The one interview question I think many people dread answering. If you an introvert like me, we usually don't liking blowing our own horns. However, extroverts have no problem answering, but are they answering the question correctly?
I am in the HR profession and I have done many interviews in my 13 years . And usually this question is met with a response such as, " My name is.... I was born in... and I am married with 2 children" Many people think this is the correct way to respond to this question. But the interviewer is not asking for your family history. The interviewer actually wants to know how your skills meet the requirements for the position you applied for. Answering like this shows me that you weren't prepared for this question.
The correct way to answer this question involves the following steps:
1. Review the job description. Look at what the requirements for the position are.
2. Match your best skills to the job description and company.
3. Write down your answer and practice it. Focus on the past, present and future in your response.
Here's and example: " Right now I am working as a Marketing Manager and Company X where I developed a brand strategy for our top 5 clients. Before that, I was a Marketing Team Leader at company Y where my main focus was leading a team that speciliased in creating brands for our clients. I have extensive experience in branding and brand strategies and XYZ Software. I enjoy this kind of work and I am excited to showcase my skills to you today" This will get the interviewer interested and excited to continue the interview.
Are you a graduate? And you thinking, but how do I answer this question?
Here's an example for graduates:
"I am finishing up my final semester at University ABC with a degree in Business. I really enjoyed my classes in business strategy and economics. I volunteered at company CDE and assisted the owner with developing a new business strategy. Although this is a small business it has given me the opportunity to showcase my knowledge of what I learnt at University. This new strategy has already yielded positive results in that the business has increased sales by 5% since the new strategy was introduced."
Now that you have a better idea on how to respond to the question "Tell me about yourself", you can write your first draft. Read it out loud to yourself and time yourself. Polish your answer down to not more than 2 minutes. Practice your answer in front of the mirror and listen to yourself as you speak. Don't make your response sound rehearsed. Make it conversational.
Keep it simple. In 2 minutes tell them what you do best, organised in Past, Present and Future.
Now remember, you cannot use the same response for each interview. The number one rule is to tailor your response to the requirements of the position.