Tips to answer “Tell me about yourself” Part II

It’s one of the most frequently asked questions in an interview: Tell me about yourself. Your response to this request will set the tone for the rest of the interview. For some, this is the most challenging question to answer, as they wonder what the interviewer really wants to know and what information they should include.
The secret to successfully responding to this free-form request is to focus, script and practice. You cannot afford to wing this answer, as it will affect the rest of the interview. Begin to think about what you want the interviewer to know about you.

List five strengths you have that are pertinent to this job (experiences, traits, skills, etc.). What do you want the interviewer to know about you when you leave?
Prepare a script that includes the information you want to convey. Begin by talking about past experiences and proven success:

Next, mention your strengths and abilities:

  • “My real strength is my attention to detail. I pride myself on my reputation for following through and meeting deadlines. When I commit to doing something, I make sure it gets done, and on time.”

Conclude with a statement about your current situation:

  • “What I am looking for now is a company that values customer relations, where I can join a strong team and have a positive impact on customer retention and sales.”

Practice with your script until you feel confident about what you want to emphasize in your statement. Your script should help you stay on track, but you shouldn’t memorize it — you don’t want to sound stiff and rehearsed. It should sound natural and conversational. Even if you are not asked this type of question to begin the interview, this preparation will help you focus on what you have to offer. You will also find that you can use the information in this exercise to assist you in answering other questions. The more you can talk about your product – you – the better chance you will have at selling it.

Here are examples given by WikiAnswers contributors:

  • Hard worker, quick and eager learner, pays attention to detail.
  • Example: Because of past experience and MBA degree, I am versatile and can perform well in many kinds of positions. Now I am looking for a challenging internship position in an established company. Basically, I am an experienced and flexible person can be successful at any kind of finance works.
  • “Hardworking”, “Task-oriented”, “Solution-oriented”, “Dependable”, “Motivated”, “Independent”, “Team player” are all examples of good terms you can use. There are many more.
  • I am a self-starter dedicated, hard-working person who works well with other, punctual, detail oriented a team player, great organizational and interpersonal skills.
  • Describe yourself as outgoing, hardworking, dependable, eager to learn and grow professionally, etc.
  • Fast paced, quick learner and very challenging. That’s all they want to hear.
  • This question is usually asked in order to gauge how a person perceives himself.
  • Just be honest. List off a few characteristics that you see yourself as having. Actually, a question of this kind is an ideal way to plug in everything we want to say about ourselves that we had leave out of the CV.
  • If you have attended a premier institution, say that the institution taught you much more than the degree it awarded you. Mention people who influenced you, talk about the books you like reading, your hobbies and your other interests.
  • Talk about your strengths. Mention an instance when you used your conflict resolution skills or selling skills or whatever. But make certain that it does not sound like blowing your trumpet. Mention these instances as a good learning experience.
  • Talk about your weaknesses, but make sure that they are positive weaknesses. For instance you could say that that you are a person that pays more attention to details than is warranted. You can openly confess a tendency to be impatient with team members who cannot carry their own weight, or who cannot contribute sufficiently.
  • Maintain the right tone in doing so. You do not want to give the interviewer the wrong impression or make him feel that you get impatient at times.
  • No one can do that for you as only you know yourself.
  • If asked to then you should do so. Prepare yourself for personal questions.
  • Just list off a few characteristics that you see yourself as having. If it’s for a job interview, make all of the characteristics sound as positive as possible. This question is usually asked in order to gauge how a person perceives him or herself. Just be honest. Are you outgoing? shy? diligent? stubborn? clever? passionate? level-headed?
  • Don’t stress too much. If you can’t think of anything. Then think of a few people who know you and imagine how they would describe you. Pretend that your mom, a sibling, a good friend, a co-worker, and your spouse or significant other are all sitting down in a room making a list of your characteristics and then use the things you think they would say.
  • Do not mention a bad quality if you are not working on it, e.g., what is your weakest quality? I am not very competent using computers but I am currently taking a evening course to rectify that/ I am going to.
  • Most importantly back up what you say, why are you reliable?

Source: http://wiki.answers.com

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