Wednesday, March 25, 2009

How to smartly answer the interview question: 'Tell me about Yourself'.

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This is the single most dreaded question you have to answer to in an interview.

So you ask:
How do I begin?
How long do I keep talking?
Where do I stop?
When do I know the interviewer thinks it's enough already? Damn !!

I'll be trying to tell u the best and the smartest way possible. We'll do it the known way - Only , we are going to tweak it up a bit.

First, Our aim:
-> Our aim is to amaze and wow the interviewer,
-> Do what he does not expect us to do and
-> WIN the battle half way through.


Yep, it's a little unconventional but here it is....

* Keep your eyes open.
When u r waiting in the designated waiting room with 25 other applicants for the interview to happen...LOOK AROUND.

* Notice and Remember the following..
A) Count the no.of ACs, lights, benches, steps, tiles, people etc that u can and MEMORIZE the count.

B) If possible, read the tag names of the receptionist and the waterboy and MEMORIZE their names.

C) Ask and know the name of the interviewer himself and MEMORIZE his name.
Make a casual conversation with your fellow inteviewees and ask their names and MEMORIZE them.

Kool??
OK, now ur armed with enough extra but relevant information that no other guy in the same room has. Good.

We are going to make some cunning use of this information when we are one on one with the alleged scary interviewer and TAME him. Hell yeah !!

Ready?
OK, U step inside the room and see your single audience.
The mighty monster sits on the chair...unsmiling.

SMILE BRIGHTLY and say "Good afternoon, Mr D'souza (his name)."
(He's amazed, No one knows his name yet. U got his interest already.)

If he asks you how you knew his name, tell him, "Well, Raghu, the water-boy outside is quite a helpful guy and a nice person. Besides, Monika, the receptionist, also mentioned your name and said you're a kool person."
And shake hands with a FIRM grip (not crushing).
(Strike one. Snicker snicker)

Just as you place your sweaty butts on the chair - he throws 'THE QUESTION' at you as u see his lips twist, forming those words in slow motion...."TELLL MEEEE SOMETHINGGGG ABOUTTTT YOURSELFFFFFF" -- as he browses through your resume...already interested.

Remember here - Your interviewer is NOT looking for a 15-minute talkathon. All he wud like to have is a few razor sharp sentences that set the stage for further discussion and sets you apart from your competitors.)

So, how do I begin?
Begin with:(When u begin, DO NOT say hi or hello again, U've already done that when u walked into the room).

1. Your name (full) and age: (Max 2 statements)
(State your birth date...including the year of birth.)
DO NOT include your family here. Don't say - oh and I have 2 brothers, 1 sister and 2 lovely pet dogs - Rover and Tommy. It's about YOU..not your family, etc. Take a 2 second breather and move ahead..


2. I'm enthusiastic and passionate about...(your interests) (No more than 4 statements)
(Be specific - maximum 2 interests only (even if you have more. And talk about the ones u have DONE, NOT what you intend to do later)).

Once ur done with those 4 sentences...recall ur extra info...and Say, "I also have an off hand interest in noticing the interior designs of homes and offices, u know. It's quite some work done in this office too. I mean the waiting area is well structured. 4 ACs, 5 lights, bright tiles and well colored off white room makes for a good, positive place to wait." STOP. SMILE.
(and enjoy his amazement. Move on to the next point before the 'by now half tamed tyrant' opens his mouth to ask something else.)


3. I have achieved or done...(your strong positive work points) (Max 2 statements)
(ONE sentence of what u have done so far that you are proud of). What you can do with real ease and how it can be beneficial to THIS company.

And lastly,

4. I aim to achieve...in the near future. (Max 2 statements)
(wot you aim to achieve with pure hard work and dedication and how it can be beneficial to the company.)
DO NOT talk about how you can make other people do their work with diplomacy and cunning-ness etc.. U say that and ur almost IMMEDIATELY DE-SELECTED, UN-SELECTED..a.k.a REJECTED.

Get ur memory working again and say, "By the way, you will have some others after me and 2 of them, Lenny and Ankit have the same aim. But I guess I beat them on dedication." SMILE.

THAT'S IT. You're DONE. You've answered the most dreaded question in 4 small points..in no more than 9 or 10 lines...BEAUTIFULLY. Wow..way to go.

What a difference you've made with your short, crisp "About You" and What a MASSIVE difference you have made with your little extra effort and a smart trick.
The interviewer thinks...this guy said so little..yet he said it all..and he knew wot no one else did too...wow.

He is now SITTING FORWARD in his chair giving you his complete attention for further questions. Baby, U're already winning and you are jus' warming up. :-)


A few quickies to get you through:

(1) When u walk into the room for the interview , be sure to be SMILING and shake hands with a FIRM grip (not crushing).

(2) It's ok to request for a glass of water if your throat suddenly decides to dry up and lips parch....(ANY time between the interview). Ask smartly though - "Would you mind if I had a glass of water? I want to be sure you hear me clearly" and SMILE. If he smiles too..ur still winning.

(3)While you talk, make eye contact. DO NOT move your hands in the air aimlessly. A few stresses on a few points is ok...no more. Keep your hands on your lap most of the time..NOT on the table in front of you. (This gives the impression of you sitting in the right posture and the illusion that you are attentive (if u really are.hehe) )

That should do it. Best of luck for beginners and experienced alike.

If You guys go about this this question in a different way or think differently... or if u have different views on this...do LEMME KNOW. Let's benefit everyone here.



I'll leave u with this practical thought:
An Interview is nothing but a meeting of 2 equally important people. You are there only cuz that company needs you and vice versa. So hold ur chin up and GO GET IT, tiger !!

32 Spoke their mind: yep, makes a difference !!

AustraliaWorks said...

hi! thanks for your post, it was a lovely read and good information on howto answer that popular question! anyway if you have a moment please also check this list i compiled of the 50 most commonly asked interview questions, why they are asked, any hidden motives and exactly how to answer the questions!
50 most common interview questions and answers

R. Ramesh said...

very useful post buddyy..god..the rate at which people r losing jobs here in dubai, it is scaring to think of interviews..anywy..wishes..

Anand said...

AustraliaWworks..Thanx muxh. I have more than a moment for such things. Sure I'm comin ur way. :)

Ramesh...Thanx bud. yeah Ur rite. Recession = loose jobs quick. Sad.

Self- Proclaimed Shoe Addict said...

awesome post! very useful. ive read tho tht when u r walking out of the interview room, make sure while closing the door u turn n give the panel one last smile so tht they remember it. i guess it works!

but i really REALLY like this post. its very well written n extremely useful

neeraj_only said...

hey anand , good to get some tips on "tell-me-something-about-you" question.After all this is recession time and everyone needs help in this troubled time.

but problem with all the "methods" to handle interviewer is "all fail if the interviewer is a fool". Can't solve this situation....."big-world-many-jobs" consolation can help in this situation....hehe

i'll try to read more on your blog..keep blogging :)

Vijayalakshmi Natarajan said...

Lol !

Being honest,((No,No facking here)) to the point nad talk about relevent strengths & interets is what an interviwer looks for...

SMILE does wonders, blve me:-):-)

Anand said...

Self Proclaimed... agreed with u. A smile does the trick..whether ur comin' in or ur goin' out.

Thanx a ton. I hope people use it though. That wud be awsome.

Anand said...

Neeraj....Ur welcome bud. And yea..Thank gawd for that consolation - Big-world-many-jobs. Hahaa. Well said.
Works for me alright.


Vijaya L.N...very very honest. I agree with u too. ;-) U got it rite.

Inspiration said...

Great Gyan yaar. Points successful noted dear. Yes i too played some similar kind of trick when I had been to interview.

One more point which you have to keep in mind is "speak only when you are given a chance to speak" Dont interupt when the Interviewer is speaking and also you should be a great listener".

Anand said...

Inspiration....we both r tricky ppl..wot can I say. Good going.

Ya, lotsa other things one must remember but those r periferial. But point noted. :-)

todays writer said...

yes i did nod :D

hmm , not yet in the "interview- stage" but i think some of the tips that you shared here will be very helpful in my vivas.

well written. thats a good way of helping ppl arnd. keep up with the much needed CUNNINGNESS.

Nehal said...

wow good one will surely pass this interview maha gyan to my friends

Anand said...

Today's writer...hope it helps you when it's needed. I want to know when it does. :-)

Nehal..Thanx. Will do.

wishesgalore said...

i was expecting a very as-usual kinda post reading the title but hey hey, it was awesome,lol...
but i wonder that talking of ur fellow competitors(lenny, ankit case) in the interview room and comparing urself to them will work???
nywayz,all in all nice post...:))

Anand said...

Wishes.... U liked it? Thank u so much. I hope it helps.
Well, about the ankit, Jenny case..it works..only that the interviewee has to be smart enuff to know if he has to say it or not.

SpReAdInG LoVe™ said...

Thanks for the great tips.
But i wonder what to do if i attend aninterview panel of 2-3members all at a time?

Jyoti said...

nice tips... got a few to add

1.eye to eye, best way to talk
2.mobile on silent or switched off
3.smile, but don't be too bright or he/she will think ur "high"
4.Dont lie, not on ur resume or during the interview.. it will definitely come back and bite big time.

And yes the most imp one dont forget to carry ur resume. yes its been known to happen :)

Anand said...

Haha....Very well said Impiee. YO all...listen to this LADY !!!!

ankita mehta said...

uve said it all Anand!!!!! but a humble add on:
1) Don't beat around the bush!
2) its good to be tactful but the undercurrent should be natural and honest!
3) Be polite but don't act like a beggar!

Anand said...

Hey Winki..Rite on.

Though,
Ppl dont usually beat around the bush on Interviews. They lie..but can't usually stall.

But then...one finds all types in this crazy world. U nev know.
I hope this post helps those who really need to clear an interview tactfully.

Anand said...

Ohhh..That's really sweet of u. But do it only if you think it's worthwhile.

Rutu said...

it's really really helpful buddy! thanx and take a bow first! helped a lot to my first ever interview in Syntel n cracked HR round too! thanx n keep posting such topics to help poor ppl like us ;) lol but really helpful for beginers as well as to experienced too!

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xmen said...

Tks very much for your post.

Avoid surprises — interviews need preparation. Some questions come up time and time again — usually about you, your experience and the job itself. We've gathered together the most common questions so you can get your preparation off to a flying start.

You also find all interview questions at link at the end of this post.

Source: Interview Questions & Answers:

Best rgs

Kix Mr said...

Tks very much for your post.

Avoid surprises — interviews need preparation. Some questions come up time and time again — usually about you, your experience and the job itself. We've gathered together the most common questions so you can get your preparation off to a flying start.

You also find all interview questions at link at the end of this post.

Source: Interview Questions & Answers:

Best rgs

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