“So, tell us about yourself.”
This question has become the undoing of many job seekers. Despite the fact that it seems like a simple question, it has the capacity to make you sweat, especially in an interview. What, exactly, should you share—not just to build rapport, but to show that you’re the perfect fit for the job?
Gloria dreaded this question. So when it was the first question she was asked as soon as she sat down, she fumbled her way through a vague answer, not focusing on what she could bring to the job.
“I’m happily married and originally from Port Harcourt,” she began. “My husband was transferred here three months ago, and I’ve been getting us settled in our new home. I’m now ready to go back to work. I’ve worked in a variety of jobs, usually customer service-related. I’m looking for a company that offers growth opportunities.”
The interview went downhill after that. She had started with personal information and gave the interviewing manager reason to doubt whether she was an employee who would stay for very long.
• She’s married, and when her husband gets transferred that means she has to leave; she did it once and can do it again.
• She has some work experience with customers but didn’t emphasize what she did.
• She is looking to grow. What about the job she is applying for? Will she stay content for long?
Fear not, job seekers: There’s a super-simple formula that will help you answer this question with ease.
How to Answer “Tell Me About Yourself”
So, one of the first questions you are going to be asked the moment you step into the interview room is, “Tell me about yourself.” Trust me this question is a standard procedure. So be prepared for it.
Now, this is not an invitation to recite the genesis to revelation of your life or even go bullet by bullet point through your CV. Instead, consider it your first and best chance to pitch the hiring manager on why you’re the right one for the job.
One of the past ways to answer this question is by using the PPF formula (Present-Past_Future). So, here’s how it goes; first you start with the present—where you are right now. Then, flow into the past—a little bit about the experiences you’ve had and the skills you gained at the previous position. Finally, finish with the future—why you are really excited for this particular opportunity.
Let me give you an example:
If someone asked, “tell me about yourself,” you could say:
“Well, I’m currently a PR Executive at Jane Doe PLC, where I handle our top performing client. Before that, I worked at a PR agency, where I handled the PR for three different major national healthcare brands. And while I really enjoyed the work that I did, I’d love the chance to dig in much deeper with one specific healthcare company, which is why I’m so excited about this opportunity with Peter Pan Health Center.”
Remember that your answer should focus on the experiences and skills that are going to be most relevant for the hiring manager when they’re thinking about this particular position and this company. Above all, don’t be afraid to relax a little bit, tell stories and anecdotes—the hiring manager already has your resume, so they also want to know a little more about you.
How did you answer the “tell us about yourself question”? Please feel free to leave a pointer or two in the comment section below.How To Answer Interview Questions: Tell Me About Yourself by Stellamaris Obomanu