How To Ace and Impress HR Manager In “Tell Me About Yourself” Interview Question

Posted by | October 29, 2016 | Scholarships_CareerTips

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By Selipha Kihagi,
Interview Questions can be tricky, especially when recruiters or employers want to catch you off-guard in order to see how you react.If you do not prepare extensively for the interview, you risk giving a blank stare to questions you don’t have an answer to.You could also get too anxious worrying about what you don’t know that you even forget your own name. This has happened on several occasions and most candidates are not usually able to turn the tables.

So whenever you have an upcoming job interview, always ensure you set aside time for researching the company and rehearsing common interview questions. To kick off your interview preparation, consider mastering your response to the “Tell Me about Yourself” interview question. It is the first thing an interviewer will ask and how you respond will determine how the rest of your interview goes. Why?If you do it right, your interview is expected to continue in good light. If your response is wrong, the opposite is true.

What Interviewers Expect to Hear From the “Tell Me about Yourself” Question

In order for you to respond to this question without a hitch, you need to understand why the interviewer is asking it in the first place. Take a few moments and ask yourself these two questions; what does my story have to do with the job I am interviewing for? Does the interviewer really care about my personal life or do they just want to hear about my professional background?

If your answer to these questions lean towards showcasing yourself as a professional in your industry, know you are on the right track. Most candidates fail in this question because they either focus on the personal aspects of their life or give a general response about what they currently do. These two approaches will not get you in good books with employers.

Instead, consider getting into specifics about your qualifications, strengths or competencies and your goals in the industry. Mention your education, highlight your most notable experience and conclude your answer by sharing the kind of position and company you are aiming for in your job search. Your response should communicate that you are the best in what you do. So forget about your birth order, where you were born or where you went to school. None of this will really matter.

How to answer the interview question; “Tell Me about Yourself”

Now that you have an idea of what to say and what not to, let’s take a look at an ideal sample answer. The sample focuses on the Procurement profession, but anyone can use it as a guide to come up with an ideal answer for their profession regardless of experience.

Interviewer: So tell me a little about yourself?

Jane Doe (the candidate): “I am Procurement professional with 2 years of work experience coming from several internships earlier in my career, and my most recent position as an Assistant Procurement Officer for Company X.

Throughout my experience, I have mastered various procurement functions including, negotiating with suppliers to get the best price, working around a set budget and even how to handle irate vendors who withhold on deliveries.

In my current position I have been praised for being an innovative employee in only 6 months at the job for proposing and helping implement a system that helped slash costs by 15%. I would love to share this innovative spirit and my great negotiation skills in future opportunities in the Procurement industry.  

And while I do love my job, I am currently seeking a position that provides constant challenges and growth opportunities. I believe this position at your Company will be a great match, especially with your customer-focused vision. That is why I am here today.”

With such a response or an even better one that you craft based on the pointers above, you can rest assured the interviewer will be very impressed.