It is a common experience to feel anxiousness and butterflies in the stomach among freshers or those in the initial phase of their career before an interview. This happens especially if their dream company invites them for an interview.
If you are one of them, you can relate to the storm of questions and concerns that you face in your mind. One such question on top of your mind is – What kind of questions will you face during the interviews? If so, this is a common fresher interview question that a fresher is asked in almost every interview.
However, most of the time, candidates especially freshers ignore to prepare for this basic question. This ends up setting a negative tone for the rest of the interview for them.
This question is your chance to set a solid base for acing the overall process of the interview.
You can create a powerful impression about yourself in the interviewer’s mind, right at the start, as a potential match for the required position.
So it is a good practice to be prepared for this question well in advance.
Interviewers tend to ask this question generally, to start the conversation.
This is your chance to tell them who you are. And showcase how your skills and qualifications align with the job prerequisites.
In this article, we aim to provide many useful tips and processes to prepare well for this seemingly simple but tough interview question.
Why do Interviewers ask “Tell Us about yourself” to Freshers
If you are a fresher or someone in the initial years of your career, you will be tense or nervous when the interview starts. Interviewers know this.
Interviewers are also aware that their job is to find a suitable match for the job posting.
If they put the candidate under pressure right upfront, many good candidates may get flustered. Their responses can be haywire.
The biggest loser here however is not the candidate. It is the recruiter!
So, applying pressure upfront is generally a bad strategy during an interview. One more thing that you need to understand here is, that most jobs don’t have any extreme pressure. If an employee is simply disciplined, almost any job can be done with excellence.
This is why the interviewers first want to make the job applicants relaxed.
They need some questions to break the ice and get the candidate in a flow. This needs to happen right at the start.
And hence the question, can you tell us a bit about yourself?
What you say in response, tells the recruiter many important things about yourself.
They understand what do you like and what you don’t. What is important for you and what is not. They get insights about your nature. Overall, it is a good starting point for them to see your fitness for the role that is on offer.
How to Smartly Answer – Tell Us about yourself for Freshers
By now you know clearly why the interviewer is asking this question. You also know what the recruiter is going to look for in your response. So let us look into a few important things to do or remember when answering this fresher interview question.
1. Research the company you have applied
Remember, the interviewer is looking for your fitment for the job position right from start. Proactive candidates who understand their organization and the requirements of the role on offer, often impress the interviewer. Here is something interesting.
On average, each corporate job position receives 250 or more resumes. At the max 10 may receive call for an interview and 1 may get the job!
So, if you want to give yourself a strong start in an interview, you need to start showing a natural alignment with the position offered, as early as you can and as naturally as you can. This is where your knowledge about the company plays a big role.
2. Read the job description carefully
Most of the job aspirants hardly read the job description. This means that when they sit for the interview, they may be wasting their own time as well as the interviewer’s time.
If you are one of them, remember that this is a gigantic waste of time for both sides during recruitment. Hiring is an expensive affair. Besides, if you get rejected during an interview because of such simple mistakes, it can hamper your confidence.
Reading the job description gives you a serious advantage over your competition. You will naturally be able to show the alignment between your skills and experience with what the role entails.
3. Keep your introduction short and precise
When the interviewer says, “Tell us about yourself”, he/she is in the “scanning” phase. They have to find out the right candidates of tens of candidates who are going to appear for the interviews.
Initially, the interviewer is not completely focused on you. They are also warming themselves up. How you respond and what you say in the first 2-3 minutes will set the tone of the interview.
You should focus on the points which are your natural strengths in relation to the job requirements. This is exactly what the interviewers are looking for.
4. Bring your positive energy while sounding professional
This is about bringing a balance between you sounding positive and elaborating your points just enough, to make the interviewer get a positive vibe about you.
You can easily imagine that most of the freshers do not bring this naturally during the interviews. They sound immature or mature.
So a bit of practice in answering this question with your friends or connections who are already employed can provide you with the much necessary preparation to handle this interview question.
5 Important Tips to remember while answering Tell Us About Yourself for Freshers
1. Strengths and Recent Achievements
Compared to others, you will be able to build a unique position of strength if you focus on your strengths and recent achievements which relate to the role offered.
How well you can connect these dots, will decide the vibe you create during your interview. It will also decide the next question which will be asked. It will quickly direct the interviewer towards what he is naturally looking for in you.
To Help you find Strengths and Achievements that matter to Employers, Read –
2. Curricular Details
Cover your educational details as well as extracurricular activities that you enjoyed. This gives the recruiter an insight into your personality and your natural orientation.
3. Your Goals and Ambitions
This shows the company that you are serious about the career path related to the job position. Interviewers are always looking for candidates who want to stick to a job for the long term and grow in their organization.
4. Explain the “Why”
While covering your education, extracurricular activities, skills, and achievements, try to explain the “why” behind it.
This is important because it shows the interviewer your ability to think deeply. It shows you as someone with intent and clarity of thinking. Especially in the world of freshers, this is a rare quality.
5. Remain Relevant
Avoid going wayward or being too detailed in your response to this interview question. Both of these can take the energy or interest out of the interviewer’s mind. It can also show that you have come unprepared. It makes you look casual.
Sample answers to give you a headstart for – Tell me about yourself
“My name is XYZ. I’m 23 years old and I recently graduated from University X with an MBA in Accounting & Finance. While there, I learned a lot about corporate finance, economics, corporate issues in finance and maintained a healthy GPA of 9.5. I’ve worked hard in the last 2 years to prepare myself for this industry. Now I’m ready to apply myself to see how well I can do in this field. I’ve had a lot of exposure to the field when I did my summer internships with some Accounting based firms.” … (Further cover what you learned and how you excelled, which is related to the position you have applied for.)
By now, you have a fair grasp of how to kick off your interview in a manner that gives you a solid start. We have covered several such important questions in our interview section.