Tuesday, June 14, 2011

First Question on an Interview - Building Your About Me

Coming up with an about me will help you answer the same question when asked differently by multiple people in the interview process.
This is a good resume you have here; can you tell us more about yourself?
Can you talk about the projects you have worked on?
Can you give us a quick overview of your resume?
Give us a brief Introduction of yourself.
Even when they see your personal and professional details on your resume the reason they ask this question is to better understand your work, communication skills and how you express yourself. This is also your opportunity to market yourself and to create that first best impression. The about me drives the interview and the questions they ask you later. So it is important on what you choose to say.
Building About You-self:
Before you start building about yourself you should know yourself. Go through your resume multiple times and see how best you can answer each detail listed honestly. A good About Me should be no longer than a page. The seven steps organized in to three sections below will help you come up with your About Me.
Section One: Start with the personal details.
1) I am |Your Name|
2) I am from |Location|
Section Two: Academic/Professional
3) I have done my |Your Degree| in |Major| from |College|,|Location|
4) I have an aggregate percentage of |percentage|
5) You can List your electives if you think are relevant for them to know.
Write down all the technologies you know and have worked on. List any additional technical/professional Certifications you have done. Do not use the same exact words and description you have on the resume.
6) List the projects you have worked on. Just the title and what does it do or solve.
We have worked on an ERP system that automates the entire order and invoice management process of a Manufacturing Plant.
We have worked on a college project that helps the librarian manage the inventory of books.
Keep it interactive - A conversation is interesting only as long as it is two ways. Stop and ask them questions before moving on.
Do you want me to go in to the details of my Projects?
Section 3:
7) How to talk about your Projects?
Every project answers or solves a problem. Start by giving them an overview of the problem you are trying to solve. Answer how and why you have solved it that way. This is pretty much your project description. But do not just read out what you have on the resume. Instead write down the inner details of how and why you chose to work on it in the first place .Connect it some elective or personal interest. It is not a bad idea to share your experiences on how you worked with your classmates or colleagues as a team.
If you can relate your project work to the work that organization does they will be impressed. Your research about the company and knowing the kind of projects they work will help here. Never assume they know things from your resume already. Treat them as your customer and as if you are selling them your project/product and go through each detail.
Expect Questions:
Anticipate the questions they can ask you from the information you have provided on your resume and about me. When they interrupt you with a question while you were in the middle of your about me don’t be surprised. They will not ask you how you can build bridges if you have listed IT projects on your resume. So be cool and confident. Remember and start right where you have stopped once your answer their questions and if they want to know more about you.
Good Listening:
Along with your talking skills you need to develop good listening skills. Who doesn’t want to talk these days .It is the listening habit we need to cultivate which will help us answer to the point. If they ask you to list the technologies you are comfortable working with, you should not start talking about your personal details. On the other hand if they ask about your personal details stop once you answer section one and wait for them to ask about your projects or ask them if they want to know more about your projects. When this same tell me about yourself question is asked in the HR interview, you can skip the section 3 (project details). But there is nothing wrong in asking the HR if they do want to know the details.
Once you have the about me page ready, read it loud multiple times in front of a mirror and practice without looking at it with your friend. Ensure you have eye contact while briefing yourself. Maintain a simple and optimistic attitude and do not over talk or show off.

Related Articles

1)Interview Tips: How to learn about the company