30 Jun What to do when a recruiter asks ‘tell me about yourself’?
How to answer the most common job interview question
This is usually the first question you’ll get asked in an interview. It may feel like a throwaway question, but it’s your chance to set the tone for the rest of the interview. While “tell me about yourself” sounds simple, it can be surprisingly challenging.
It’s important for headhunters to ask this question because it allows them to see your character and personality and if you’ll fit in with the company.
The more prepared you are with insightful answers, the better your chances are of impressing a recruiter. Think about what makes you unique among other candidates.
Consider why you’re excited about this particular job opening. Develop a “hook” or interesting angle to make your response memorable.
How to describe yourself (an outline)
- Keep it short and mention what’s relevant! This is just a small part of the interview. Be prepared, but don’t stress too much over this question.
- Pick the right place to start. Don’t explain your life story from when you were born. Start from when you graduated university or when you started your career.
- Share key moments from your career: relevant experience and accomplishments.
- Let them know where you’re at now and where you want to go in the future. So why the job you’re applying for interests you and why you would fit in the role.
What are some key tips to keep in mind?
You can’t just say “I’m a hardworking person”. It’s better to mention something different and unique to you. Don’t explain that you’re a reliable person or that you’re punctual, these are basic things that all employees, in theory, have.
Explain a trait that makes you more valuable to a headhunter.
Fit the job offer
Try to describe your personality and attributes in a way that fits what the employer is looking for in the job description. Discover what skills they are looking for. Choosing a few soft skills and explain how you used them well in your past roles.
Incorporate common buzzwords such as teamwork, professionalism, adaptability and dependability. Share your abilities with quantitative results or at least realistic numbers.
Most importantly, be honest. Recruiters want you to be authentic. Explain your best qualities and how they’ll help you complete your role in the best way possible. Mention any work experience that is relevant to the position that they are hiring for.
Then talk about how your previous positions have prepared you for this role and why this job would be a good next step in your career path.
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