This may seem like a simple question, but more than half of the interviewees dread it. What makes it worse is that this question comes at the very beginning of the interview, so you don’t have a flow to follow. In fact, if you speak to interviews professionals, they will tell you that it is of utmost importance as it puts the ball in your court in setting the flow for the entire session.
But the real question is, what is it that the interviewer wants to hear when the person asks this dreadful question? Should you tell the panel your ventures apart from what’s mentioned on the CV? Or do you give them general information about yourself – your interests and background?
We interviewed multiple interview professionals to find out the right answer to this question. This is what we got.
It Helps In the Transition
Interview sessions are not just about what you have done in the past or what your skills are. If it were so, you would have been hired based on your CV. But that doesn’t happen, right? The sole purpose of an interview is to meet the candidate face-to-face, know him or her as a person, and get to know anything beyond the CV that would help the company reach its goals.
Interview professionals will tell you that the reason for this question is to transition smoothly into the session. The ball, as mentioned earlier, is actually in your court here. Make the transition to a topic you’re most comfortable discussing.
Make the Interviewer Curious
One of the best things to do while answering this question is to tell your interviewer something that will make them curious. For instance, you’re applying for a management position in a clothing store, you can mention that you are an eCommerce enthusiast and mention that particular gig you did in freelance (make sure you tell a true story because interview professionals can catch lies in a heartbeat!).
So, when you mention your ecommerce gig and casually move on, you will be able to trigger curiosity in your interviewer’s mind because he or she will not want to know more about this gig of yours as it can be highly beneficial for their company as well.
Go Reverse in Direction
Always start by sharing your current role and what your actual day looks like at the current job (be precise.) Then move towards your previous workplaces and take one defining moment which you will share with the interviewer. For example: …before that, I worked at a software house where I helped in launching the digital wing of the company.
The employer is interviewing you because they liked your CV and now want to see you in person. So make sure you cast a strong first impression with good formal dressing and etiquette. Tell the interviewer a little about your core skills and abilities and how you think they are unique. Remember, you want to distinguish yourself from other candidates.