One of the most frequently asked job interview questions is ‘Tell me about yourself.’ Therefore, when you have an interview coming up, make sure that you are able to come up with a strong and concise answer that includes relevant details about yourself.
Questions about yourself, also called personal interview questions, are used by hiring managers to uncover things such as:
- Your preferred work style
- In what kind of company culture you’re most likely to thrive
- Your strengths and weaknesses
Besides being interested in your education and work experience, hiring managers want to know more about your motivation, work ethic, career goals, and personal traits. By asking you interview questions about yourself, the interviewer tries to get a better understanding of who you are, what you like, and if all of that fits into the organization and position you’re interviewing for.
If you prepare the right way to answer personal interview questions, they are actually a perfect opportunity for you to demonstrate your fit for the job. Furthermore, it allows you to align your skills to those required for the position.
Interview questions that require you to discuss yourself are not considered as the hardest or toughest interview questions out there. However, you must do your homework prior to your interview to make that you have a great story to tell the interviewer.
In this blog, we discuss interview questions about you. Read everything you need to know on how you can prepare and what answers the interviewer is looking for. Also, read more about frequently asked job interview questions here and check our job interview preparation checklist.
What Topics Are Discussed In Questions About You?
Before we get into how you can answer personal job interview questions, it’s essential to know what topics you should prepare for, in general. This, of course, all depends on the requirements of the position that you’re applying for and the culture of the company. The most common job discussed interview topics are:
- Employment history
- Skills and abilities
- Job qualifications
- Educational background
- Career goals
Questions about yourself are usually a combination of topics. Hiring managers ask you broad personal questions to get to know more about your :
The main goal of the interviewer is to assess if you’re a good match for the job and culture of the company. For example, if the job requires a flexible candidate that does not have a 9-to-5 mentality and that will do everything to get their job done, but you cannot commit to the extra hours, you may not be the right candidate.
Another critical aspect of personal questions that you should forget is that there is no such thing as a ‘right‘ or ‘wrong‘ answer. You should focus on aligning your answers with the job requirements and the company where you’re interviewing. This way, you make sure you give the interviewer an exact answer that he or she wants to hear.
Common interview questions:
- Tell me about yourself.
- What motivates you?
- What is your greatest strength?
- Where do you see yourself five years from now?
- What do you consider your greatest weakness?
Personal job interview questions revolve around you and your personality. Hiring managers want to hear you give specific answers to their questions and are looking to assess your self-awareness. For you, this is a perfect opportunity for you to showcase your skills and talk about yourself in a very positive way.
Tips To Answer ‘Tell Me About Yourself’
One of the most commonly asked interview questions, in general, is ‘Tell me about yourself.’ Not only is this a great ice breaker, but this question is also asked by the interviewer to get valuable information from you to get to know you better. Therefore, you must provide a strong answer to this question that discusses your present, past, and future. Below we explain how you can structure your ‘tell me about yourself’ story.
Talk about how you got to the position you’re currently in, and don’t forget to mention any previous work experience that is relevant to the job and company where you’re applying.
Explain to the interviewer what your current position entails, what responsibilities you have, and what your most significant accomplishments are.
Go into detail about what you’re looking for next in your career and why the position you’re applying for fits into your career goals.
Tips To Answer Questions About You
There are a couple of steps that you can take to make sure you’re ready to answer personal interview questions that require you to talk about yourself in a very positive way.
Research the company & the position
During your interview preparation, is it’s essential that you thoroughly understand the company and the position you’re applying for.
What are the skills and experience that the company values? What are the job requirements? Etc. You should find out what the company looks for in a qualified candidate. If you know this, you can position yourself as the right candidate for the job. Also, it allows you to ask the interviewer the right smart questions that will get his or her attention.
Besides analyzing the job description for specific information about the job, you should also gain knowledge about the company as a whole. The best way to find this information is by taking a tour around the company’s website.
Read about their products, services mission statement, company goals, in which markets they’re active, in which countries they’re located, etc. Also, find out who the key players are in the organization and research them. Key players can be directors, managers, and the CEO/board. Furthermore, make sure you read news and recent events regarding the company.
Learn how to research a job description.
Prepare for questions you expect based on your research
Based on your research, you can make an educated guess about the topics that will be discussed during the interview. Make sure that you prepare for commonly asked interview questions.
Based on your analysis, you can make an educated guess about the questions that challenge the required skills, responsibilities, and experience you have highlighted. Here you can find more information about frequently asked interview questions. Regardless of the type of interview that you’re invited to, you can be sure that the interviewer will ask you behavioral interview questions.
For example, you can expect questions such as ‘Tell me about your experience with [insert required skill, ability or experience]‘ or ‘Describe a time when you demonstrated [insert required qualification].’
The best way to prepare answers to such questions is to think about what the company expects from you in the position you’re applying for. Furthermore, try to find out how the company will evaluate your expertise and performance. For instance, if you’ve applied for a software development job, you will likely get asked questions about your experience and expertise in coding.
It’s also possible that the interviewer will use situational interview questions. These questions are hypothetical and are used to uncover your thinking process but also your creative thinking skills. For example, if you’re applying for a marketing position, the interviewer could ask you, ‘What is usually your plan of action to identify which marketing strategy fits a client?‘
As you can see, a bit of research goes a long way if you want to figure out what kinds of questions you can expect during your interview.
Prepare questions to ask the interviewer
Always ask the interviewer questions. These should be smart questions that need to be related and focused on the position. An important aspect of asking questions is that it’s a key opportunity to further highlight your skills, qualities, and experience. Take advantage of this opportunity and show that you’re the best candidate for the job.
Your goal when asking the interviewer questions is to make a personal statement in the form of a question. This statement should:
- Highlight your skills, abilities, and qualifications.
- Demonstrate that you’re confident in your suitability.
- Show your commitment.
- Show that you understand the challenges the company is facing.
- Reinforce your suitability for the job in general,
Learn more about smart questions to ask the interviewer.
Most Commonly Asked Personal Interview Questions
Below we discuss the most commonly asked interview questions about yourself.
- Tell me about yourself.
- What is your greatest strength?
- What is your greatest weakness?
- Tell me about your expectations for this job and those for your previous job.
- Describe your work ethic.
- What accomplishment in your career are you most proud of?
- What are your career goals? How do you plan to achieve them?
- How do you handle stressful situations?
- Do you have any questions for me?
- What are your salary expectations?
- Do you work better alone or as part of a team?
Job Interview Topics – Common Job Interview Questions & Answers
Besides ‘Tell me about yourself’ there are a lot more commonly asked job interview questions. Below you can find a list of common job interview topics. Each link will direct you to an article regarding the specific topics that discuss commonly asked interview questions. Furthermore, each article outlines why the interviewer asks these questions and how you answer them!
- Career Change
- Career Goals
- Conflict Resolution
- Creative Thinking
- Cultural Fit
- Customer Service
- Growth Potential
- Honesty & Integrity
- Job Satisfaction
- Entry-Level & No experience
- Prioritization & Time Management
- Situational & Scenario-based
- Stress Management
- Telephone Interview
- Work Ethic