When an interviewer asks this question, what they are really asking is what relevant skills and characteristics that you posses that can be applied to the position. How you answer this question can set the tone for the rest of the interview.
Points to Emphasize
Depending upon your skill set and the position that you are applying for, there are a number of ways that you can formulate this answer. However, there are some general points that you can emphasize.
- Highlight the skills that you possess that are relevant to the position.
- Focus on your top skills and those that encompass others.
- Even if you have not utilized them in a previous job function, mention any relevant capabilities that you have that are relevant to the job.
- If you lack experience in any of the major job functions, speak highly of your abilities or characteristics that would help you to succeed at the task.
Mistakes You Should Avoid
This is not a time to brag on yourself, but rather an opportunity to highlight how you can contribute to the company that you are applying to. Make sure that you avoid the following possible mistakes.
- Be careful of giving a generic answer; tailor your answer to the specific position you are applying for.
- Do not mention any negative characteristics or areas that you are “progressing” in.
- Steer clear of listing off your accomplishments.
- Do not try to breeze over the question; this critical to the interview process.
Remember, though you are describing yourself, you are doing so to express how you can be of benefit to the business in the position you are applying for.
A good answer for describing yourself could be along the lines of:
I am a people person, which is why I have extensive experience in customer service. I am a great listener and am able to pinpoint people’s issues and possible solutions. I attribute that to my success in sales and my strong problem solving abilities in completing managerial duties.
This is often one of the first questions that are asked in an interview, so you want to be sure to make a positive impression. Be sure to highlight your strongest and most relevant skills.