“Tell me about yourself” is the most common question asked in all types of interviews. Actually it is asked at various levels of interviews and by various people like HR’s, managers, Leads, etc. But, the candidates usually mess up with this. Because in the starting they take it very lightly as they think that they know everything about them and can easily answer but when it is actually asked they become blank as it is a very broad topic. On the spot, you cannot decide what you should speak and what not. Mostly in just one minute interviewer decides whether he will select you or not. This is the very first question that is asked in interviews so it plays a very important role in making your first impression. And Remember, the First impression is the last.
Here there are 4 rules that will help you to draft a perfect answer to this question:-
- Explain who you are = Always keep one thing in mind that the interviewer is never interested in knowing your background like about your family, your birthplace, etc. If he wants to know about it he will directly ask you, like “tell me about your family” and so on… But by asking “tell me about yourself” he is interested in knowing your skills which are profitable for his organization. Example As an experienced you can start by saying “I am Neha, I am an experienced software engineer. I had mostly worked in java. I had three years of experience as a software engineer and worked on many real-time projects”. As a fresher, you can say “I am Varun, I had recently completed my graduation in Computer Science from University of Delhi with a CGPA of 7.5”
- Accomplishments = Than state down your achievements that you have accomplished in your career. If you are fresher you can say about your achievements at your college. Example As an experienced you can say “I led the sales department of my company. And had closed 2 deals in 1 day, one worth 1 million dollars and another 5 million dollars. I had been awarded as the employee of the year twice”. As a fresher, you can say that “Apart from my course I had done .net, java, Kafka certification courses from Udemy and worked on various projects like x, y, z. My final year project was ‘ABC’ and you can summarize your project in 2 lines by just telling what it does, If the interviewer is interested in any of your accomplishments, he will ask you on his own”. The accomplishment that you tell should be true, you should not try to fake it because that will be caught, you the interviewer.
- Strengths = Than go on by telling your strengths. Your strengths should be in alignment with the job for which you are being interviewed. For example, you came for a sales job and you say “My java is very strong”, that is not correct. Example As an experienced marketer you can say that “I can fully understand what the audience wants and can then present content to them in the way that they want to see”.As a fresher, you can say “ I am a quick learner, I can work under pressure, etc”.
- How you are fit for the job = For this first you should read the description of the job profile carefully like what skills they are looking for, experience, etc. Then tell him why you are applying, and why you are fit for the job. For example, you can say that “I looking for a job where I can utilize my skills and can provide value to the company so that it can achieve its vision and I can learn new technologies, etc“.
Bonus Tip –
Make a script of the answer by keeping the above point in mind. The answer must be according to your job profile, practice it in front of the mirror, and learn it. So, whenever this question is asked, you are always ready with the answer.
Basic things that you should always keep in mind during the interview or while giving the answer:-
- Confident = Confidence is the main thing in an interview. Always be confident while talking, don’t get stuck or start looking here and there during conversation. Even if you messed up something earlier don’t take tension about it because you can’t change what you have done.
- Take it easy = Many times it is noticed that people usually speak the whole of there answers in one pitch, you need to understand that you are communicating with the interviewer not reciting him a poem, so go easy, take pauses, higher or lower your pitch wherever needed. Even if you have made a script and crammed it, speak like you don’t have any pre-made content.
- Always be ready for questions = Candidates should always be ready for the incoming questions. When any out of syllabus question is asked ( means that they haven’t practiced ), the candidate usually becomes hopeless. In that situation don’t panic, listen to it carefully, then if you know the answer tell it, even if you know anything closer to it tells it otherwise say no. Don’t try to stretch your answer unnecessarily, that just shows that you are trying to be over smart.
- Be clear = Many people will misunderstand this with good English, NO!!. It just means whatever you are speaking, speak it clearly so that interviewer understands it otherwise all this will be of no use.
Few examples to answer “tell me about yourself” interview question
- Hi, I am Neha and currently working as a senior software engineer at Amazon. I had 5 years of work experience in this field and worked on many real-time projects during my career. I had optimized querying time to database from 10 min to 1 min. And has been awarded as the employee of the year twice. Coming to my strengths I had good command in java, MySQL, Python, etc. I am a quick learner and can work under pressure. I am keen to utilize my skills in a larger working environment and want to work on the products that I myself love. Actually, I am a big fan of your company’s products.
- Hi, I am Sachin. I had just completed my graduation in computer science from IIT Kanpur this year. I got a CGPA of 8.5. Apart from the course, I had done certification courses in Kafka, real-time computing, machine learning from Udemy. Here are my certificates for the same. I had also won a hackathon named AngelHack recently. I had made many projects related to the language I had learned during my graduation like music player in Andriod studio, snake game in CPP, and many more that I had mentioned in my resume. My final year project was based on machine learning and it was implementing a Hidden Markov model. My strengths are that I am a quick learner. I am a very disciplined person and like to complete my work on time. Now, I am looking for an opportunity where I can utilize my skills, can work on some real-time projects, and at the same time can learn more technologies. And I think that I can find them in your organization.
Also read Most Important HR interview Questions