The Most Common Job Interview Question: Tell me About Yourself…
In today’s episode, I help you answer the most common job interview question: Tell Me About Yourself… I hope you will get a lot of ideas from this episode. Enjoy this episode and don’t forget to download your FREE eBook!
You are listening to English Made Simple, This is episode 24. Hello everyone. My name is Milena. Welcome! What’s up everyone? Qué tal? COMO ANDAN? Did you do your homework the one I gave you in the last episode? I am going to sound like a nagging wife (ESPOSA GRUÑONA/ENOJONA), have you done your homework, did you do the dishes? Did you clean the house? When will you do it, do it now, damn it! You still have 5 minutes left to do you your homework and answer this question from the last episode: Tell me about yourself. Cuéntame acerca de ti. Ok. That was the question. That was the homework.
In this episode we will shift our focus from phrasal verbs, grammar and ielts to something more exciting haha like, job interviews, Entrevistas Laborales o de trabajo! I think this is an exciting topic. I have a lot of experience in this area. I have been to a lot of interviews in the past after graduating from the Auckland University in New Zealand, I worked for an insurance company (COMPAÑIA DE SEGUROS) in their IT department (tecnología informatica), for a telco company and IT companies for over a decade. Wow, I sound really smart. Haha When I arrived in Chile, my job there was to translate CV’s, curriculum, from Spanish to English – it was a part time job, it was a really cool job. As a matter of fact, I still do this, I still translate CV’s so if you need your CV translated, I will be offering this service very soon. So watch this space (MANTENTE ATENTO), I will keep you updated.
So, what prompted me (QUE ME MOTIVÓ) to do this particular episode? Well, I had a question in my Facebook Group from a good man called Israel from Mexico, Hola Israel, como estas? Are you ready for this interview question? It sounds like an easy question, what do you think? Let’s see! :)
I was thinking, if Israel has this question, then most of you will have the same question. It’s a good question and thank you Israel for asking it! I also mentioned it briefly in Episode 12 (How to be fluent in English), I gave you homework even then to learn how to answer this simple question. Has anyone done it, huh?? Mhmmm.. it’s ok, I also don’t do my homework haha That’s ok, I forgive you guys. But go back to episode 12 and get some TIPS on how you can be fluent in English. Right. That will help you in answering this interview question. Tell me about yourself.
Righto, before we go any further, I recommend you download the ebook from my website, it’s called “10 Most Common Mistakes that Stop you from being fluent in English” Go to www.www.englishmadesimple.net/book. I have just changed it slightly, and you should be able to just put in your details, and get the book immediately.The book will help you fix the mistakes, and it will help you sound more professional at the interviews. Excellent! Fantastic!
Let’s begin, shall we?
In this episode, I will explain why they ask this question in the first place, at the interviews, why do they ask you to talk about yourself. And I will also give you an example of how to answer this question. You must practice talking about yourself, if you want to sound fluent. It is the same type of practice as if you were preparing for an English exam, you must prepare for interviews, it is a must!
Whenever you have a job interview, you have to prepare!! Don’t be too confident, and you think, Oh yeah I know how to answer this. I know what I did in my previous job. You will still need to practice, I am just telling you from my experience.
So you have applied for a job,(Excellent) you had a phone call from the prospective employer and they have then invited you for an interview. Awesome! That’s great! First of all, congratulations! Felicitaciones! You have passed the first stage of the interview process, and you have been given a chance to impress. It’s really cool! Excellent!
You are at the interview now, you meet your future boss, there could be another person present at the interview could be your future colleague or someone from an HR department (Human Resources, recursos humanos) – this situation is quite normal you could have two people at the interview, if you were applying for jobs in Australia and New Zealand. I am not so sure if it’s the same in the UK and the US, but I would assume it is a similar situation. So you are at a job interview, you got your boss, your future boss and another person interviewing you.
You enter the room and…have a small talk or chitchat (UNA PEQUEÑA CHARLA), that’s what chitchat means.You talk about the weather, traffic, trivial things. Alrighty.
And the first question they will ask you after that, will be:
Tell me about yourself. Right! It sounds so simple. Who are you? Who are you Carlos haha Tell me about yourself. But you’d be surprised how many applicants struggle (TIENEN PROBLEMAS)to answer this question. The purpose of this question is to put you on the spot (DESCOLOCARTE O SORPRENDERTE) that’s what it means to put you on the spot and see how you react. They want to see your reaction because let’s face it, not many people are prepared for these types of questions.
You don’t have to be completely serious when it comes to this question, you are able to show your personality as well. You are a human being after all. You are not a robot! Show them a little bit of personality.
And just so you know, this is not an opportunity to tell them your whole life story! Once upon a time (HABÍA UNA VEZ…), when I was a little girl…. Haha….Uhm, no! Don’t talk about when you were born or any details about your childhood. Remember you are at the job interview, and the question is about your skills (habilidades) and experiences, work experiences. Please keep the answer short, 2-3 mins long. Briefly cover your education, interest in the job and your work history and experience. You can also add something personal about yourself, if you have any interesting hobbies, any sports you are involved in etc. This will make the interview process much easier, much smoother as well (MAS CLARO).
When I say Skills, I mean habilidades, like for example, you have good communication skills, you are really good at public speaking, presentation skills, technical skills. We always use skills in plural, because we have MANY skills. Ok. You have many skills not just one skill.
So depending on what your job is, you may be an engineer, an accountant, a marketing manager, data analyst, depending on what your job is you may have those applicable skills.
If you don’t know what types of skills are required for a job, if you are not sure what the skills are in English, here is a TIP: what you can do is find out your skills online. Just go on the Internet and type your job if you are an engineer, type engineer in Google and then type the word “skills”, for example: engineer job skills in the search field. This is what I would use to prepare for a job interview, right, so I don’t have to think on the spot and trying to remember, ok so well I like to solve problems, I am quite analytical….that’s great… so this belongs to a category of Problem Solving skills, or Analytical skills. I would this before the interview so that I am well-prepared, and I can mention my skills on the spot. Ok, when they ask me, I know my strengths, these are my strengths. Communication skills, problem solving skills, analytical skills. To find those skills, I would go online, type in the job name and then the word skills. And then see which ones apply to you.
Also remember, be prepared to always have examples when you are at the interview, for any question you have to be prepared to give an example, to back up your strengths, (PARA RESPALDAR) your skills. How did you get those analytical skills? Problem solving skills? You can say something like: I like to solve problems, for example, there was one time in my previous job where I had to find a solution to a very technical problem, a very complicated problem, and then you go into explaining what the problem was and how you found the solution. Ok
So you need to be able to give an example of why you have those skills, how did you gain those skills.
I hope we are OK so far, you are able to follow me. So the question in this episode I want to focus on is: Tell me about yourself.
So remember the best way to answer this question is to mention your education, then your previous work experience (but not into too much detail!) and finish with what your strengths which are your skills, that’s what strengths means, and career goals.
For example, here is my example answer: if you are an engineer applying for jobs, you can say “I have a degree from the University of Technology in Auckland, NZ. I worked for a number of companies such as Company ABC as an Electrical Engineer, and I have very strong technical skills, I have experience in this software, in X software. I worked on various projects with clients from a range of Industries. And now I am looking forward to the next challenge in my career where I can grow my skills, gain new work experience and expand my knowledge. In my spare time, I like to train taekwando, and I like to spend time with my family. And that’s my answer!
Remember, always make it relevant to the job you are applying for!
I hope this was simple enough. It is a very good question to start the interview, because you are able to show off your skills. It’s like giving a first impression. Make it exciting, make it relevant to the job and make it a little bit exciting.
The whole idea of the job interview process basically, is to find out if the job is right for you. So you will have to ask them questions too, don’t let them ask questions, you will also have to be prepared and ask them questions about the job, about the company, and so on. Because this is an opportunity for you to see if you want to work for this company or not. It is a two-way conversation. Ok. You are not there because you are desperate for a job, you are there to see if this job suits you. Suits your needs. You are able to ask them questions too!!
And, learn how to sell yourself! Always focus on your strengths or skills, habilidades.
Learn how to sell your skills.
So what are other Potential Interview Questions that you might get asked??
They are usually based on your skill set, they are usually behavioral questions (PREGUNTAS DE COMPORTAMIENTO) (how do you manage difficult situations, can you work in teams, how do you deal with conflict…). Always give examples!! With any questions they ask you, you must give some sort of example from your previous jobs, from your previous experience
So, here are some question you need to be aware of for now (there are more questions, but here are some more typical questions they could ask you.)
1. Why should we hire you (POR QUE DEBERIAMOS CONTRATARTE)?
2. Tell us about a time where you had to work under pressure and how did you handle it. Give us example of this.
3. What are your weaknesses (CUALES SON TUS DEBILIDADES)? It’s opposite of strengths. This is a tricky one.
4. What are your salary expectations (CUALES SON TUS EXPECTATIVAS DE SUELDO)? Yeah they can ask you this question, you don’t have to give them an exact number, you just give a range.
5. Do you have any questions for us? This is usually the last question at the interview! Do you have any questions for us? Guys! You MUST have questions for them. Shows you are interested in the job. But it will also help you decide if the job is right for you as well. Maybe they want you to work 24 hours 7 days a week! Haha You don’t know that. You have to ask that! Ask about working conditions, about the team, about the company, and you will find out if the job is also right for you.
Alrighty guys! To summarise this episode:
I’d like to emphasize that you must prepare for interviews so you sound more fluent. You must prepare before you go to job interviews. If you have to write down your answers at home, to this questions, to this sample questions – practice them out loud, then do it! You must do it! It really does help.
And remember my TIP, learn how to sell yourself? You are a product and you need to sell yourself, haha when you go to the job interviews, you need to focus on your skills, your strengths (habilidades).
If you’ve found my TIPS helpful please share it with your friends! Sharing is caring! It is an English expression, help your friends by sharing this episode. To share means COMPARTIR in Spanish.
Alrighty, I hope you enjoyed it! Please let me know, I will plan more episodes like this in the near future. To be able to answer interview questions, you need to have the right vocabulary, and I can help you with this in the following episodes. So keep listening!
And remember guys, all transcriptions are available on my website, www.www.englishmadesimple.net, if you have any questions on any of the topics we covered in this show, please let me know in the Facebook Group English Made Simple or on my website. This podcast is for YOU and I am here to help you learn! So let’s do this guys, I hope you enjoyed it! Until next time! Hasta la vista!