Interviewers will sometimes start an interview with an open-ended question like "Tell me about yourself." It's a way to break the ice and make you feel more comfortable during the interview process. It's also a way for the hiring manager to get insight into your personality to help determine if you're a good fit for the job.
Sharing too much or too little information isn't a good idea. The interviewer doesn't want to know everything about you, but disclosing too little can make him or her wonder why you aren't more open.
How to Answer the Tell Me About Yourself Interview Question
Although it might be tempting to share a list of your most compelling qualifications for the job at hand, a more low-key approach will probably help you to develop a personal rapport with your interviewer.
Try starting out by sharing some personal interests which don't relate directly to your work. Examples might include a hobby which you are passionate about like quilting, astronomy, chess, choral singing, golf, skiing, tennis, or antiquing.
Interests like long distance running or yoga which help to represent your healthy, energetic side are worth mentioning. Pursuits like being an avid reader or solving crossword puzzles or brain teasers will help to showcase your intellectual leaning. Interests like golf, tennis, and gourmet food might have some value if you would be entertaining clients in your new job.
Volunteer work will demonstrate the seriousness of your character and commitment to the welfare of your community.
Interactive roles like PTA volunteer, museum tour guide, fundraiser, or chair of a social club will help show your comfort with engaging others.
Preparation is key
Prepare for your English language job interview just as you would for any other interview. This may include researching the organisation's history and mission, determining the travel time needed to promptly arrive at your interview location, organising your materials and choosing an outfit.
Anticipate potential questions
Most interviewers have a set list of questions to determine whether you would fit the position and organisation as a whole. Sample questions might include:
- How would you describe yourself?
- What are your strengths?
- What are your weaknesses?
- Why do you want to work here?
Preparation is key
Prepare for your English language job interview just as you would for any other interview. This may include researching the organization's history and mission, determining the travel time needed to promptly arrive at your interview location, organizing your materials and choosing an outfit.Some companies may require you to take an English skills test during your interview, such as the British Council's Aptis. To help you prepare at little or no cost, several websites offer free online English skills tests.