How To Answer ‘Tell Me About Yourself’ In An interview Without Bragging
It can be a thin line between presenting yourself as honest and down to earth and a ten-minute bragging exercise. A bit of planning can help you, but as well as sharing something of interest that is relatable to others, recognise what matters to the job you are going for.
Lucy Eaton, senior key account manager, and Michelle Whiteman, engineering and automotive manager, share their advice.
Lucy suggests creating the right impression of your everyday self, “Think about your qualities and traits that present you in a positive way to others. This isn’t about sharing your life story but think about what a potential employer is looking for. Have a think about your willingness to do new things during your life that put you out of your comfort zone. Find two or three qualities. How about the ability to be flexible and how you have succeeded against the odds? What you are doing is aligning yourself with the role you are going for.”
According to a statistical analysis of the occurrence of terms in their job ad database Adzuna (a search engine database for job ads), the top five soft skills are communication, organisation, planning, flexibility and motivation. Lucy says, “If you can recognise the soft skills that are important and then apply that to your life, you can become an attractive candidate.”
Michelle highlights that whilst some humble bragging is completely fine, find a way that gives context. Michelle says it’s important to find a balance, “You have to have confidence and conviction in your experience and your ability to do the work. Think about what you have accomplished over the years and then magnify on a few achievements. What can make it easier is to tell a couple of short stories, that way, it all relates to you and how you came out as the hero. This highlights what you are capable of (and also presents you as a character that people warm to).
“If an employer recognises you have accomplished something in the past, they are going to understand that you can do it again. Remember, even though the question is centred on you, think about how you can address an employer's needs and wants.”
When asked to share more about yourself, this is the point to sell yourself so that a company feels that you are the right person for them. It’s a key moment for an interview but one where you can stamp your mark that you are the perfect person for the job.