This is one of the most common interview questions that you can expect in almost any kind of interview. The good thing about questions like these is that it’s open-ended enough, giving you the freedom to insert whatever information you choose to share about yourself to the interview panel.
Why do interviewers ask this rather common question?
Tell me a little about yourself. It’s an age-old question in the world of job interviews, and before we get into how to answer this question, let’s ask why interviewers ask this question.
Asking candidates this is a good entry point into the conversation. Compared to more complex, technical questions which usually come later, this one is rather easy and does not have any wrong answers, putting candidates at ease. It is open-ended and, therefore, comes with some level of leeway to answer. While the answer itself is of great importance to the hiring team, the question also helps the interviewers transition into the interview and gauge the language, confidence levels, and communication skills of the candidate. Does the candidate stutter? Do they engage in pointless anecdotes? Are they witty? Are they nervous? – this simple prompt answers all these questions.
Here are some things to keep in mind while answering this question
Self-introduction: Use this question (or a variation of it) as a good opportunity to introduce yourself, your educational and professional qualifications, as well as your passions.
Professional language: While it’s important to seem genuine, remember that introducing yourself at a job interview is vastly different from introducing yourself to strangers at a house party. Use language that is amiable but not too casual or overly comfortable.
Tailor your answer: This is a question that you’ll encounter in some form or the other in all phases of the interview. Rather than having a ready script for the question, make sure to modify your answers and include the relevant details specific to the interviewer. The information that you share with a recruiter will be different from what you share with the hiring manager, the boss, HR, a collaborator, etc. Similarly, also adapt your answer based on the role as well as the company.
Keep it concise: A mistake that candidates often make while answering this question is not keeping a check on time. Keep your answer short, sweet, and relevant. Remember that this is only an introductory question and that the rest of the interview is yet to begin. Do not bore the interviewer by rambling or through pointless unrelated anecdotes as these directly point to your communication skills—or lack thereof.
Do not memorise: While preparing for an interview is essential, try not to memorise the answers to these common questions as they seem to point to a level of artificiality and lack of confidence. Nearly 40% of all interviewers are believed not to consider candidates who don’t appear confident in their answers.
Make it fun: Just because it’s a job interview does not mean that you need to keep things purely career-related. While introducing yourself, don’t be afraid to include hobbies or pursuits outside the domain of your career that define you and help interviewers see you as a multi-faceted individual with a life outside work.
Be your true self: Your certificates and resume are not the only things that make you an asset in the eyes of a hiring manager. It is your persona, the warmth you exude, your trustworthiness, and how genuine you are. While talking about your achievements and accomplishments, make sure not to exaggerate or falsify your claims. Be truthful, authentic, and passionate.
News Source: Khaleej Times