It’s the most common interview question of them all, but often the most destabilising for candidates already feeling the inevitable pressure of a job interview situation.
In theory, it shouldn’t be so difficult. After all, what do any of us know more about, than ourselves? We know what makes ourselves tick, our hopes and fears, what motivates us and what disenfranchises us. But getting that across in an interview can be tricky.
Often it can be a way of easing everyone into the interview; a little icebreaker that also gives the interviewer a small insight into the interviewee. Often the answers form the basis for the questions that follow, too, but it’s primarily an exercise in breaking the ice and letting all parties in the room get to know each other a little bit more.
It’s also a bit of a free hit for the interviewee, before the questions come; you have a chance to steer the conversation how you’d like it to go, although it’s usually recommended not to go left-field with the answer. Remember you’re in an interview… the other side of the table probably isn’t too interested in what you get up to at the weekend.
Instead, use the opportunity to project a picture of yourself you think is accurate, and also appealing. One approach to take is to split the answer into three stages; what you do now, what you have done and what you hope to do in the future.
That’s only a guide, though. If you have a killer story as to how you ended up in the industry, lead with that! Just, whatever you do, make it relevant to the interview, the situation you find yourself in and the company you’re hoping to work for. You want the interviewer to move on now having a clearer picture of your personality, your communication skills and how you arrived in front of them. Once you’ve established that, the rest speaks for itself!