Top Interview Questions and Answers
Can you tell me a bit about yourself?
Alternative and related questions:
Can you talk me through your resume?
The meaning behind the question:
This is of course an extremely popular question - and is just the kind an interviewer might throw at you at the beginning of an interview so as to get the ball rolling. They are quite simply placing you centre stage and hoping you will open up to them. Alternatively, they’re hopelessly overworked, haven’t yet had time to read your resume - and asking you this question will buy them some breathing space!
This is a very broad question - and you might consequently be at a loss as to the approach you should take to answering it.
They’re not asking for an autobiography. Focus on discussing major selling points that feature on your resume or application form - selling points which are directly relevant to the job for which you are applying. Don’t start telling them your whole life history.
While they do want you to open up to them and paint a picture of yourself, you’re not on the psychiatrist’s couch here! Keep it professional and avoid getting too personal.
Besides talking about your career, make sure you have something to say about your education and qualifications - and even your hobbies and interests.
It’s vital to practise your answer for this in advance - and to try to limit your answer to one minute. If you can’t successfully ‘pitch’ yourself in under a minute then you’re going to risk losing the interviewer’s attention.
How have you described yourself in the ‘Professional Profile’ at the top of your resume? A lot of this material can be recycled to help you draft your answer to this question.
I’m a highly driven individual with extensive management experience acquired principally in the aviation sector. Following completion of my degree in International Business (which included a couple of years in Germany) I started my career in administration and have worked my way up to become an Export Sales Manager. I believe I combine a high level of commercial awareness with a commitment to customer care - which helps me to achieve profitable growth in a competitive market. I enjoy being part of, as well as managing, motivating, training and developing, a successful and productive team and I thrive in highly pressurised and challenging working environments. I have strong IT skills, I’m fluent in German and I’m also a qualified First Aider. In my spare time I undertake a wide range of activities; I’m particularly keen on squash and I am also currently working towards my Private Pilot Licence.
The Interview Question & Answer Book
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Author: James Innes