“Tell me about yourself” is a common way to start an interview. It allows you and the interviewer to warm up and break the ice before going into the details. There are many variations to the classic “tell me about yourself” question but they are usually also no more than an introductory question.
Most interviewers like to follow a certain flow. And some of them like to start it off by having the candidate to introduce themselves. Because it gets the candidate to start opening up to share about himself or herself.
The beauty of this question is that you can talk about anything that you like. And that’s why you should use this opportunity to lead the interviewer to discover your strengths. There are many approaches to answering “Tell me about yourself” question. The following is one way that you can use.
You have plenty of time, later on, to talk about your skills, experience, and achievements. So don’t rush into it. Always start off with something light-hearted. Something about yourself. Maybe a trait or an interest or hobby. But make sure that it is something positive.
“One of my interests is to play international chess. I started playing it since I was 8 years old. I love playing chess because it is mentally intensive. Besides the need of planning your tactics in advance, you also have to consider the consequences of your moves. And that makes it even more challenging.”
Then you carry on with how this particular trait, interest or hobby has shaped you to be the person you are today and how it has helped you to achieve some of your accomplishments.
“And I believe because of my years of chess playing, it has helped me to become a better manager. As the project manager in my current company, I managed to work with my team to help the company to save up to 15% on our recent project.”
Lastly, give the interviewer a visual of what if you worked there? How can they also utilize your skills and experience?
“And while I enjoyed my work in my current company, I am really excited about this opportunity with [Company Name] and what I can accomplish with my experience and skills.”
Don’t worry, even if you are not prepared for this, I believe it will be fine. It is after all just another introductory question. However, if you really want to ace your interview, you should take a look at these job interview tips.