We’ve all been interviewed before and most of us have conducted a few of our own. Whether you’re the traditional type who has a list of prepared questions to ask your candidate or you prefer to engage in casual conversation, everyone tends to ask, “Please tell me about yourself“. This is the blurb of ‘you’; it shows the company who you are and why you should be chosen. Every other question you’re asked are your supporting assets.
It’s the simplest question but also the trickiest to convey clearly and concisely. Just like the rest of your interview, you need to avoid any semblance of waffling and what I like to call ‘verbal diarrhoea’. The longer, more unstructured you are, the more you blend in with the crowd. Let’s face it, interviewers spend hours looking through resumes and speaking with countless other candidates – you want to ensure that you’re different when answering the most impressionable question.
Remember, no one wants to hear you regurgitate your memorised resume in list form
You don’t want to overwhelm your interviewer, so pick only 2-3 recent professional achievements supplemented by 1-2 educational achievements (if you’ve just started your career). Remember, no one wants to hear you regurgitate your memorised resume in list form – weave in that bit of colour which shows that you’re someone relatable who will add as much to the culture of the company as you will skill. When you attained 200% of your sales target: Who helped you meet that number? How did you celebrate your success? What relationships were formed in the process?
No matter how much or how little content you have to share, always remember to tie that back into the job you’re applying for. How does your experience demonstrate that you will be or have what it takes to be successful in the new role? Your interviewer has listened to an endless list of other people before and making the connection clearer will be much appreciated and more memorable.
The question to answer isn’t ‘Why do you want this job?’, it’s ‘Why do you want to work for this company?’
The question to answer isn’t ‘Why do you want this job?’, it’s ‘Why do you want to work for this company?’ At the end of the day, the right company for you will be looking for someone who has a drive beyond the immediate role; someone who is forward thinking, passionate about what they do and who wants to grow themselves while helping the organisation succeed.
Interviews can be daunting and long. There can be plenty of unexpected questions. But at the end of the day, if you can articulate who you are as an individual (it’s like an elevator pitch to sell yourself) then you have the groundwork set. Now that you’ve read this, can you tell me about yourself?
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