Tell me About Yourself
This interview question can be a bit tricky to answer. It is one that most people will ask and it is important to be honest because, like with all questions, you want to make sure that you will fit in with the team you will be working with. It is important to give a positive impression though and this is really your chance to describe your personality. It can be worth trying to fit in some traits that you have that might be suitable for the job, but generally anything that will show your positive qualities.
You could make it more about you or about how you are in a work environment. It could be good to change it depending on what else you have said in the interview so far. If you have discussed a lot of things about your approach to work, then something more personal could be better. If you have not had a chance to talk about everything you wanted with regards to your working style, then you could include.
If you are asked the question at the beginning of the interview, then you will need to approach it differently to if you asked at the end. At the beginning you will need to focus on the skills you have that fit in with the job. Never ask back ‘what do you want to know’ as it makes you look unprepared.
You need to highlight important achievements that are relevant to the job and keep it short. It is not an excuse to give your whole life story.
An example could be : I have a PhD in psychology which gave me the skills that I needed to do the research role at the University of Wolverhampton that I have just completed. I was able to build on my theoretical studies and now feel I have the necessary practical skills to take on many more research projects such as this one. The fact that this job is working in a similar field of child behaviour means that I already have many of skills as well as background knowledge necessary for the role.
Another example : My previous work in retail has given me the skills needed to know what it is to be in this environment. My management qualification has given me theoretical understanding of leading a retail team. I feel that this job as a retail manager will combine both my experience and qualifications to give me the perfect opportunity to show what I have learned.
So tell us about yourself!