Interview 1: Tell Me About Yourself

For the best result, make sure you have read this article and already have a write-up of your answer prior to your Cambly session. You can send a longer text to your tutor through Cambly’s messaging system.

This following content has been modified from LiveCareer. See the original article here.


Guideline

Read the following text with your tutor. 

What the Hiring Manager Is Really Asking…

The interviewer is trying to accomplish a few things here. First, she’s asking about your career path and giving you an opportunity to describe your professional self in your own words before narrowing down on specific skills and qualifications.

Second, she’s gaining a sense of what kind of person you are and what you’d be like to work with. Also this is your chance to summarize your background and bring attention to the significant information that couldn’t be included in your resume and cover letter.

Activities

Go over the following points with your tutors. 

  • What are the two things that the interviewer is trying to accomplish by asking this question?
  • What does ‘your professional self’ mean?

Guideline

Read the following text with your tutor. 

How Should You Respond to “Tell Me About Yourself” In an Interview?

To talk about your professional self, you’ll need to do two things. First, you’ll need to identify your professional accomplishments. Second, you’ll need to tailor your achievements to the needs of the company.

So, what are your greatest achievements? Ask yourself:

  • Have you ever accomplished anything at work that you can illustrate with numbers? (Good examples are making revenue, saving costs, or improving process.)
  • Can you think of accomplishments that demonstrate how well you use a skill?
  • Did you ever win an award or receive a promotion?

Note, you do not have to take your examples from your job experience. If you have little or no work experience, you can take examples and success stories from anywhere. Are you a student or fresh graduate? Your achievements can include success stories from your extracurricular activities.

The point of the exercise is to identify your achievements. Once you have a master list of your top achievements, go back and take a long look at your job description. Underline all the skills and requirements listed. Where do you exceed the requirements?

Here’s an example of a job description for a Product Marketing Manager:

Notice the keywords underlined in the job description:

  • Strong analytical skills
  • Can optimize the use of data and information to uncover customer insight
  • Can provide strong evidence-based analyses that build brand equity and a differential advantage
  • Customer Focused
  • Can develop and sustain positive relationships to obtain customer insight.
  • Strong communication skills (verbal and written)
  • Can coordinate information and requirements with related operational departments
  • Proactive in identifying needs/issues
  • Can employ effective solutions in a timely manner
  • Detailed and action oriented

You could choose a success story based on communication. You could talk about the time you developed a relationship that gave your insight. Now, look back at your master list of achievements. You’ll want to circle those that match the qualities you find in your job offer. The next step is to choose a couple that you feel strongest about and use the STAR approach to illustrate them.

Activities

Go over the following points with your tutors. 

  • What are your greatest achievements?
    • Have you ever accomplished anything at work that you can illustrate with numbers? (Good examples are earning money, cutting costs, or improving efficiency.)
    • Can you think of accomplishments that demonstrate how well you use a skill?
    • Was there a time when your boss praised you?
    • Did you ever win an award or receive a promotion?
  • Write down as many achievements as you can think of now.
  • Read the job description and highlight the requirements you think are relevant to you.

Guideline

Read the following text with your tutor. 

Example “Tell Me About Yourself” Answer

Your response should only last a couple of minutes. Who are you as a professional and what are you doing right now? Your tell me about yourself answer should be a brief elevator pitch of your professional self.

“I am a Copywriter with 5+ years of experience working for large advertising companies. I’ve worked with clients including Pfizer, Coca-Cola, and Johnson & Johnson.”

Use the examples you’ve come up with to illustrate the skills and value you’ll bring to the position. Don’t forget to use the STAR approach when answering the tell me about yourself interview question.

“I am highly dedicated and ambitious. Every time I start a new campaign, I aim to win an award or nomination. Of course, my ultimate goal is to please the client. But the fact that I aim high has resulted in at least 20 industry awards and nominations.”\

For example, I once led a project for a client who was sure that he didn’t want to add digital media to his campaign budget. He wasn’t behind the times, but he was sure that his client-base was. My Creative Director asked that I get the client on board. So, I created some samples, and I put together a presentation. I set out to show the client that he was missing an entire demographic of untapped customers.

He was sold. He added digital media to his campaign budget making my boss happy. The work I put into the digital campaign to impress the client was above and beyond what we normally do. The result was two Cannes Lions awards.”

You’ll want to stress that the position is in line with your plans and career goals. It’s also a good idea to make it sound like you’re interested in staying on for awhile.

“While I enjoyed my previous work, it was commercial. It’s a dream of mine to do work for nonprofit clients. Your company has done some amazing work for nonprofit and NGO clients and I’d love to switch gears. That’s why I applied for this position.”

Activities

Go over the following points with your tutors. 

  • Write your professional persona. Revise it if necessary with your Cambly tutor.
  • Write what makes you stand out (2 – 4 points). Are you using STAR approach?
    • Here you will want to tailor your tell me about yourself answer to the job and the company. Which of your achievements will match those listed in the job description?
  • Write why you’re going to fit. Revise it if necessary with your Cambly tutor.
  • Now rehearse with your tutor until you are comfortable answering the question without your script.

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