Articles From the Team
How to answer the all-encompassing ‘tell us about you’ question
With the advent of social distancing and virtual interviews as the norm, it is more important than ever to nail those basic questions that come up time and time again, and this is one that can be a bit of a car crash if not well prepared.
The question is so broad, that candidates don’t know where to start and finish, so what are the interviewers actually asking you and what do they want to know?
It sounds easy, who knows you better than you? People generally enjoy talking about themselves so the biggest mistake people make is saying too much and being too general or personal. Don’t be tempted to talk through your entire life story; they don’t need to know how many brothers and sisters you have or where you were born!
Keep it factual. You can mention your personal background but the focus should be on your professional background and career history and why that makes you the right candidate for the job.
Without a prepared answer it’s easy to go off on a tangent, so here are a few tips:
- Length – keep your answer to no more than about two minutes
- Talk about your education; where you went to university, what you studied and why.
- Summarise your career path in brief – talk through the career moves you’ve made.
- Talk particularly about your current role and what you do on a day to day basis.
- Let them know why you are interviewing for this position and what attracts you to the firm.
- Finally, ask if the level of detail you have provided is sufficient. Some firms may want to know more about you on a personal level, hobbies etc. but let them steer the conversation in that direction.
Although this is a question that you have the benefit of being able to prepare a thorough answer for, you don’t want it to appear memorized so customise it to the role you are interviewing for and bring in points about the firm and the vacancy, demonstrating an understanding of what is involved in the role and how you would be an asset to them.
By answering this question well you will set a positive tone for the interview and hopefully steady any nerves you may be feeling.
Here at BCL Legal, we will always go through a thorough interview preparation with you and can act as a sounding board for you to test out any pre-prepared answers, letting you know what works and what doesn’t. For further virtual interview tips, click here.