiences with particular reference to those areas of success recorded. Starting from recent professional Experiences, no one wants to know what was happening over 10 years ago, unless and only if it relates to the job you are applying for.

  1. Relate your Present Job to the one you are applying for
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Are they both related? If yes, explain your present job and how you will transit the experiences generated from that work to this one you are applying for. E.g. if you were working as a Sales Rep and want to switch to working as a Customer Service personnel, you need to make the interviewer know why your knowledge about human management and temperament will be useful as a Customer Service personnel.

  1. Focus on your Achievements in former jobs

The employer is looking to hire someone with proven skills and experience, no doubt, however, stating provable Achievements will put you on the ascendency. No one wants to hire someone who has no record of success and therefore, you have to state them. Stating your achievements increases your value before your interviewer.

  1. Shed some light on Your Personality

Briefly share your personality, mention interesting things about you that exhibit your intellectual capacity and how you help yourself improve through those activities. You must not go too personal into your hobbies but things like Music inclination, learning new skills, engaging in sports, etc can show you are sound all round and in turn brighten your chances before the interviewer. In all things, keep it professional

Below is a Quick Expert Example

Mind you, the answers to this question cannot be the same for two people as the jobs and the careers are not the same also. However, this answer below will help you fashion yours.

“I have been passionate about Electrics since I was a kid. Growing up and seeing my Dad perform this work inspired me so much and I looked to be more like him. It didn’t take long before I became an active staff, learning the job from him and soon became a regular name in my neighbourhood. I decided to get more professional about my passion so got educational and professional training. Firstly, I got my first degree in Electrical engineering then followed it up with a masters degree. I also had 1-year industrial training in ABC electrical company, gaining more experience.

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In my last job, I worked as the senior technician in DEF company, taking care of all Electrical duties in the company for a period of four years. Within which I made sure we always responded to all challenges in quick time.

When I am not working, I spend time constructing electric panels or trying out new things. I am looking to take this passion and experience to the next level by bringing part of your reputable organisation”.

Answers like this are comprehensive, the style must not be the same but then the purpose should not be lost in the process. Be polite and clear in your response and you will certainly be successful.

Now it is your turn. Let us know if you have comment, suggestions or a different view

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