‘Tell Me About Yourself’: Answering This Question Well Can Double Your Confidence During An Interview!

Posted On January 2,2020

‘Tell me about yourself in a few lines’ - A simple question which becomes the toughest one to answer for an interviewee.

How do you start answering it? What aspects do you cover - academics, work experience, hobbies etc.?

But, you have mentioned it all in your resume, right?

Our today’s blog dives into a few areas which will help you craft an answer that makes your interview engaging.

Why do the interviewers ask this question?

Candidates are nervous during the initial phases of an interview. To break the ice and make the interviewee feel comfortable, the interviewers begin the discussion by asking “Tell me about yourself”.

He or she also tries to suss out your communication skills, ability to summarise your professional history in a few lines and know a few things which haven’t been mentioned on the resume.

When you describe your personal and professional journey (which you know very well), you feel more confident and enthusiastic to answer other questions. It leads the way to a smooth conversation between the interviewer and you.

However, most interviewees fail in answering this question correctly. They read line-by-line from the resume or go into specifics of each job or education experience. It isn’t the right approach!

How to craft an appealing answer?

Before we dive deeper into the key components of an engaging answer, let’s have a look at some do’s and don’ts:

  1. Keep your answer under 2 minutes (If you can keep it under 90 secs, you’ve done a fabulous job!).
  2. Follow a chronological order - Don’t switch between the topics frequently.
  3. Keep a few points handy which you would like to cover. But, don’t mug up the answer as it is. Words should flow naturally out of your mouth.
  4. Don’t rush; speak slowly - Consider it your elevator pitch.
  5. Don’t reiterate the entire information mentioned in your CV. Pick up a few relevant details and add your own colour to them.
  6. Don’t dive into your family history unless the interviewer specifically asks about it. 
Here’re the key components you can include to make your answer persuasive and engaging:

  • An overview of your personal and professional journey - You can respond by telling about your birthplace, your educational qualification and the previous job experiences. Don’t detail down on any of these points as there will be other relevant questions to explain more on these aspects.

PRO TIP: As a fresher, you can talk about your internships or any projects completed during college time.

  • Achievements and instances of exemplary performance - Would you find a better way to increase your confidence than to describe your achievements and recognitions so far? You can tell one or two accomplishments and any awards you received for exemplary performance in your previous organisations/ college.

PRO TIP: If you’re a fresher, mention your meritorious grades or proficient knowledge of a particular subject. It will help the interviewer in understanding how will you add value to his or her organisation.

  • Hobbies and favourite resources - Finally, you can tell your favourite hobbies or timepass activities to show a picture of your overall personality. It’s also a good opportunity to describe your favourite books and go-to resources for upgrading the skills and knowledge. Who knows an interviewer might also like a specific book or TEDx video that tops your go-to list!
If you can answer this question well, you’ve won half the battle. It opens the doors for other specific questions related to the requirement or role. So, your best shot at answering this question can mould the interview and the interviewer's interest in your favour!

Want to prepare for the interview with the help of industry experts or mentors? Download our app or speak to us at contact@skillprodigy.com.

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