Can you please tell me a bit about yourself? This is one of the most common interview questions ever. It sounds easy because it is an opportunity to talk about yourself. Who knows you better than yourself right? Don’t fall into that trap because there is more than what meets the eye. If you are unsure how to answer this question, then look no further as we have all the right answers!
Why is this important?
Interviewers like to use this particular question as an icebreaker. It also helps them to see whether your background, education and future plans align with the company or role. It’s also an opportunity to showcase your personality.
Planning your answer
When employers ask the multi-million baht question, the response should be roughly one to two minutes. For some that may feel like an eternity talking about yourself. Others may feel it’s too little time. This is where the planning stage comes in. In the planning stage, there are a couple of questions that you should consider answering. This includes:
- What qualities make you a great fit for this position?
- Why are you interested in the role?
- Why are you interested in the company or the industry?
- What characteristics or traits that you possess will help you in this role?
- What makes you stand out from the rest?
You want to ensure that you keep your answers professional and work-related. It needs to be brief, to the point. Don’t forget to sprinkle some positivity and passion in your answer as well if you are comfortable doing so. Remember to know your audience. Remember to use past experiences to highlight how your strengths helped the company.
How to answer
This is where the fun begins. It is recommended that you practice your answer. If you write a script it is important not to memorize what you have written. Remember, you want to sound natural and display some of your personality there.
There are three aspects that you want to cover for this question. Firstly, you want to talk about the present. So what is your current role, the scope of it and a recent big achievement is also possible. You need to mention your major and education.
Then you need to take a trip down memory lane. This is where you inform the interviewer about your previous experiences. Past experiences should be made relevant to the company you’re applying for. You should summarize these experiences. Explain how they helped you prepare for the role.
Next is the future. This is an opportunity to tell the interviewer what you’re looking to do next. Also mention why you’re interested in this position. Mention why you would be a great fit here! Finish off by explaining how your experience will help you succeed in this position. Emphasize how it aligns with your future goals.
A good abbreviation to remember is W.A.P. No, we are not talking about Cardi B’s song. W.A.P. in this scenario stands for Work, Academic and Personal. This is a good way to remember what you need to mention when employers ask the sacred question.
W for Work needs to cover about 80% of your answer. A for Academic needs to cover 10-15% of your answer and the remaining 5-10% needs to be personal. Perhaps thinking of Cardi B in this scenario isn’t such a bad idea. It is definitely memorable!
Never do the following…
- Summarizing your resume word for word
- Mentioning personal information that is sensitive such as political or religious views
- Rushing into deeper conversations about the role and company
- List multiple, vague strengths without supporting examples
Checklist to remember
- Keep it professional
- Keep it positive
- Keep it work-related
- Be brief, to the point
- First impressions matter
- Tailor your answers to the role and company
- Talk about past, present and future
Remember to include your strengths and abilities in your answer. It is okay to show off a little bit but do it humbly. Don’t forget to highlight your personality when asked this question. It will give employers a feel for what you are like and whether it could fit the company culture. If you want to practice then why not consider our interview training.
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