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Answering the 'Tell Me About Yourself Question'

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Do you have an interview approaching and want to ace it? Interviews can be one of the most stressful parts of job hunting.

This process can make a lot of people feel anxious which can lead to making crucial mistakes.


One of the most common competency questions an interviewer is likely to ask is, "tell me about yourself". This simple open-ended question makes many people stumble when trying to construct an answer.


Many people debate whether to tell them about their personal life or focus solely on their professional life. If you can relate to this, don't worry because we are going to give you some tips to make you feel confident in answering this question.


Here is how you can answer the "tell me about yourself question" in an interview:

1) Start with an introduction

The person interviewing you will have already read your CV or have it with them. With this in mind, don't give the interviewer a recital of your CV. Your answer should be unique. Introduce yourself, the place you were born, the school you went to, and the reason for attending university.

This should be followed by what interested you to step into this field.

2) Focus on important skills and activities

Nobody wants to hear something irrelevant in a job interview. Your answer should contain the most significant events of your life. Tell them about your most recent project and any achievements.


Your answers don't have to directly relate to the role of the job but try to tailor your answers as much as possible. 


3) Keep it professional 

An interviewer is always expecting you to be professional, be it how you dress or your answers. Answer the question professionally by focusing on the things that happened during your past relevant to the job. Tell them about a project you did or a research paper you wrote.


Any kind of work experience, be it an internship or a previous job.


4) Avoid your failures

Try to avoid talking about your failures. There is nothing wrong with failure and it might intrigue some interviewers to know about your journey but remember, this is your first impression and you want to leave a great one.


5) Practice your answers 

Practice makes perfect. Practising your answers will help you build confidence. You can practice in front of your mirror or you can practice with a friend. It's always best to have someone else's opinion when you are preparing for an interview.


Remember, you can also do a mock interview with someone, this will make you more prepared for the interview. 


6) Be concise with your answers

Conciseness is very important in interviews. Long answers can make the interview boring, and the interviewer might lose interest. According to career coaches, a good and concise answer should fall in between 30 seconds to 2 minutes.


We hope these tips help you and that your next interview becomes a success. Good Luck!

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