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“Tell me about yourself”
Date:

‘Tell me about yourself’. The classic opener to many an interview that gives enough ambiguity to fill any interviewee with dread!

Generally what the interviewer is looking for here is a short and snappy summary of your immediate career history, suitability for the role in question and reason in applying. As well as getting a bit of a feel for your personality and setting the tone of the interview ahead. Think of it as your elevator pitch. We would suggest preparing and practising an answer beforehand, being sure to tailor it for each interview.

Include:

  • Relevant qualifications.
  • Sentence to describe your career to date.
  • Current role, current company, 1-3 key responsibilities.
  • Key responsibilities or achievements in your career that demonstrate your suitability for the role in question.
  • Reason this opportunity if of interest to you. Ideally this will be around increased responsibility or challenge, as opposed to purely salary or logistics for example.

Avoid:

  • Launching in to an explanation of your career to date from the beginning. This will result in you reading out your CV and you will lose the interviewers attention.
  • Why you are desperately unhappy in your current job and can’t wait to get out, however tempting it may be, stay as positive as possible!
  • A 10 minute soliloquy on your hobbies. You might want to mention hobbies or achievements outside of work if it feels appropriate/relevant, but keep it very brief.
  • Don’t try to include too much information. This is really tempting, but the trick here is to give the interviewer enough key information to assess your suitability. The rest of your achievements and examples you can bring out during the main part of the interview.

Example:

“Since graduating I have built over five years’ experience within the automotive industry, predominately in the Fleet & Leasing sector. I currently work for a leading leasing company in a Business Development Manager position covering the South East. In this position I have successfully revitalised a previously lapsed area and have achieved a consistent financial performance against targets. Most recently I have enjoyed acting as a mentor to several other members of the team and assisting with induction and training. I am now looking for the opportunity to develop my career in a people management position within the same industry, such as this one.”

We hope this blog gives you some ideas as to how to answer this question in interviews! More interview hints and tips can be found on the Copeland Website: https://www.copelandselect.co.uk/candidates/


Written by Hannah Mcilvennie, Recruitment Consultant


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