“Tell me about yourself” is often one of the first questions an interviewer will ask and provides one of the best opportunities you’ll get to demonstrate you’re the best candidate for the job. Here are some tips to ensure you give the best response possible:
Structure your response, and don’t just repeat what’s on your CV
Avoid the urge to read your CV out loud or provide a full historical account of your working history. A proven approach is to use the Present-Past-Future formula.
- Present – Explain where you are right now.
- Past – State the experiences you’d had, and skills gained at your most relevant previous position.
- Future – Explain why you’re excited about this particular opportunity.
The over-arching theme should always be “why and how you’re a good fit for this position” and “what benefits and value you would bring to your new employer”.
Give solid examples
Once you’ve highlighted where you are and what’ve done it’s time to provide concrete examples to reinforce and anchor the points you’ve made.
Let me give you an example:
"In my current role as a digital marketing specialist, I’m responsible for increasing website traffic and audience targeting for a number of our top tier clients. I have used _____ strategies to attain _____% sales and user growth over a period of ____ months."
It’s okay to share your personal interests, as long as it’s precise
It’s tempting to share a long list of academic achievements or accolades garnered in your current job, however you have a much better chance of establishing a rapport with your interviewer if you go for a more low key approach that doesn’t necessarily relate to your career.
Anything that shows you’re healthy and energetic is worthy of a mention, such as running or yoga for example. After sharing one or two personal interests you should shift the focus back to your strengths and professional skillset.
Remember that while it’s typical to approach this question in a relaxed way, you’re still in an interview so sharing personal opinions on sensitive topics should be avoided.