“Tell me about yourself?” How To Start The Interview Effectively

Most interviews start with the question “Tell me about yourself?”, and after your answer most employers will know if you are highly suited and they want to ask further questions, or if you are not suited at all and they will try wrap up the interview shortly afterwards. Your answer needs to be natural, truthful, professional and impressive.

The below video posted by Jason Allard compares several Bad and Good examples of answering this question. Watch the video and see what factors you are critical of:

You can notice from the examples in the video that there are several key factors worth discussing further:

Duration:
If someone only tells a short amount of details about themselves, it is too open for the interviewer to ask many specific questions. Be concise but not too long and irrelevant. Be honest and upfront. It is also important to remember that the interviewer already knows what is listed on your application. Try to be a standout candidate but talking about why you chose to study your field and why you have chosen your career path, so that you can add in the parts which are not on your application but still maintain relevance.

Body Language:
You notice that in the Bad examples, the candidates are slouching. Although this might show they are relaxed, the negative perception it might have is that they are so relaxed that they don’t really care about the interview. You want to have a straight back and have your hands either on your lap or placed nicely on the table. Slouching might show disinterest, crossed arms might show that you are protecting yourself, and leaning back might show you are trying to get away from the question. Your body might be acting this way without you even realising it, so it is good to be mindful.

Be Professional :
In the video, you can see that business attire and a positive tone of voice makes a huge difference. Dress, act, and talk like you want the role. Remember that an interview is an honest conversation between two professionals, but if you don’t act and dress your best that it will be hard for the interviewer to relate to you on a professional level.

These are simple factors evident from the video, however there are several other things these candidates could have improved on to go from a good interviewee to a great one!

It is hard to be critical of yourself, but easy from an outsider’s perspective to be critical of others. Learn from the above techniques and your observations from the video. Gain confidence by practicing on a few friends and seeing what their honest opinion is. Ask them the big important question: would they hire you?