Tell me about yourself – The well-known ice breaker question in an interview. Over the years, recruiters have tweaked the way they put it across but, the answer remains the same. Since many friends and acquaintances have asked me for the right answer, here is what I think.
Like they say, there is never a right or wrong answer in an interview; it’s just how convincing you are. I generally use this as a warm-up question before switching to a marathon with the candidate. All I intend to know is how well candidates present themselves and are they prepared for this “So very obvious” question in the interview.
So, here is what I expect from a candidate to this warm-up question:
For new job seekers-
- Start with your educational background (Yes, not your name). This tells the interviewer, you have the required qualification for the job you have applied. Also, mention about relevant certificates you have acquired.
- Then, take them through your curriculum related projects/internships. Give more information about your latest or most relevant project/internship matching the job description for which you are being interviewed.
- Tell the interviewer, why you think you are a good fit for the job and what really interests you about the job profile. This tells the interviewer, you have done your homework. If you are wondering if you should talk about your personal life, then my answer would be a big “NO”. Some curious HR’s (that I was once) might ask personal questions, which is strangely considered absolutely normal in India. Good luck with that!
Eg: I am a computer science engineer from so and so college. As part of my curriculum, I did a project in or did my internship with so and so company. Talk a little more about the project/internship. Conclude by telling them, why you would be a good fit for the job.
For experienced job seekers-
- Start with giving the interviewer an overview of your experience, followed by your educational background.
- Then, talk about your recent job more in detail and conclude with why you would be a good fit for the job and what values you could add if you are hired.
Eg: I have over 5+ years of experience as a Dot net developer. After graduating as an engineer, I started my career with ‘n’ company and worked there for ‘m’ no of years etc.
This might seem like a very easy question, but remember, you are being judged and the rest of the interview will depend on this one simple question. So be prepared, write down and practice it. Also, remember to keep it short and informative but not too short. You can limit your answer for about 2min or so.
Of course, things have changed and so is the interviewing style. This might not even be too relevant these days. But, I would love to know if it’s still practiced, if it is, here are some tips for you.