Job interviews can be a bitter-sweet experience and dreadful at the same time for both fresh and experienced job seekers most especially when the job role is not defined. There are cases where the job advert states the position but no defined job responsibility nor expected salary for the job positions. When these information are not available in the advertorial or newspaper dailies.
The interview question on Tell me about yourself can be a very confusing one especially for first timers. Many assume its about giving a brief description about yourself, for example, your name, date of birth and state of origin, but it goes way beyond that. Many ever tend to stutter when answering the question on Tell me about yourself.
In this post, you will be taught not just on how to correctly answer interview questions on Tell Me About Yourself as this is the first and most important part of the complete questions on interview series, but also steps on how to dress up and get prepared for the job interview.
One thing we need to remind ourselves is that getting a job in Nigeria can be a daunting task and such that rarely happens therefore when you receive a text email for a job interview for a vacancy you applied for you need to do everything right and leave the rest to fate. We bolded the statement ” ‘vacancy you applied for’ because many job seekers sometimes receive emails or texts for jobs they did not apply for and they fall victims of fraudsters out of desperation.
Before answering the interview question on Tell Me About Yourself, you must have done your homework on the following:
1) Read The Company’s Profile
Read about what the company are into, their brief history and about their clients from their website or other credible sources.
2) The Company’s Vision and Mission Statement
To be a part of the company, you must have a vivid knowledge about the mission and vision statement of the company because it is by working with the existing team that would further drive the organization towards it’s goals and objectives.
3) Dress Code
As an interviewee, you can through the company’s website get hint about their dress code. Mind you, not every interview require that you dress corporately, some require that you dress corporately casual that it is, suit jacket or blazers and chinos or jeans trouser. Sometimes the dress codes are not stated, in such scenario, you are advised to dress corporate. You must make sure your shirt is well tucked into your pants trouser or chinos trouser and the color of your belt (black or brown preferably) must match with the color of your shoes.
If it’s an engineering company you can make do with Chinos and a nice jacket with a pair of black or brown shoes. Never make the mistake of wearing a Snickers or boot for an interview even if it is an engineering company.
Remember you are there to sell yourself so you must dress very presentable and carry yourself with confidence not
Often times job applicants arrive at the venue late or few minutes before the scheduled interview time. This is very wrong because you are already sending a wrong impression about your punctuality. Lateness is a very serious offence at the work place hence must be avoided like a plague. Your boss would give you a query for being late and remember that after receiving queries twice on a particular behavior at the office or work station, the third query is tantamount to a sack letter or better put, termination of appointment or disengagement.
The ideal time to arrive at the interview location is at least 30 minutes before the scheduled interview time. The best time to arrive for your job interview is 45 minutes before the interview starts as this would buy you enough time to relax, discuss with other interviewees, make amendments on your CV where necessary and do photocopies for documents that need to be photocopied.
5) Carrying The Appropriate Documents
When going for a job interview, it is advised you carry along both original and photocopies of all credentials stated in your CV include at least 3 photocopies of your CV. There are instances where some interview sessions could go on for a full day because after successfully passing the first stage of the interview, you might be requested to wait for the second and third stage if you pass the latter and former successfully. At either of these stages, your original and photocopies of your credentials might be requested for and not having them available as and when due could dent your chances of getting the job because there are many better qualified applicants who can even get the job done therefore there is no room for compromise or laxity.
Having done your homework on the above and arrived at the location, your next concern is for you to ask yourself “if I am asked to talk about myself, how do I go about this interview question” Not to worry, that is why we dug deeply and carried out extensive research on the best way on how to answer correctly interview question on Tell me about your self.
Remember you will be called into a room, the right thing to do is walk in and shut the door behind you with one hand while still facing the interviewer(s) rather than shutting the door backing them.
Walk towards the person who is to interview you and exchange pleasantries, for example if it’s a man, simply say Good morning Sir and of course you will be replied and if he or she doesn’t say how are you doing, simply respect your and keep standing in front of your interviewer until you are told to have your sit.
If your interviewer replies your greeting and says how are you doing? You are expected to reciprocate with a smile on your face by saying “I’m fine or very well Sir or Madam” some interviewers can find it a bit disrespectful when you respond by saying how are you doing too? So it is advised to keep it simple by just responding and making sure the terms Sir or Ma are included.
Now you are seated facing either just one interviewer or a group of interviewers all staring at your face with a view to intimidate you and see your confidence level.
Then the first question of the interview is thrown at you “Can I know you or Tell me about yourself”
This is a very simple but tricky interview question if not we’ll understood and if you miss it at this stage, you have missed it all because this is the defining moment of your interview session, others are secondary. When your interviewer asks you to tell him or her about yourself or request to know you, this is simply talking about your CV in the nutshell.
Remember most interview sessions lasts less than 10 minutes especially at the first stage of the interview. Don’t also be quick to forget that the interviewer already has a copy of your CV before calling you so you must answer the questions with direct and concise answers. No need for long explanations or ambiguous terms.
10 Tips on How to Answer interview Question on Tell me About Yourself or Can I Meet You?
1) Your Name
Your response should be; My name is (say your first name followed by your surname) just as it is written on your CV, you don’t need to say you are a male or female because obviously your interviewer isn’t gender blind. You are to keep the flow, do not stop and wait to be asked another question until you are asked.
After saying what your name is, go on to the next most important content on your CV without stuttering..
2) State of Origin
Identify your state of origin because your name and state of origin are the factors that defines where you come from. Some schools of thoughts would say it is not necessary to mention your state if origin, however it is advisable you do so as this doesn’t take more than 3 seconds to do so.
Try and be composed and calm with a smile on your face, the smile diffuses tension automatically and puts your interviewer at ease with you indirectly.
3) Briefly Discuss Your Educational Background and Qualifications
Remember you were called up for the interview because the interviewer believes you are qualified for the position you applied for based on the job requirements. Now is the time to prove it by discussing your Educational background. Here you are to start with your the start and finish year of your primary school leaving certificate. Many have deemed this unnecessary hence skipping it. The importance of mentioning this cannot be overemphasized because even the almighty government jobs require that you must have your First school leaving certificate to be eligible to apply for any federal or state government graduate jobs. Then go ahead to mention your secondary School and higher institution academic qualifications and what you graduated with whether it’s a First class honors division, or second class upper or lowers division with honors. No company will grant interview to third class students because it will not be listed among the educational requirement for the job.
Graduating with honors gives slight advantage in the sight of the person interviewing you. You might want to know the difference between Graduating with Honors and just graduating with a B.Sc or HND certificate. Graduating with honors comes into play when the students graduated within the stipulated time frame meant for the course without having an extra year or what many know as spillover.
If you graduated within the appropriate time frame for your course, you are automatically graduating with Honors on your certificate but graduating after having an extra year or spillover, you don’t have the liberty to include the title Honors in your certificate or CV.
4) Briefly Mention Your Current Job Experience
Most vacancies require that an applicant has the required years of experience for the stated job. There are cases where the available vacant positions are for fresh graduate, here you do not require any job experience rather your NYSC experience and achievements if any is enough but you could also make mention about a current course you are already undergoing which will add the required skills and value to your job.
If it is a job vacancy for graduates with at least 2 to 3 years of experience, it is advisable you discuss your job role and how it relates to the current position you are being interviewed for. Better still, give a brief description of the value you added to your previous of current company for those who wants to port to the company carrying out the interview.
Succinctly harp on things you have done presently for example “I’ve been in the field of sales and marketing for 5 years now and i have been able to win over 100 new customers and increased the transactions of the current customer base within these period. Don’t forget to talk about your love for team work. Team work is what drives an organization towards achieving its organizational goals and objectives
you could also say “My objective is to realize and fully maximize my potentials while working in a reputable local or international organization. To contribute positively to corporate goals and objectives by working with existing personnel and facilities and being a good team player, as well as aspire to top management position in the industry.”
The above statements shows that you are highly motivated and ready to keep learning and contribute your values while working with the existing team.
5. Tailor Your Message To Your Audience
Strive to understand your audience, and tailor your message to them. Your work might benefit a plant manager, a supply chain supervisor or a CEO, among others, in different ways. Figure out what about your work would be most important to the person you are speaking with, and talk about that. By taking the time to identify his or her issues and concerns, you can plant the image in his or her mind, “This person can help me and my company.”
6. State Your Achievements
What do you help people to do? Rather than listing a whole series of things, distill it down to a single important thing. Example: “I was able to bring in 100 new clients to the existing ones in my 5 years of working with ABC Ltd.” A clear simple sentence invites a question to go into more detail and engage in a convo.
7. Show Empathy
Find out something about your job that gives you positive feeling, and demonstrate it with a smile and talk good about your present employer. When you show an emotional relationship with the work you do you show.
When you answer the “tell me about you” question with a value statement, you display your professional qualities, build interest in you as a person and increase the chance of beginning a meaningful dialog. Then, you are well on your way toward ending your interview with success. Now you are to wait and hear from your interviewer for any further questions.
What is your take on this? there are to direct or cast in stone methods of answering interview questions on tell me about yourself, often times you have a major role to play by understanding the mood or facial expression of your interviewer. However, the above steps listed above would go a long way in making sure your pass any interview questions and one of which is Tell me about yourself.