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Posted 24th January 2020 • Written by People First •

Job Interview Tips-Tell Me About Yourself.


It’s the person you know best, so, it should be easy telling an interviewer about yourself, shouldn’t it? Hopefully…


Why do they ask the question?

Well, first of all it’s a good way to help you relax, by talking about something you know about.

Also, so far, they only know about you from your CV, this allows them to meet you.

And, it sets the tone for the rest of the interview. If you start well right at the beginning with a good handshake, eye contact and you answer that first question well, giving examples of your background that match the needs of the job, it will make the interviewer (and you) more confident.


How to answer?

A very important thing to remember is that they don’t want to hear about your family and pets, when you were born, where you went to school, etc.

Instead, use this as an opportunity to show why you are good for the job (which you can base on the pre-interview research you have done into the job and the company). Use that to pick out important skills and qualities that the job needs and show how you have demonstrated those in the past.


Later in the interview you’re probably going to be asked to give examples of when you have solved a problem, worked in a team, learned new things, what motivates you, etc., when you answer this first question you can include brief versions of all of that. Give specific but brief examples; if you’re in IT don’t just say you enjoy playing around with coding, instead mention completed projects, awards and achievements at work; if you’re a Receptionist don’t just say you’re an organised people person, show how your people skills and organisation have helped you succeed and add value at work, for example, by increasing customer satisfaction levels or improving efficiency; in sales briefly mention how you have increased revenue. And always finish by adding why you’ve now applied for this job with this company.


If this is your first job and you can’t give work examples then you can mention how your academic background and hobbies have got you to this point.


As with all interview answers, don’t talk too much. Being asked “Tell me about yourself” is very open ended and might feel like a chance to tell them everything but be careful not to go on and on. And on. Two minutes maximum, but look at your audience too, if they look like they are getting bored then bring it to an end, but if they respond well to something, you could talk a little more about that.


Get things started well with good and relevant examples in your brief answer to this first question and you’ll be heading in the right direction for the rest of the interview.

Click to see more Interview and CV tips from People First Recruitment to help in your search for a Mandarin speaking job, a Japanese job, a Language job or a job in Supply Chain, Procurement or Demand Planning in London & the UK