This common question during an interview seems easy, but it can be a challenge for many overthinkers. “What about myself do I share? Personal or Professional?”

All pretty valid questions because you are essentially trying to give a snapshot of the kind of person you are. Let’s go ahead and break down how your answer should be structured.

How to Structure your answer?

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Here are some tips/formats on how your answer should be structured. 

Past Present & Future

A simple format is to discuss the past, present, and future. Your past still needs to be professional discussing any work experience that led to where you are now. 

As for the present, you need to state your current role and responsibilities. You can also sprinkle a touch of accomplishments. 

As for the future, it refers  to the common question, Why are you interested in the position?” What are you expecting to get out of the company? If this is an internship or starter job, you can let them know how this role will aid future endeavours.  

W.A.P.(Work, Academic, Personal) Percentage

You can also structure based on your work academic and personal experiences. This formate idea is from Novoresume. 

Work should make up  80%  of your answer, which includes experience and accomplishments. Academic can be around 10-15% which is your background education. 

As for personal, this would be 5%. Talk about some of your traits. This section is interesting because some companies rely heavily on personality. For example, a news anchor needs personality. Or they want to see if you would fit in with the company culture.

Make connections

Lastly, as you are structuring your example, you want to make sure everything is relevant and connects.

Tips to Answering “Tell Me About Yourself”

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Remain professional and brief

Overall you want to answer in under 1-2 minutes. Also, please provide enough information. A one-sentence response is not going to cut it.

For those feeling like they want to say everything  –stick to the main selling points. The Interviewer does not need to know every detail about your interests and goals. The best way to make an impact is to be brief with getting your point across.

Practice 

Overall practice your response with a friend but do not memorise. Memorising your answer can be stressful and mess up your thoughts if you forget something. 

Just remember your key points. If you remember those and struggle to come up with what you are going to say, then that is why you need to practice. 

It is almost the same way as practising for a presentation. Some people have an easier time coming up with responses on the spot, while others don’t.

Know your audience 

Overall know your audience before and during your interview. What this means is that you need to be comfortable talking with the interviewer. There is no need to stalk their social media, but just a little light research helps to be mentally prepared.

Also, during the interview, you need to read the room. Some interviewers want to know more about the interviewee, such as their interests, and some don’t 

You will meet many people who like to conduct their interviews differently. 

Example Answer

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Incorrect Answer 

I have always liked writing. When I was in grade school, I was always the one with top scores. Something about writing just grabs my attention. When I get writers’ block, I discovered what I need to do to help. I usually need to go for a walk and have a day in nature. 

Because I am so passionate about writing, I decided to major in literature at University X.

Correct Answer  

My name is  Celeste, and  I am  27 years old. I have been a  content writer for Company Z for the past three years. 

I have a bachelor’s degree in Literature at University X.  Growing up, I  always knew I enjoyed writing, but  I didn’t realise I wanted to pursue a career as a  writer until my internship with Company Y. 

They taught me so much, which led to a change in majors and landed me a   job with Company  Z. At, that company I worked across eight internal websites and wrote content for clients. I have many pieces in my portfolio that have ranked in the first position on page one of  Google. 

I would like to expand my opportunities by doing some travel writing with your company. This opportunity is an amazing personal experience and can provide a lot of skills for my writing career.

Final Thoughts

Overall it may seem like you could answer everything with ease because it’s about you! On the other hand, it is very easy to blank and try to gather your thoughts. Prepare your talking points so you go into an interview sharing your best self.