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  1. #1
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    Default The "so tell me about yourself" question in the interview

    Is it just only me that I find this type of question is a bit tricky, yet bit useless too? I've been to three interviews in the past week and all of them asked me the same thing when we started our interviews and too bad that I think i've failed all of the interviews because of this question! The reason being that is because I find that I probably don't know how to 'sell' myself and make good impression to the interviewers, but I don't believe so!

    I still vividly remember the best interview I had and produced great outcome was from one of my previous jobs 5 years ago. The HR manager was basically so 'into' my resume that she specifically asked technical questions about the my skills and how I handled specific situations, tasks, etc. Of course at that time I also did an intro about "tell me about yourself" , but she was so diligent in going thru everything and made the interview process went so smoothly and I was able to confidently talk thru about work, experience and myself. However, that's not the case with the recent interviews that I've been to, they all seemed went flat after I did an intro about myself and wasn't too keen on asking technical/behavioural questions, and didn't even care on investigating stuff that might be related to the role they're advertising. I've practiced (and memorised) a number of times how to present myself in a nice way, but sometimes (and sadly) interviews is also about interviewers guessing whether an interviewee would click with them or not (sometimes they are after specific character and personality i.e, mature and quiet or young and bright, or not so serious, etc). I believe all of the potential jobs that I've gone to the interviews to are the ones that match my interest and skills. I probably need some skills to 'lead' the interviews, instead of letting interviewers who are not already interested in me from the first time we shake hand to lead the interviews and things are likely to go downhill. So i'd need advice and tips about that!

  2. #2
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    What area? Depending on ur area of expertise different types of answers are more expected.... Sales staff are pretty over top and self confident, researchers in medical field might be nerdy and dull and that's acceptable ,.,,

  3. #3
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    One of our favourites is biggest achievement in life and biggest disappointment, both professional and personal ! People revealing weaknesses can show thru understand their shortcomings ....

  4. #4
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    In my experience of interviewing candidates for a position, the "tell me about yourself" question is the most important question because it gives me a lot of information about the person - their level of confidence, a glimpse into their personality (shy, outgoing, energetic, conservative, open/closed etc) and also it's nice to get an overall summary of their professional career and interests in a brief concise 2 minute monologue rather than having to read over the resume again and try to work out what questions to ask.

    Personality plays a huge part in whether someone would be a good fit for the business. Skills and experience is important, and they wouldn't have called you for an interview if you don't have that box ticked already, so the reason for the interview is ALL about your personality, and whether you would fit in with the team and that business' culture. If you don't get the role, don't be disheartened, it just means there was someone else who was a better fit.

  5. #5
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    My background has been a mix of administration and marketing and i've been in many different sectors as well and I have good understanding of each sector that I've worked at. So yeah the recent interviews I've been too are for half marketing half administrative work, where the nature of the tasks require someone to be friendly, outgoing, self-motivated but able to do the routine-based task as well.

    I think i better level up my intro a bit and memorise it and follow it to a "t" considering it is so important after all. Maybe that's why those managers who interviewed me could see thru my weakness from the way I presented my self in the first 2 mins. But having said that yeah maybe they found someone who was a better fit for the role.

  6. #6
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    I actually love that question. I've come up with a good pitch to sell myself.

    It's the perfect occasion to quickly go over your resume and highlight the area that will interest the recruiter the most.

    When I prepare for interviews I rehearse two things :
    The intro/tell me about yourself
    STARs examples of achievements/skills based on identified key criterias for the job.

    Good luck!

  7. #7
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    What do you mean by STARs? Butting in OP because I have some interviews coming up myself!

  8. #8
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    The STAR technique is an excellent technique. When employers ask behavioural questions, e.g. 'name a time you displayed team work skills', you outline a specific Situation, the Task involved, the Action you took, and the Result. It's a good approach to answering those sorts of questions.

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