What Should You Choose to Tell About Yourself?

“Tell me about yourself” – it’s the interview question universally dreaded by job seekers. Why? Because there are so many pitfalls, including waffling and missing the point, or giving the wrong impression about your suitability for the job. This interview question is designed to determine your fit for the position, so it’s very important to…

“Tell me about yourself” – it’s the interview question universally dreaded by job seekers.

Why? Because there are so many pitfalls, including waffling and missing the point, or giving the wrong impression about your suitability for the job.

This interview question is designed to determine your fit for the position, so it’s very important to think about how you could answer it before your interview.

Smart candidates prepare well before retail interviews to ensure they know exactly what skills, traits and qualities the position demands.

This ensures they can ‘sell’ themselves as the perfect person for the role – and address all relevant criteria.

Preparing for the job interview

Carefully review the job advertisement and description. Single out the keywords and work out how to use these in your interview responses.

Research the retail organisation by scanning its website and social media pages. This will give you an idea about the company’s culture, values and customer service.

Now assess how your own skills and strengths match the requirements of the role and workplace.

Focus on the things your prospective employer really wants to know in terms of what you can bring to the position, including:

  • Skills, training and experience specific to job requirements.
  • Character traits which are perfect for the role in question.
  • Your ability to work both independently and as part of a team.
  • Passion for tackling new tasks and challenges.
  • Desire to go on learning and developing your skillset.

These are all subjects you can introduce when the recruiter asks to know more about you. They are firmly focused on the workplace and critical to a good job-fit.

Two-part answer to the ‘tell me’ question

Some recruiters recommend breaking down your answer into two distinct parts.

This can help you think more clearly about your response.

  1. How and why you are qualified for the role

Write a brief summary of your main qualifications for the position. Concentrate on career highlights and specific qualities or achievements relevant to the role.

  1. Why you applied for the role

Work out how this role will allow you to develop existing skills, utilise skills currently underplayed, advance your career and offer valuable opportunities to work in a dynamic, creative or forward-thinking environment.

Responses to avoid at all costs

Stay away from details of your personal life and opinions. These include:

  • Speaking about the negative traits of your last boss.
  • Saying your previous job was boring.
  • Stressing how complicated your life is.
  • Talking about family commitments and your personal life schedule.
  • Saying you’re not really sure where life will take you.

Stay on track and keep referring to the requirements of the job.

Frontline Retail can also help, by finding jobs to suit your skills and experience, and offering tips on nailing interviews. Give us a call today to discuss further.