“Tell me about yourself” is one of the common interview questions Filipino hirers ask. You might hear it as, “Tell me something about yourself that is not on your resume”, or even “Walk me through your resume.” These questions serve as an icebreaker and transition to help employers get to know you as an individual and as a professional.

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It may sound perfectly harmless, but jobseekers still tend to panic and overthink such an open-ended question. Answering this sets the tone of the conversation of the whole interview. It is a great opportunity to demonstrate your personality and your skill of communicating clearly and effectively with confidence.

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Knowing how to answer basic questions like “tell me about yourself” gives you a great way to start on the right foot as a jobseeker. Here are a few tips to help you craft your winning response.

How to answer “Tell me about yourself” in a job interview 

1. Prepare your elevator pitch

Filipino jobseekers make the mistake of answering this question too personally. Some even launch into their life story; some rehash their resume, going point-by-point through their work experience.

Write down key talk points to answer the “tell me about yourself” question. A simple and effective formula for structuring your response is discussing your present situation, past experiences, and future goals. This formula will help you craft a brief and concise account of your background.

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2. List your strengths and abilities

It is a good idea to inject your personality with your interviewer by sharing what you can bring to the table. Briefly mention your hobbies and relate them to your skills, like mentioning your community engagement through volunteering or demonstrating your interest in the field by upskilling.

The best way to insert your strengths and abilities into the conversation is by remembering the STAR method:

  • Share a situation
  • Your task in the situation
  • The actions you did in the situation
  • And the results you achieved. 

It is a great way of telling your story and highlighting the arc of your professional development.

3. Practice and plan

When you have your talk points at hand, practice—but don’t memorize. Practice in front of a mirror to ease yourself into a conversation. An employer can see through a jobseeker’s body language and speech pattern. It is important to stay confident and relaxed. 

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Do a mock interview with a friend or a relative. This will help you get insight into how you present and conduct yourself in front of other people. Better yet, record yourself with your phone to help time your answer and trim it down if needed. Practice until it becomes natural for you to give a smooth answer without forgetting important details.

Answering “Tell me about yourself” with confidence is the first step in connecting with your potential employer and a great chance to distinguish yourself from other jobseekers. Keep practicing your story to make sure it reflects your passion and the detail you have put into your response. Preparing for interviews is key in placing your best foot forward to your dream job.  

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This article originally appeared on JobStreet.com. Minor edits have been implemented by the Femalenetwork.com editors. Read the full story here.

Looking for a job? Check out your options on JobStreet.com! 

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