What appears like simple and innocent sounding interview question makes many of the interview candidates very stressed and anxious. Despite being the obvious first question, many candidates fumble to effectively answer this question, and fail to make an impact. But answering it well doesn’t just help in creating a good first impression, but also increases the chance of getting through as this becomes your weapon to steer the interview in the direction you would want to. And that’s why it is important to answer it well.
In this post, I share some tips that will help you answer the dreaded interview question better.
- Keep it short: Your answer to the question of ‘tell me something about yourself’ should be between 90 -120 seconds. Also, try not to include something that is already there in your resume or is very obvious about you.
- Very briefly talk about your academics & achievements: You can highlight about your highest academic qualifications and achievements in that sphere or things that you were part of. For instance, I was among the 0.1% merit holders, or I was the student’s body president, or the placement co-ordinator, or the member of the literary club, etc. You can briefly highlight your achievements on being part of such activities & roles. For example, I drove the entire placements of my institute and increased the average salary from XX to YY INR
- Talk about your work experience: While talking about your work experience don’t get into the specifics of your work. Here again, highlight your major accomplishments, for instance, if you were in sales, your response could be in my previous role, I worked as a sales manager and I have increased the overall sales by X%. Caveat: Never get into details, as people will lose interest, but do highlight the impact you had brought in your work.
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- Talk about the challenges: Try and intrigue the panelists by highlighting some of the challenges while achieving your goals – without delving too much into the details. You can talk about a specific instance where you hit a roadblock and explain how did you go about resolving it. It could be from your work experience or from your academic life, but it has to be something worth talking about.
- Talk about what defines you as a person: When highlighting about your key traits such as leadership, creative problem solving and other skills, cite specific instances from your life to prove why you are the best candidate for the role. Your answer must be tailored to the interview you are giving, and the skills needed for the role. Likewise, if you are giving an interview for the MBA entrance, you must highlight what made you decide to go for an MBA course while highlighting the specific instance which triggered it.
- Highlight points you are absolutely sure about: Directing the interviewer completely depends on you. Make sure you give the interviewers, points for questioning on things you are comfortable answering. For example, talk about your research topic which you know in and out. This way they get a chance to ask you questions on it.
Here are a few additional tips:
- Be extremely thorough with your resume.
- Be confident and smile. Also, do make an eye contact with the panellist(s) while answering the question.
- While answering the question tell me something about yourself, you can talk about your hobbies, but it has to be very brief and that too towards the end.
Do check our previous Posts on GD & PI’s for MBA Entrance
- 9 Tips To Face Personal Interviews in MBA Entrances
- 8 Tips to Crack Group Discussions in MBA Entrances
- How to Answer One of The Most Dreaded Interview Question: Why MBA?