Question: Tell me about yourself…
This is a confusing question for many people. Some have asked themselves, “Why is she asking me this question? It’s all in my resume, isn’t it?” Actually, it’s not all in your resume–it’s in you, and the interviewer wants to hear it directly from you. Your response should be a four or five sentence statement that summarizes your professional and/or educational background. Some people have never been able to decide if an interviewer wants to hear about their personal or professional side, so let’s solve this mystery right now: This is a skills and abilities question; no more, no less.
Bottom line: the interviewer wants to know what value you will bring to the company. Remember, the purpose of an interview is to determine what you can do for the company, NOT what the company can do for you!
To answer this question, you must know your skills and abilities inside and out. Tell the interviewer what you do best. Think about the skills or abilities the company is looking for and connect those to your own. You’ll know what the company is looking for based on the research you conducted beforehand and what you may have been able to glean from the job description. Of course, you will have an answer ready as a result of your interview preparation techniques. Say what you have to say. Do not ramble! Once you’ve given your answer:
The way to answer this question is to tell the interviewer about your professional abilities in a summarized format. For example, you might say:
“I am an accountant with over ten years experience. I graduated from ABC College with a degree in Accounting in 1978. Since then, I have held four jobs, each with increasing levels of responsibility. I have also worked in both manufacturing and service organizations, thus rounding out my experience as an accountant.”
Another example of a way to answer this question:
“I am an administrative assistant with seven years of experience in small- to mid-sized firms. I have reported to various levels within these organizations, ranging from the executive vice-president to manager level. My skills include the ability to work with all levels of people in the organization, as well as using personal computers for word processing, spreadsheets, and presentation materials. I also enjoy learning new software packages. I feel one of my strong points is the ability to handle multiple priorities in a fast-paced environment.”
A recent college graduate might respond this way:
“I recently graduated from ABC College with a degree in Business Administration and a 3.5 grade average. My goal is to obtain a position that will allow me to develop and refine skills that I learned both in college and my various part-time jobs. I’ve worked in retail and in office settings, and am now ready to begin a full-time career with a company like XXX Company.”
Once you’ve developed a response, be prepared to give examples that support your opening statement.
This is the company blog of the Salam Business Club, the first worldwide Internet-based business network for the Arab, Asian and Muslim world, with members from over 180 countries.