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Here's how to nail the ‘tell me about yourself’ question in your job interview


15 July 2021 at 5:24 pm
Maggie Coggan
Sometimes the simplest questions are the hardest. We break down how you can put your best foot forward. 


Maggie Coggan | 15 July 2021 at 5:24 pm


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Here's how to nail the ‘tell me about yourself’ question in your job interview
15 July 2021 at 5:24 pm

Sometimes the simplest questions are the hardest. We break down how you can put your best foot forward. 

While you might think it’s a question that you could answer without any preparation, as with most things, there is a right and a wrong way to talk about yourself in a job interview context.

It’s easy to panic and stumble when you’ve been so focused on preparing specific answers that address key criteria and so on.  

The interviewer is looking to understand how your experience, skills, and personality make you the perfect person for the job, so it’s important, even with an introductory question like “tell me about yourself”, that you demonstrate that. 

So how do you go about that? We’ve rounded up a rough guide below. 

Be brief, don’t recite your resume

Because this is only an introductory question to warm you and the interviewer up, don’t drag your answer out for too long. 

Reciting every single thing that you’ve done or achieved is going to bore your interviewer to tears (plus, they’ve already read it in your resume). Pick out key moments and experiences and briefly describe them to illustrate your interview story. It’s also important to read the room. If you can see that your interviewer is looking distracted or a little bored, move on.

Be relevant

You might have done a lot and had a really interesting life, but everything you say must demonstrate how you’re qualified for the job you’re applying for, and why you’re interested in the job and the organisation. see that your interviewer is looking distracted or a little bored, move on. 

Show personality, but don’t get too personal 

Because cultural fit is such an important part of working in the for-purpose space, it’s really important that during your answer you demonstrate your passion for a cause, and how your personal values play into your work. But there’s a line. The interviewer doesn’t need to know the intricate details of your personal life. Keep it professional and relevant to why you’re in the room (or Zoom). 

 

If you’re interested in a career in the for-purpose sector, check out our For-purpose jobs board, with new jobs, advice and resources added every day. Find your dream role today.


Maggie Coggan  |  Journalist  |  @MaggieCoggan

Maggie Coggan is a journalist at Pro Bono News covering the social sector.

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