The Great Reveal: How to Answer the “Tell Me About Yourself” Interview Question

This question is generally asked at the opening of an interview – it can be a great asset to answer it correctly but it is one that you can get very wrong. It can also be framed, take me through your CV, outlining the areas of your work experience and competencies in relation to the role of…

This question strikes fear in people and they commonly say – “I don’t know what the employer is looking for” – You will know by reading the Job Advert and the Person Specification carefully – underline the key words: Prepare, Prepare, Prepare! If you prepare you’ll be surprised how easily you will sail through your answer.

Know The Buyer!

The employer has listed what they want in the Job Advertisement – it’s up to you to tell them that you have the required skills / attributes – use their words in your answer.

The best answer will begin by briefly telling the employer what they are looking for and then outline your main selling points that explains that you have what they require. When you focus on your relevant qualifications for the job you increase your chances of convincing the interviewer that you are ready for the challenge.

Why Interviewers Ask You the “Tell Me About Yourself” Question

From the interviewer’s perspective, this enquiry is one of the best for finding out if a candidate is suited to the role. It is worth remembering that the hiring manager wants to like you; it is in their interest to find the best candidates for their company. Recruitment is an expensive business and they want to get it right first time. The idea is to get you talking and to hear from you that you are the right person for the job.

How to Answer “Tell Me About Yourself”

You can use the most frequently stated do’s and don’ts in job interviews to help you avoid ineffectively answering any interview question. The don’ts when answering this particular question can be summed up:

Don’t

  • Regurgitate your CV
  • Be too modest OR too arrogant
  • Include irrelevant information such as your favourite colour or wine
  • Discuss aspects of your career that have little or no relevance to the role or industry in question

You need to answer this question with laser-like precision, and it is a much simpler task than you think. The best answer to any common interview question is short and succinct. You may need to inject just enough personality to get the hiring manager to like you but resist the urge to ramble, brag, or hide in your shell. A great answer involves the following:

Do

  • Detail ‘Who’ You Are: Begin by outlining who you are professionally and throw in a couple of strengths
  • Provides an Overview of Your Skills: Your interviewer may not remember your CV, so remind them by highlighting a few key skills that make you a good fit for the job
  • Explain Why You Want the Job: If we’re cynical, the main reason to get a job is to pay your rent and not starve to death, but the interviewer already knows that! Instead, outline that you want a new challenge and believe that the company and the job offer’s it.

Things to Avoid When Answering “Tell Me About Yourself”

Perhaps the biggest mistake interviewees make when answering this question is to go off on a tangent. The result is an answer that is an incoherent and rambling mess. You know it is a common interview question, so there is no excuse for not creating a ‘scripted’ answer and sticking to it. Remember, it is usually one of the first questions asked, so there is little danger of repeating information already mentioned in the interview.

In any case, here are a few things you should avoid mentioning:

  • Religious or Political Affiliations: Avoid at all costs. You have no idea if the interviewer shares your views, so it is best to keep a lid on it
  • Personal Information: This means anything you wouldn’t ordinarily tell a stranger. It also relates to information about your family

Frequently Asked Interview Questions Related to ‘Tell Me About Yourself”

  • While the following questions are not necessarily the same as “Tell me about yourself,” they are all designed to gain a greater insight into ‘who’ you are personally and professionally.

 

  • “Describe Yourself”
  • “Why Would You Like to Work for Us?”
  • “What Makes You Unique?”
  • “Outline What You Do in Your Current Position.”
  • “Where Do You See Yourself In 5/10 Years?”
  • “What Motivates You?”
  • “What Are You Passionate About?”
  • “Why Should We Hire You?”
  • “Why Do You Want This Job?”
  • “Why Did You Leave Your Last Job?”

In summary: Read the Job Advert / Person Specification; if you have what they are looking for or as near as possible begin by outlining what they want and proceed to tell them that you have the skills, experience, and drive to successfully do the Job.

Good Luck!

Waterford City Local Employment Service continues to offer excellent value

Ger Walsh – Manager of Waterford City Local Employment Service (LES) – has welcomed the finding of research commissioned by the DEASP that the not for-profit Local Employment Service (LES) nationally is successfully achieving full-time employment placement for 28.8% of those referred to them annually.

In addition, whilst working with those with lower qualification levels and most in need of employment supports, the LES has progressed the majority of its remaining caseload to part-time jobs and other pathways to work such as further training and employment schemes.

The research also found that a very high proportion of LES clients who responded to Indecon’s research “indicated that their attendance with a Local Employment Service had been beneficial, with 75% stating that their engagement had motivated them to find work or to undertake further education or training.”

The service also received significant endorsement from the employers who engage with it, with 89% of respondents indicating that their engagement with an LES had helped them to find suitable candidates for available jobs, while 83% of employers stated that the LES provided an efficient recruitment service for their organisation. “The LES approach is serving jobseekers and the state well. At this time of welcome falls in unemployment, there are still many who need significant support to achieve job-readiness and access the labour market”, said Ger.

“We work intensively with people in their local community, helping them to address any barriers to employment including skills needs, mental health issues, self-esteem and personal discipline”.

“Placing almost 30% of referrals into full-time employment is a significant achievement but it must also be recognised that for many of the today’s jobseekers, progression to a part-time job, internship, employment scheme or further training are valid pathways to full-time employment and career development”.

He continued: “The cost per full-time employment placement is €2544 and this reduces significantly when part-time positions are taken into account. The savings to the state in welfare payments as well as the transfer to the state in new tax income are considerable. In this context, the figures represent excellent value for money and demonstrate the benefits of collaboration between the state and not-for-profit community organisations.”

At present, the Public Employment Service (PES) is delivered either by the Department’s own Intreo service or by private contractors through Jobpath or by community-based, not-for-profit companies operating the Local Employment Service (LES) and Jobs Clubs.

The Indecon Report heralds a reconfiguration of these services in 2020. Whilst preparing to respond to the upcoming changes, Irish Local Development Network’s Marie Price Bolger cautions on the lessons from other sectors that followed a privatisation route,

“The value of community-based, not-for-profit employment services must be protected in any reconfiguration of Public Employment Services. They give an efficient, accessible service to jobseekers, they give transparency and value-for money to the taxpayer, they give the greatest level of control and agility to the funder, and their track record is endorsed by employers. Whilst all services need to continually adapt to changing circumstances, these key advantages must be safeguarded in any reconfiguration.”

JobsPlus: New Jobs – Less Cost

Employers, are you hiring?

Jobseekers are you looking to give yourself the edge over other applicants?

Government Grants of €7,500 and €10,000 are available

Not many things in life are free but here’s one: JobsPlus

What is JobsPlus? It is an incentive from the Department of Social Protection. It is designed to reward employers who offer employment of over 30 hours per week to recruits from the live register. Grants of €7,500 and €10,000 are available. The majority Waterford City Local Employment Service’s clients are eligible for JobsPlus.

How can I register? There are two parts. Firstly, Employers must register for JobsPlus, by following the link below:

https://www.welfare.ie/en/Pages/secure/jobsplus-employer.aspx

When employers are approved they will receive an email confirming that they have been approved. The status of all applications can be attained by calling 071 9672535 / 071 9672583.

Secondly, Jobseekers must register their interest by accessing the link below:

https://www.welfare.ie/en/Pages/secure/jobsplus-employee.aspx

When the Jobseeker is approved they will receive a letter of acceptance in the post. The status of all applications can be attained by calling 071 9672535 / 071 9672583.

How much is the incentive? A grant of €7,500 is payable over two years for Jobseekers on the live register over 12 months and €10,000 for Jobseekers on the live register more than 36 months.

However, in addition to the above A grant of €7,500 is payable to:

Jobseekers under 25 years of age and on the live register for at least 4 months in the previous 6 months.

Former one parent family customers whose youngest child is 7 years of age or over who transfers to the live register and are now in receipt of Jobseekers allowance transition payment and they have NO qualifying period.

Persons with refugee status and in receipt of Jobseekers allowance also have NO qualifying period.

A grant of €10,000 is payable to: Jobseekers over 50 years of age who are on the live register and have been at least 12 months unemployed in the previous 18 months.

How will the incentive be paid? The incentive will be payable monthly in arrears, over a two year period by Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT), by the Department of Social Protection.

Interested? Employers, follow the link to become approved for JobsPlushttps://www.welfare.ie/en/Pages/secure/jobsplus-employer.aspx

Jobseekers to increase your chances of employment follow the link – https://www.welfare.ie/en/Pages/secure/jobsplus-employer.aspx.

Waterford City Local Employment Service have almost 5000 followers on Facebook, we provide a free and confidential service to businesses of all sizes and are designed to make the recruitment process easy and hassle-free. If you have any questions call Ger on 051-304951 / 086 142550.

 

A New Year – A New Start

Great News!  From New Year’s Day, people in receipt of Jobseeker’s Benefit who take on subsidiary seasonal and casual work can earn up to €7,500 a year without impacting their rights to their Benefit.

We hear from jobseekers that casual work brings massive complications when they have to sign off and on etc., so it can be difficult to accept short term work.  Changes like this will hopefully give more flexibility and encouragement to people who want to work and will also help employers who need casual staff on an Adhoc Basis. We all know that a job is far more than a pay check and hopefully initiatives like this will help to secure more long term opportunities for all.

Read more on official announcement here; http://www.welfare.ie/en/pressoffice/Pages/pr211218.aspx