Hey there! This is TOP episode 139. 5 Tips on How to Answer ‘Tell Me About Yourself’ Job Interview Question.
My name’s Ola and I am an English teacher. My goal is to help you start speaking English with confidence and get rid of speaking barriers. I believe it is achievable for you and it’s time you started speaking English fearlessly! Go to my website for full transcripts and worksheets to each episode. Happy learning!
Hello to you! Thank you for joining me today. I’ve decided to prepare something that might help you in your job hunting. I’m preparing a program that will help you become more confident during a job interview. Preparation is the key. I would like to give you a tool that’ll help you get ready before such an interview and go there with confidence. Something that’ll help you get you going, if you will. That’ll get you speaking about yourself, your strengths and weaknesses fearlessly. I hope after the programme you won’t feel intimidated but rather brave. In my mind’s eye, I see you can’t wait for that job interview. That’s the idea.
The programme is being prepared at the moment but today I’d like to sort of introduce the topic and give you 5 tips on how to answer ‘tell me about yourself’ question.
So that question is dreadful. Like, where do I even start, what should I tell? Should I speak about my career or about my hobby? Should I present the whole background, starting with my education? Tough questions. Yes, so today I won’t answer all these questions but I’m gonna give 5 tips that will definitely help you set the tone and sort of get familiar with what the point of the question is. What does the interviewer want to hear? I hope you’re interested. But before we jump in…
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These are my tips on how to answer ‘tell me about yourself’ question.
Tip number one:
Be yourself. Show your personality. Remember that this question is aimed at getting to know you better. It’s not about your career, your skills. It’s all there, in your CV. Now, the interviewer wants to see who is behind that resume. Who are you? What’s your energy like, and are you a good fit for the job?
How do you answer open-ended questions? Are you comfortable with that? With talking about yourself? What does it look like, what does it feel like, talking to you? It’s small talk with an objective. Because it’s an opportunity for the interviewer to, again, get to know you, have an insight into your personality and see if their company culture and you will sort of click. Hence, be yourself.
Tip number two:
Keep it short. You don’t want to tell them everything. Keep something for later. Help your interviewer who has for sure prepared many questions that they wanna ask. If you tell too much upfront the conversation might not roll so smoothly later. To be specific, I’d say prepare one short paragraph, right? So I don’t know anything between 8-10 sentences. Short ones. There might be some follow-up questions, some kind of back-and-forth. Naturally. Definitely, you shouldn’t say too little, like 3 sentences. That might be suspicious. Still, keep it short.
Tip number three:
Use the Present – Past – Future formula. Present – Past – Future. This structure will help you to say everything that you need to say. This gives all the background information and organizes your speech. It makes you feel more confident.
So, present for starters. Tell them who you are, what your current position is, what hobbies you have. Next move on to the past. Mention how you got where you are now, education, past jobs, but rather briefly. Future. Finish with some reference to your future. What is your goal? Present – Past – Future Formula.
Tip number four:
Keep the job description in mind. Before any job interview, you should adjust your answer to a particular position you’re applying for. Be genuine, be honest, never lie and be yourself but just adapt to a particular company. If they’re looking for a team player what I would do to make a good impression I would highlight that I’m a good team member. Or when the job involves a lot of travel I would point out somehow that I am passionate about travel. I wouldn’t say that I’m scared of flying, right? It’s a silly example because if you know that job involves business trips you don’t apply if you hate flying but I just wanted to throw it out there, overemphasize to show you the point. Keep the job description in mind.
Tip number five:
Don’t get too personal. Don’t talk about your family life, your spouse. These are personal topics, and a job interview is not an occasion to share that. That’s a big ‘don’t’, of course mentioning that you enjoy spending weekends with your kids walking in the forest is fine. Especially if, tip number four, this piece of information could strengthen your position. All that being said, don’t go into details such as how old they are, what names they have, how cute they are. Nobody is truly interested in such things. Don’t get too personal.
Here you have it! 5 tips on how to answer ‘Tell me about yourself’ question during a job interview.
Tip number one: Be yourself and show your personality.
Tip number two: Keep it short.
Tip number three: Use the Present – Past – Future formula.
Tip number four: Keep the job description in mind.
Tip number five: Don’t get too personal.
And this is how you have arrived at the practical part. The key element of your today’s English.
Practice brings you closer to your goal so don’t repeat the sentences in your thoughts it does not count. Those sentences must be said out loud. Listen and repeat:
I speak about my career or about my hobby?
What does the interviewer want to hear?
Remember that this question is aimed at getting to know you better.
Are you a good fit for the job?
Keep something for later.
This structure will help you to say everything that you need to say.
Before any job interview, you should adjust your answer to a particular position you’re applying for.
When the job involves a lot of travel I would point out somehow
that I am passionate about travel.
This piece of information could strengthen your position.
All that being said, don’t go into details such as how old they are.
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Thank you so much for listening and I’ll see you next Wednesday! We’re going to discuss the lyrics of ‘The Lazy Song’ by Bruno Mars. Be here next week! Happy learning. Take care! Stay fearless and say it out loud.