Question forms part of
Other interview questions that are similar
- Can you walk me through your resume?
- What are your key strengths and weaknesses?
- How would you describe your work style?
- How did you become interested in this industry/role?
- What do you consider your most significant professional accomplishment?
- What aspects of your previous jobs did you enjoy the most?
- Can you share an example of how you’ve overcome a challenge in your career?
- How do your experiences align with the requirements of this position?
- What are your professional goals, and how do you see this role helping you achieve them?
- How have you grown or developed in your career, and what have you learned from those experiences?
What the interviewer is looking for by asking this question
There are probably an infinite number of questions that the interviewer could ask you on the day. Some questions are incredibly common appearing in almost every interview you will have, while other questions you might hear once and never again regardless of how many jobs you apply for.
Fundamentally though all interview questions are really trying to find out one of 3 things:
1 – Can you do the job? (Do you have the skills/experience needed?)
2 – Will you do the job? (Do you have the drive/motivation to get the job done?)
3 – Will you fit in? (Does your personality match the workplace culture? Are you likeable?)
That’s it. Those are the 3 things that the interviewer is trying to ascertain. Every question that is asked of you will fundamentally be trying to resolve one (or more) of these 3 things.
This open-ended question in particular (Tell me about yourself) allows you to provide a brief overview of your background, experiences, and accomplishments that are relevant to the position. By sharing details of your education, past job experiences, and specific skills, you address the first aspect of the interviewer’s concerns – your ability to perform the job.
In addition, discussing your passion for the industry, your motivation for applying to the role, and your career goals can help demonstrate your commitment and drive to succeed in the position. This touches on the second aspect, revealing your willingness to do the job.
Lastly, when describing your personality traits, work style, or values, you have the opportunity to emphasize how they align with the company culture and the team you would be working with. This addresses the third aspect, showcasing your potential to fit in well within the organization.
So in all, this question actually hits all 3!
How Best To Answer ‘Tell Me About Yourself’
While the B-STAR method (Belief – Situation, Task, Action, Result) is a useful technique for answering behavioral interview questions, it may not be the best fit for the “tell me about yourself” question. This question typically calls for a more general overview of your background, skills, and experiences. However, you can still take inspiration from the B-STAR method to structure your response effectively. Here’s a suggested approach:
- Brief Introduction: Start by providing a concise summary of who you are professionally. Mention your current role, years of experience, and any areas of expertise.
- Education and Skills: Highlight your relevant educational background and the key skills that make you a strong candidate for the role. Focus on those that directly relate to the job requirements.
- Work Experience: Briefly describe your professional journey, focusing on roles and accomplishments that are relevant to the position you’re applying for. You can use the STAR method to explain one or two significant achievements in a concise manner. Be specific about the situations you faced, the tasks you were responsible for, the actions you took, and the results you achieved.
- Motivation and Fit: Explain your interest in the role and the company, as well as how your values align with the organization’s culture. This demonstrates your enthusiasm and potential for cultural fit.
- Conclusion: Wrap up by briefly mentioning your career goals and how this opportunity aligns with them. This shows that you’re motivated to succeed in the position and have a clear vision for your future.
By following this approach, you can provide a well-structured and comprehensive response to the “tell me about yourself” question that addresses your background, skills, experiences, motivation, and fit for the role.
What You Should NOT Do When Answering Questions
Do not avoid the question.
Do not downplay your achievements/experience.
Do not overhype your achievements/expereince
Do not give a one-sentence answer.
Tell me about yourself – Example answers
When crafting an answer to “Tell me about yourself,” it’s important to keep your response concise, relevant, and tailored to the job you’re applying for. An effective answer typically includes a brief overview of your professional background, your key skills or expertise, and a few personal attributes that make you a good fit for the role. Here’s a couple examples:
Digital Marketing Example
“I’m a digital marketing professional with over six years of experience in developing and implementing online marketing strategies for various industries, including e-commerce, healthcare, and technology. I have a proven track record in increasing website traffic, optimizing conversion rates, and managing social media campaigns. I graduated from XYZ University with a degree in Marketing and earned a certification in Google Analytics.
In my most recent role at ABC Company, I led a team of five and helped increase organic search traffic by 30% within six months, which contributed to a significant increase in overall revenue. I’m passionate about staying up-to-date with industry trends and enjoy experimenting with new marketing tactics to drive results. I believe my analytical skills, creativity, and strong communication abilities make me a great fit for this digital marketing manager position at your company.
Outside of work, I enjoy volunteering at a local animal shelter and attending marketing conferences to expand my professional network and learn from industry experts.”
Quantity Surveyor Example
“I’m a quantity surveyor with over 13 years of experience in the industry, and I’ve had the pleasure of working with four different employers since graduating from university at 21. My expertise spans various types of projects, and I’m particularly proud of my certification to work on nuclear sites.
Throughout my career, I’ve been fortunate to work on a wide range of projects, from residential developments to large-scale infrastructure projects. This has allowed me to develop a strong skill set in cost estimation, contract management, and risk analysis. My experiences have also taught me the importance of collaboration and effective communication with various stakeholders, such as architects, contractors, and clients.
I’m excited about this opportunity because your company has a strong reputation for delivering complex, large-scale projects. I believe my experience and skills align well with the role, and I’m eager to contribute to your team. Moreover, I’ve always admired your company’s commitment to safety and innovation, which aligns with my own values as a professional. In the long term, I aim to further develop my expertise in the field and take on leadership roles in challenging projects like the ones your company handles.”
Remember to adapt the example to your own background and experiences, and make sure it aligns with the job requirements and company culture.
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