Interview Skills/Job Hunting-The Art Of Interviewing E Book - CiteHR
Cite.Co is a repository of information created by your industry peers and experienced seniors sharing their experience and insights.
Join Us and help by adding your inputs. Contributions From Other Members Follow Below...


Can you just take a couple of minutes to tell me about yourself?”

Ever had this question or a similar one before?

Let's face it, interviewing is stressful enough without having to answer silly interview questions. Unfortunately though, many interviewers, because of habit, lack of preparation time, poor training, or even laziness, often ask these questions. Of those, one of the most challenging is the often used 'Tell me about yourself' interview opener.

What a lot of my HR acquaintances ask me about this question is 'What do they want to know?'

Answer this question in terms of the skills and experience required for the position. This question is all about you as an employee, not about your personal life or whether you're a dedicated sports fan. Answer it by describing your best attributes relevant to the job. Be specific and use examples to support your claim. The goal is not to summarize your CV or resume because the interviewer already has a copy of that in front of them. Keep your answer to 1-3 minutes and don't ramble. Don't seem at a loss for words or lack of ideas, instead have a prepared answer that you can confidently deliver.

Interviewers also think it is improper, a sign of your lack of preparedness, or even rude, for you to answer their 'Tell me about yourself' question with a question of your own like, 'What would you like to know?' If you are prepared, and seriously thinking about making a career change, you will have a prepared and thoughtful answer to this question BEFORE you begin interviewing.

Have a good idea of what you’d like to say before you start talking!

Don’t jump into your answer immediately - you need a few seconds to figure out what you are going to say in your mind. So pause for a couple of seconds before speaking.

I suggest you learn to answer this question with a three-part, pre-planned marketing statement that can more or less be re-used from interview to interview.

Part one of that three-part marketing statement is always a one-sentence summary of the candidate's career history.

For example:

'I am a Product Manager with 7 years experience working for medium to large organizations the IT sector both in the UK and abroad.”

You get the picture; your whole career needs to be condensed into one sentence that encapsulates the most important aspects of your career, the aspects that you want to leverage in order to make your next career step. Few candidates seem to be able to condense a career into one sentence, but it can be done.

Part two of the pre-planned marketing statement will be a one, maybe two-sentence summary of a single accomplishment that you are proud of that will also capture the potential employer's attention. It immediately follows your initial career summary sentence from above. This accomplishment should be one that the employer will be interested in hearing, one that is easily explained or illustrated, and one that clearly highlights a bottom line impact. When done correctly this will build interviewer intrigue about the accomplishment so that they inquire further, giving you an opportunity to further discuss a significant career success.

Here’s an example:

'Recently, as a long-term contract employee at a medium IT company, I was responsible for overseeing the development of Desktop Services for high value customer accounts. I defined product services and a rollout strategy for the operations, developed a business plan and successfully sourced funding. Product was implemented on time and within budget, this has also provided complete customer satisfaction and repeat business.”

Part three, the final piece of the marketing statement, is probably the most fluid one. It needs to be a one-sentence summary of specifically what you want to do next in your career. The reason this third part is difficult is that it needs to specifically address what you want to do next. AND it needs to change from interview to interview to make sure it matches exactly what the INDIVIDUAL employers will be interviewing you for. Continuing with the above example of one of my past candidates, two of his final sentences, which were used for two different employers, follow:

'For the next step in my career, I would like to move away from contract work and find myself as a direct employee of a large IT company where I will be able to contribute my experience in managing and overseeing the product development life-cycle, as well as bringing forward ideas for new products and subsequently leading the design, development and delivery of these products.”

But for a second employer, this ending was significantly altered because of the candidate's multiple interests in differing opportunities, to:

'For the next step in my career, I would like to find myself as a direct employee of a medium-sized firm that was looking to hire an in-house Product Manager so I could continue growing my career by managing new product launches, and evangelizing initiatives with the sales team. I would also love to apply my past team project management skills to managing a small project team.”

These were two very different endings that perfectly matched two very different employer needs. Clearly you can see why the first ending wouldn't have worked for the second employer or vice versa. With some simple revising, the candidate made sure that each employer heard that they were interested in doing exactly what the employer was interested in hiring them for. That revising is what makes the third piece fluid and sometimes challenging, as candidates don't always see the need for being this specific from job interview to job interview. Most tend to be generalized, hoping that a shotgun approach will work. But it is those who get specific in what they want from interview to interview, who get the best results. With some simple planning BEFORE an interview, you, the candidate, will quickly realize the benefit of a targeted third sentence in these pre-planned opening statements, as employers feel you are perfectly suited to do just the job they are interviewing you for.

If you take the time to prepare this way as a candidate, it will be apparent to an interviewer that you are a prepared and serious candidate right at the beginning of the interview when you answer the 'Tell me about yourself' question with this memorized, brief marketing statement, which combines a career summary, an exceptional accomplishment, and employer-specific career goal as in this example:

'I am a Product Manager with 7 years experience working for medium to large organizations the IT sector both in the UK and abroad. Recently, as a long-term contract employee at a medium IT company, I was responsible for overseeing the development of Desktop Services for high value customer accounts. I defined product services and a rollout strategy for the operations, developed a business plan and successfully sourced funding. Product was implemented on time and within budget, this has also provided complete customer satisfaction and repeat business. For the next step in my career, I would like to find myself as a direct employee of a medium-sized firm that was looking to hire an in-house Product Manager so I could continue growing my career by managing new product launches, and evangelizing initiatives with the sales team. I would also love to apply my past team project management skills to managing a small project team.”

Clearly you can understand how the candidate who opens with this type of prepared response to the 'Tell me about yourself' question will make a significantly better first impression than a candidate who responds by answering, 'What would you like to know?' Plus candidates who prepare in this manner are typically more confident at the interview's start, make a substantial and positive verbal first impression, give a clear indication of their interest in making a career move, and force the interviewer to get past the icebreaker questions to the parts of the interview that will help both parties begin the process of seriously determining if this is a solid match.

As you can see, these three simple steps - summarizing what your experience is as candidate, sharing an impressive career accomplishment, and then summarizing what would be an ideal next career step for you, one that matches what the employer is looking to hire - are the keys to beginning your interview with a competitive advantage. Candidates who take the time to do this significantly improve their initial verbal impression, get their interview off to a confident and focused beginning, and more often than not get called back for second interviews, or better yet, for offers of employment with employers who are impressed.



Bye for now & good luck with the job hunting.



Courtesy

Kashan Akram

__._,_.___


Attached Files
Membership is required for download. Create An Account First
File Type: pdf the_art_of_interviewing_1__492.pdf (273.9 KB, 1527 views)

This discussion thread is closed. If you want to continue this discussion or have a follow up question, please post it on the network.
Add the url of this thread if you want to cite this discussion.






About Us Advertise Contact Us
Privacy Policy Disclaimer Terms Of Service



All rights reserved @ 2020 Cite.Co™