Today, let’s discuss one of the basic and almost certainly asked questions in any kind of Interview which is Tell me Something about Yourself?. Additionally, this question is likely to be the first question that you will face in an interview.
An interview is a kind of short film and the audience is the interviewer, so it is very important to have an impactful opening scene otherwise during the whole process the interviewer will look at you with some apprehensions. Therefore, it is very important to have a good start to any interview.
The person who knows you the best in this world is you. So don’t look for a tailor-made answer to this question, although in this article we would also share a sample introduction, but use it as an outline only to frame your actual answer. Trust me if you are genuine to yourself, the world would appreciate that.
Duration of Introduction
This is the most important thing to keep in mind while answering this question. Sometimes candidates prepare a very short answer to this question and the interviewers after listing to their answers say tell me more about yourself. In that situation, as they have not prepared the answer for the different duration they get nervous. So prepare an introduction of 60 seconds duration and keep certain versions of that introduction in your mind to fit in 30 seconds and 90 seconds. If the interviewers ask you to give your introduction in 30 seconds then you can cut short the things regarding your hobby from your introduction and emphasise on your educational qualification or experience for that post. Although there is no fixed rule that you have to give the introduction for that particular duration but if the interviewer has not given any time limit to answer this question then it would be appropriate that you introduce yourself in 60 seconds.
Before going on to see a sample answer to this question, let’s discuss why in the first place the interviewer is asking this question, the simple reason is that he wants to know about your suitability for that post. So, in your introduction keep this in mind that the interviewer is only interested to know about your suitability for the job. At times many candidates get candid and keep telling a lot of personal stuff about themself this shows a lack of maturity on the part of the candidate. Therefore, while giving your introduction tell about your Qualifications, Skills, Achievements, Experience and Qualities that will make you a suitable candidate for that role. So, rewind your life and think about the moments and instances in which you achieved something and that are also relevant to that particular post. For instance, if you are going for an interview for the post of a maths teacher and you scored good marks in maths then highlight that or you have won any prestigious award or one was captain of any sports team.
Your love of listening music or travelling or bungy jumping is likely to make no impact on your selection for the post unless you are going for an interview in those particular fields, on the contrary, you can use the time to highlight more relevant experiences related to that post.
It is important to keep in mind that in most cases the interviewer already has your resume which contains all basic information about yourself. There is no point repeating that information, in that case just club all that information together and tell that in around 10 seconds and focus more on your skills, experience and qualities. So, let’s see a sample introduction:
Hi, my name is XYZ,
I have done MBA in Finance from Delhi University with 92%.
I also did a certification course in Marketing with A Grade.
I have done my summer training from Company where I got to know about the work culture in any big company and more specifically I learnt about the behavioural finance.
I believe because of my good sense of responsibility I was made the captain of my school and college football team and as a team won may inter-school/college tournaments.
Due to my ability to make the right decision under pressure and commitments, I was promoted to the post of …… in my previous company.
Please keep in mind that don’t just write anything for sake of it, for example, it is very easy to say I am a constant learner but if the interviewer asks you how you think you are constant learners?. In this situation, just imaging if your answer is backed by an additional qualification then it will make a good impact. For eg.
As I am a constant learner I have done an additional certificate course in Fiancee from XYZ Institution to keep myself updated with the changing behaviour of consumers.
What if you don’t have any such experience/qualification or knack to brag about?. Don’t worry just say the truth but this will work only in case of fresher, if you are experienced then you must have certain arms in your armoury.
Although I don’t have any experience in this field yet, I would like to prove my abilities if given a chance.
If you want to have a successful interview then give a lead to the interviewer in your previous answer for his next question, but make sure you have proper knowledge before say those catchy words. For example, if the post has a requirement of behavioural fiance then tell that you have practical experience of behavioural fiance from the summer internship. Then you would see that the focus of the interviewer would shift to behavioural finance only, this would hide a lot of shortcomings that one might have such as low marks in academics. If the job requires good interpersonal skills and leadership qualities and in your previous company you have been promoted to any leadership position then point that out that in your introduction.
There is no substitute to practice. This is one of the sure-shot questions that are likely to be asked and if you fail to prepare to this question then ask yourself do you deserve that post?. Think of it from the point of the interviewer that a candidate is not able to take a guaranteed question seriously then how seriously he will take the job tomorrow?.
Write your introduction, record it, practice in front of mirror and others.
Try to be calm during the interview, although at times it might be difficult because one might be in desperate need of a job. However, if you display your nervous behaviour then you are not doing any good to your selection for the post. Most companies want persons who can perform well under pressure. The more you prepare for the interview that more you will be calm during the interview.