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Table Stakes Questions in Preparing for an Interview

There are a few basic questions that any Interviewer will expect the Candidate to be prepared for. These are
(i) Tell me about yourself
(ii) Why this job, this company
(iii) Why should we hire you.

The tact to handle the question “Tell me about yourself” is to encapsulate ‘why you want to take up a certain profession’ and ‘how you are suitable for it’ in the answer for ‘tell me about yourself’. Further, instead of summarising your resume, you should highlight aspects not written there. Put yourself in the employer’s shoes – what would you want to know about the candidate if you were them ?

You should highlight your personality and bring out your strengths and abilities that you can support by giving examples. Connect your skills to the job description. Mention your past experiences and proven successes. Briefly mention hobbies, intellectual development and community involvement.

Few examples for people with no work experience:

  • I am Rishab Singh and I come from Karnal. My desire is to pursue a career in Sales. I am a very extrovert person and can easily connect with new people. I am a very good listener and tend not to be judgmental. I have the knack of bringing people together and resolving conflicts through logical reasoning. I believe that these qualities of mine help me in making people appreciating my point of view, as well as developing lasting relationships.
  • My name is Harminder and I have a passion for commercial aspects of business. I graduated in B.Com and an now pursuing MBA Finance. I believe that a thorough financial analysis helps in making good business decisions therefore I have carried out several academic projects to hone this skill. (https://www.roberthalf.com.au/blog/jobseekers/your-career-finance-10-skills-really-count).

Look up the skills that are required for your desired specialisation. If you do not have them, work towards honing these skills.

If you have carried out an internship, that becomes a very important aspect of your interview, and of ‘tell me about yourself’. When a company hires a paid intern, they certainly are trying to achieve something. You must understand the ‘aim’ of the internship (i.e. the problem they are trying to solve). Then you must tell how you contributed towards solving this problem using the use the STAR approach i.e Situation, Task, Action and Result. Here are a few examples :-

  • I did my internship with ABC company. The company was facing problem with drop in sales due to inefficient sales channel. The company had drawn own a new channel arrangement and my task was to make our retailers join the new channel arrangement. Though the new arrangement was resisted by most of the retails, in my tenure of 2 months I was able to achieve a 93% switch-over to the new model.

Keep these points in mind as you tell them about yourself:

• Rehearse your answers. Make sure you’re prepared.
• Don’t waste a lot of time memorizing them.
• Once you’ve done that, you’re sure to deliver a satisfactory response to the tell me about yourself interview question.

Some more resources on the internet:

Career Advice

Interviews

Answer to “Sell Me This Pen”