Interview questions and answers #1 tell me about yourself


Tell me a bit about your self…This is one of the most common interview questions and what they are looking for are answers that will fit in with their picture of an ideal candidate.

What is amazing to realise is that even very intelligent people struggle with this.

It’s very open-ended, as all interview questions should be. People struggle to know where to start and tend to just go through their CV in far too much detail in some rambling way.

They need to consider this question and think about structure, then relate it to the role for which they’re being interviewed.

Usually interviewers are interested in your most recent experiences. As a graduate for example, you would talk about your education, particular interests, and why you chose your university and degree subject. They will want to know about any significant achievements you have had whilst at university and then that’s probably it. So it’s about creating a positive first impression and having some structure to your response. You need to be succinct but try to relate things broadly to the role for which you’re being interviewed.

It would therefore be good practice to sit and think about what they might be looking for, then try to project yourself into that role. Most of the big graduate recruiters usually have some sort of competency profile which is a list of key attributes that they believe are essential to be effective within their organisation and they facilitate a competency based interview. These might include e.g. competencies such as Leadership, Teamwork, Initiative, Adaptability etc. They will then look for you to demonstrate evidence that you have strengths in these competencies.

What you need to do, is look at those competencies and think of examples where you’ve demonstrated ability in those competencies. You should maybe one or two examples for each of their competencies.

You need to think about those in preparation for the interview. There’s a little mnemonic called STAR which helps you to structure you responses – it stands for Situation, Task, Action, Result. (Read more about this mnemonic here)

Interview Advantage can help you with interview questions and answers. We can meet you in London or Oxford to help you with a personal session or give interview support on the phone or on Skype. Call us today.