Why Interviewers Ask This Question
There are a few reasons you will be asked this sort of question. It helps get a general sense of who you are and your background while allowing the interviewer to see how you communicate and structure your thoughts. It also enables you to highlight any skills or experience you feel are relevant to the job.
What to Consider When planning Your Answer
So you feel as prepared as you can if this question comes up during your interview, brainstorm information for the following questions.
What are some interesting facts about yourself?
Start your answer by giving a general overview of yourself, your age, where you come from, etc. Also, mention any hobbies, especially ones that show discipline (wrestling, gymnastics, etc.), volunteering, or intellectual growth (reading, piano lessons, etc.).
Why are you interested in the role?
Ensure you research the role in-depth, discovering the key elements, and use these to structure your answer. Explain what excites you the most about the role and why you feel this is the best next step for your career path. Showing you have taken the time to read through all the information provided displays that you are genuinely eager for the job.
What is your current role?
Explain the job you currently possess, your daily tasks, and how they are similar to the role you are looking to obtain. Briefly speak about what parts of the job you have most enjoyed and discuss any accomplishments you are proud of gaining. You can mention something as small as a simple change in a process you suggested that has helped with productivity; this will show that you have pride in your work.
What is Your Past Experience?
Sum up any relevant previous roles; however, keep it brief as this question will likely come up later in the interview. You can use that opportunity to talk in-depth about your past roles and experience.
What characteristics do you have that make you a suitable candidate? Think about how other people describe you in your work or personal life. Do people often say you are honest or positive? Use compliments like these to your advantage, pick out the traits that other people have mentioned to you, and think of a recent example of where you have successfully shown this attribute.
Is there anything that makes you stand out from the crowd?
Remember, you want to leave a lasting impression. If you have any unique skills and experience, mention them! For example, if you are applying for the role of a camp counselor, and you attended summer camp every year from the ages of 5 to 17, you should mention it. These insights show that you have knowledge of the industry and have previous awareness that other candidates might not have.
General Tips on How to Answer This Question
Keep your answer between one and two minutes long.
It is a vague question, which can often be overwhelming and may lead to insufficient and non-relevant answers. Your answer should be concise to enable the interviewer to discover who you are as a person and what you can bring to the table if they choose to employ you. Aim for your answer to be less than two minutes long with as much detail as possible.
Everyone has a unique set of skills and abilities that make them distinctive and valuable in a work environment. It is essential to highlight yours while linking them to why they will make you a good fit for the company. Anything from your education, to your experience, to your interests, or your track record can be examples. Focus on one or two to help the interviewer understand why your skills would be valuable to the company. Remember, they will likely ask you to delve into your work-related experience later in the interview. Therefore, try not to dwell on this section too much when answering.
Tie Your Strengths Into the Company Objectives.
It is pivotal to back your statements up with information that will tie your answers to the strengths and goals of the company. Also, be sure to share examples of how you have used your abilities in previous jobs to help the company excel, be sure these are relevant examples, though!
Don’t Script Your Response
While it is necessary to plan out your answer and practice what you are saying, it is crucial not to write your answer word for word and learn it off by heart for the interview. Scripting your answer will make you sound robotic and fake and may even make it seem like you have copied your answer from elsewhere. Replying in a non-scripted, free-flowing way will give the interviewer the impression that you are confident and good at coping under pressure. A good tip is to write your facts in bullet points and use these as prompts to elaborate and expand from while answering.
Everybody is unique; therefore, no two answers will be the same. However, below is an example response to help you format your reply.
“Since I was a child, I have always had a great love for animals. I had many pets growing up and was always going out of my way to rescue any local wildlife that needed a helping hand. I have always known that I wanted to have a job in veterinary care. I studied Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University and graduated three years ago.
After graduating from college, I started volunteering at a rescue center while working as an animal sitter in the local community. I have been able to gain hands-on knowledge of all sorts of animals while carrying out these roles, including medical care, first aid and the behavioral traits of different species.
For the next step in my career path, I would love to bring my experience and compassion for animals into the veterinary industry. I feel my knowledge and empathy would make me the perfect candidate for the veterinary nurse role.”