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How do you answer tell me about yourself in an interview? 5 Important Points

Why Employer askes, “Tell me about yourself?”

If answered perfectly, this question can assist you to win the half battle easily. This question is an opportunity for you set the interview flow as per your wish. Normally employer asks this question to break the ice and provide you with a comfort zone where you open up and initiate the conversation.

A simple trick to answering this question in three stages:

  1. Your present roles and responsibilities
  2. Your past roles and achievements
  3. Your future aspirations

Your present roles and responsibilities:

Well, “I’m currently as a Civil Project Engineer at HCC Construction, where I lead two multi-story design projects.

Before that, I worked at a consulting firm where I was leading the project as a project manager and while I really enjoyed the work that I did, I’d love the chance to deep dive with one highly specific construction company, which is why I’m so excited about this opportunity with this multi-story building construction project which seems quite challenging and exciting.

Your past roles and achievements:

I had always enjoyed construction work, even going back to my secondary school days. This led me to pursue graduation in Civil Engineering, for example in college, where I was an active member of every construction-related work. In addition to construction, I got to learn how to manage a team.

After college, I took my first job at JLB Construction company as a site engineer, constructing a bridge over the highway, but I quickly realized my passion is on residential building projects, so I switched to the Building Engineering field. Here I discovered my planning and design skills and got the opportunity to enhance them.

After switching to structural engineering as a designer role and managing the two projects successfully last year, I realized that I work best on the design software’s side and that’s my new area of strength.

Your future aspirations:

Now I'm looking to expand my experience across the planning, designing, and managing the construction of multi-story buildings as a project manager.


Read More:

Answering “Tell me about yourself?” as Fresher or New Graduate Civil Engineer

My self Akash, I have completed my bachelor’s degree in civil engineering at Delhi Engineering College, India which is one of the pioneer engineering colleges in India. I am a professional, hardworking and resilient civil engineer who takes great pride in not only the quality of work I produce but also the consistently high standards I aim to achieve for my employer.

Now it’s the time to get an understanding of general interview questions that may pop up after the introductory discussion.

Please see the link to another blog regarding the General Interview Question.

Bonus Tips to answer, Tell me about yourself?

  • Tailor your answer to suit the Role and Employer or Company
  • Make it authentic and professional
  • Show your passion while answering
  • Be Concise and natural in your talk
  • Prepare Mock-ups multiple times

Customize your answer to match the job profile and company objectives

 Make your answer authentic by adding past experiences 

I’ve been working as a Business Development Manager for three years. In my current job in the Business Development unit of my current employer, I handle identifying tender opportunities, preparing proposals, and travel planning for four executives and other staff members, etc. I also help to prepare fee proposals, risk and opportunity assessments reports. I am a detail-oriented, well-ordered team member.

I always aim to complete tasks in time with zero errors. I am an efficient communicator and I can efficiently manage multiple tasks by prioritizing one after the other. In my last year's performance reviews, my line manager gave me an outstanding rating and recommended me for promotion.

Team Management or Team Leadership

A team is as strong as their visionary leader, so lay down your aspiration and objective that you expect to achieve together. What are your thoughts on your team’s roles and responsibilities? Are they well defined to the nitty-gritty? Managing a team means managing your expectation and fulfilling your dreams.

Praise in public and criticism in private. It’s important to monitor the team regularly but at the same time, it's important to give them free hands to take ownership. There is s term called Mighty Mouse Syndrome— it simply means creating a falls expectation that you are always available to help when they need it.

This could be the worst thing for yourself and the team. Be ready to showcase some past event where your project faces some sort of issues like team dispute, budget overrun, project delay, resource crunch, etc and how did you deal with that issue as a Team Leader.

Read More:

Add your area of strengths during the storytelling of “Tell me about yourself?”

Before the discussion, there are several steps you need to prepare. First evaluate your strengths, technical skills, and soft skills against the job that you are interviewing for. Your objective is to convince yourself and the interviewer why your candidature and skillset are better than others or totally suited for that role.

What makes you particularly competent to thrive in that role. If you are not sure of your strength, please read our blog which is specifically written for strength and weakness traits.

What should not be covered when answering the “Tell me about yourself” question?

While answering the “Tell me about yourself” question, there are a few important tips on what to avoid. If you are prepared with this, there is a potential risk that your answer will be long and vague. This can reduce your chances to succeed in the interview.

Here are some key points that you must keep in mind when you answer that question:

Avoid talking about personal likes or dislikes on political or religious or similar delicate issues. These can be very sensitive topics that could backfire if not dealt with intelligently. It’s always recommended to just touch and go if you are asked a question in that direction. Do not register multiple, incomprehensible skills or qualities without supporting examples.

Rather, it would be better to showcase two or three qualities of yourself and have some supporting short stories to back it based on your work experience. Do not rush into discussions about what you want in that role or how the company can help you. Keep such topics in the final stages of the interview process when they ask you for any further questions or doubts that you may have regarding that role or the company.

I hope the blog provides you with some better ways to answer the "Tell me about yourself" question and assist you to crack the interview.


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