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If answered correctly, this question is an excellent opportunity to show that you’re the right candidate for the job. In this episode, I will share a simple, five-step approach to help you make a great first impression.
Welcome to today’s episode about the common interview question, “Tell me about yourself.” This is often asked at the beginning of an interview because it allows the interviewer to quickly get a first impression of the applicant and starts the meeting in a conversational manner. And, if answered correctly, it’s an excellent opportunity for you to show that you are the right candidate for the job. A convincing answer includes a brief summary of your background, your personality, the value you can create for the company and why you’re interested in the position.
I will give you an example answer shortly, but first, let me show you five simple steps to help you make a great first impression.
Step 1: Summarize your career
Prepare one or two sentences that briefly summarize your background. Include how many years of relevant professional experience you have and for which other companies you have worked. If you have had many different employers, choose the most recent and relevant ones. If this is your first job, outline your education. Then, add 1-2 sentences to summarize your current position and key achievements – preferably those that align with the responsibilities from the job description.
Step 2: Describe yourself
List a couple of things that characterize you, covering your personality, motivation and work style. Then, choose those 3-5 things that best show that you are an excellent fit for the company. To get a clear picture of how it’s to work there and what kind of person can succeed in the role and thrive in the organization, it might be helpful to read about the company’s culture and reread the job description.
Step 3: Describe the value you can create for the company
Imagine you get the job and everything works out perfectly. What results will you create and why is that important for the company? A good starting point to answer these questions is the job description. It usually lists the role’s responsibilities and states what the successful candidate is expected to deliver. Once you’ve specified the value you can create, identify the skills, qualifications and experiences that will enable you to deliver these results. Summarize everything in 1-2 sentences.
Step 4: Explain your motivation for the job
Add another 1-2 sentences to summarize why you are interested in this job. You must cover why it’s the right role for you; I recommend you also include what you like about the company and its culture. It could be their mission, values, products or anything else that would make you proud to work there.
Step 5: Formulate your answer
Combine the results from the previous steps into a compelling answer. It shouldn’t be much longer than one minute. Make sure you cover all 4 aspects, your background, personality, the value you can create and why you’re interested in the role. For example, “I have 10 years of experience in enterprise sales, working for companies such as A, B and C. I have always exceeded my sales quotas during my career, and I have a proven track record of increasing customer satisfaction. In my current role as a key account manager, I am responsible for three of our company’s largest customers and have successfully increased revenue by 25% during the last 12 months. I am an outgoing, driven and organized person, and I thrive in fast-paced and competitive environments. Given my vast experience selling technology to enterprise customers, excellent problem-solving skills and ability to build long-lasting relationships, I am convinced I can help your company grow sales, develop new strategic accounts and enable your customers to grow their businesses by utilizing your products and services. I am interested in this position because I could manage big international clients, work with the latest technologies and make an even larger impact with my work, since your cloud offerings span over the entire enterprise. Also, I like that diversity is one of your core values. Working in a diverse environment inspires me and helps me broaden my horizons.”
These were the 5 steps for formulating a convincing answer to the interview question, “Tell me about yourself.” Thanks for listening, and if you like my step-by-step approach, check out my digital coaching app, which guides you through every step of preparation based on your background and the job you have applied for. Simply click on the link in this episode’s description to start your free trial today.