How to respond to “Tell Me about Yourself”

"Tell Me about Yourself" is one question that seems to always pop in interviews. Many interviewees, more often than not, give the impression of confusion with regards to choosing to respond from either a personal or professional perspective. Also, many job seekers seem to wonder about the length of time to spend in hitting back at this suspicious question. This question can come in various forms such as: "I would love to hear more about your background" or "Can we know you?" or "Can we meet you?"

Here are five things that you can work with in order to be best equipped and able to respond with suave when asked the question. They are interrelated and overlap, and give you an advantageous position if you master them.

1. Be confident

You are seen as confident when you speak assertively, keep a straight posture and maintain proper eye contact throughout an interview. Speak with excitement about yourself. You are selling yourself here. Unleash your best arsenals. If you’re not excited about yourself or confident of your personality, no employer will. Nonetheless, you must not put forth an over confident or braggadocios persona.

2. Realise that the recruiter has already seen and gone through your CV

When asked to speak about yourself, the interviewer gives you ground to add flesh to the personality, background, experience and ethics captured in the CV you submitted. You can exude mastery of your CV by having all necessary information very handy, in order to give more life to the content and spirit of your CV. Also, note that the recruiter has probably studied your CV, at least for a while, so, avoid the temptation to exaggerate.

3. Be definite

Get to the point quickly. Give timelines and information that measure your impact. You must have carried out some thorough fact-finding about the job opportunity and the firm itself leading to self-introspection through your history to find everything about you that makes you a great fit for the firm and role. You have to be definite and very specific about these things.

4. Be relevant

You have gone through the company website and thoroughly researched the position. Make sure everything you are saying is aligned with the values that your prospective employers promote and relate to the skills that make you a perfect fit for the role you intend to fill. When a recruiter asks you to speak about yourself, what they want to hear in essence is how your background, education, skills, personality, previous achievements and all your garnered exposure have prepared you for the position you intend to fill. The recruiter seeks to hear relevance.

5. Be professional

This is no time to talk about things that are very personal like your much-loved TV programmes or preach about your faith, the number of siblings you have, your favourite football player, or even your likes and dislikes. These were not the reasons why you submitted your CV in the first place. You submitted the CV as a professional, seeking to develop professional skills and rise higher to the frontiers of your professional field or industry, so, by all means, speak professionally.

At Kigenni, we can help you achieve this!

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