When preparing for your job search, it's important to focus on responses to interview questions having to do with both your personal and professional sides. Most interviewers begin with "Tell me about yourself" as a way to gather basic information and frame the conversation. Your response to this interview question is crucial, and it could help clinch the job if you use it to provide a strong overview of your skills and experience.
Begin With Current Activities
One of the best ways to respond to these types of interview questions is to focus on your current position. Start by outlining your most recent employment, and focus on job duties that carry over to the position you are interviewing for to show the interviewer that you have transferable skills. Applicants who are unemployed can focus on their work in the field related to the job and highlight volunteer work or work experience that ties to the industry.
Showcase Your Personality
Once you have detailed your current activities in a professional manner, add a bit of personality to the conversation by describing why you're interested in this line of work. Phrases such as "I loved working on XYZ because it gave me a sense of accomplishment" help the interviewer to see your passion for your work. When answering interview questions, you should show that you are both personally and professionally invested in the field.
Wrap up this introductory overview of your skills and experience by letting the interviewer know why you're seeking a position with the company. Highlight how you can make an impact in the field, but also describe specific elements of the job that excite you. Detail what you would like to know about the company culture, operations or duties of the position to further prompt conversation and dialogue between you and the hiring manager.
Frame your answer to these interview questions in a way that shows your enthusiasm. Avoid detailing aspects of the industry that you dislike or even negative experiences from previous positions. Instead, detail what you love about working in the field, and highlight the joy you've experienced collaborating with skilled colleagues, talking to satisfied customers and working under diligent supervisors. Let the hiring manager see that you have put in ample time researching the company and the position during your job search by mentioning the specific reasons you hope to work for the organization.
How you answer these common types of interview questions can significantly impact the success of your interview and your potential for employment with the firm. When you hear "Tell me about yourself," be ready to put your professional demeanor and your genuine personality on display and show that you are a qualified yet personable candidate for the position.
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