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How to answer "Tell me about yourself" in a Marketing Interview

Updated: Aug 23, 2021

Whether it’s a campus interview or a general marketing interview where you are looking for a switch, one of the most common questions that get asked is "Tell me about yourself".


And more often than not, this is the first question for you to answer and hence can be termed as a very crucial one.


They say that your first impression can turn out to be your last impression and hence acing this particular question is a must.


But how exactly do we ensure that we get this question correct?


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Or rather, is there a right and wrong answer for a subjective question?


The answer is yes, while the question may be subjective in nature, there are some definite dos and don’ts to follow, and this article will help you with just that.


Let’s start off by first understanding that your answer to this question will differ based on whether you are a fresher or an experienced candidate.


But the best part is, that this article helps you out with both!


By the end of this article, I will also be sharing an outline with you to craft your perfect answer to this question, so make sure you read it right through the end!


Now let’s jump into the content.

Content:

1. Reasons behind asking to tell me about yourself, in an interview

2. How should experienced candidates answer "tell me about yourself" in an interview?

3. How should freshers answer "tell me about yourself" in an interview?

4. Outline to perfect your answer to this question

Let’s look at each of these in detail:


1. Reasons behind asking to tell me about yourself, in an interview

Now understand that the interviewer will most likely have your resume right in front of him/her, so they already know things about you.


But they still want you to talk about yourself because they need to know what’s most important to you!


For example, you start off your answer by talking about your hobbies, like your love for singing, etc.


The first thought that pops up in the interviewer’s mind then is that this person is passionate about something else altogether, and the job on offer is secondary to him/her.


But does that mean you start answering this question by directly talking about the job?


Hell no! That sounds a little too desperate.


And we will get to the perfect answer shortly, but for now, let’s look at some other reasons behind asking this question!


They want to know your communication style; how well can you communicate your thoughts openly.


Mind you, they may not be testing your English fluency here, but just your overall style of communication.


And lastly, they want to know, how well can you sell yourself.


This is the most important reason in a marketing interview, if you cannot sell yourself in this question, how would you sell the company’s product in the long run?

2. How should experienced candidates answer "tell me about yourself" in an interview?

Now note that interviewers want the experienced candidates to be a little more polished when it comes to answering this question and hence you must be prepared for it prior.


What you need to ace this question is EVERY LITTLE DETAIL ABOUT YOUR EXPERIENCE.


I cannot stress this enough, you need to know your resume inside out to be able to answer this with a lot of confidence.


It’s always better to start off with a little detail about yourself that may not be related to your professional experience, this is only to set the mood.


Then move on to explaining your work experience, starting with the latest one, to the first one.


Note: Do not include your internship experience here, if you have more than 2 years of work experience, it will do you no good.


Start by talking about your role in each of these companies and subtly relate it to the JD for the new job.


The JD should not be used to only understand the job on offer, but rather should be used to look at the details and then matching those details with your experience.


Let’s look at an example;


Suppose the JD mentions, we need an innovator in our team.


Now you need to go back to your resume and your experience and lookout for that one thing you did in your stint, that you can relate, to being an innovator!


Ensure that your answer is divided in the ratio of 80-20, where 80% is around your professional experience and 20% is used to give a personal touch.


It’s important to include personal information because otherwise, it can get really difficult to know you in its entirety.


And trust me, interviewers appreciate adding a personal touch, besides a professional one because we are all way more than what our job expects!

3. How should freshers answer "tell me about yourself" in an interview?

Now you aren’t supposed to be really good at answering this question, because this might be the very first time that you are answering this question.


So note that the interviewers are aware of this, and will not make you compete directly with an experienced candidate.


But irrespective, if the comparison is made with another fresher, you need to ensure that your answer is just perfect!


What you require to ace this answer, is a list of things that you have accomplished so far.


Let’s take an example, if the JD mentions the requirement of a team player, you should be talking about something that you have done in your past, that proved your team spirit.


You may have headed a committee for a college festival and managed a team, that’s a good way to put forth this point.


The answer should start with your education, again in the order of latest to the first, (Please do not start with your 10th std details, might be irrelevant)


But ensure that each of your education parameters has something that you achieved uniquely.


So, it shouldn’t be like “Hi, I completed my graduation in BMM with 82%, then I moved to my MBA”.


No! The interviewer can see your percentage in the resume, talk more about why did you decide on BMM, did it help you grow as a person, what are the best learnings that you can take away from your graduation?


Ensure that your answer is split as 60-40, 60% for your academics, and 40% for your personal growth.


Note that the personal growth criteria can include a number of courses that you would have taken up in your spare time, it’s a clear indication that you are curious and are on a constant lookout to improve and work on yourself.


Please do not assume that your Calligraphy course may not add a lot of value, in comparison to your digital marketing course!


In some cases, it may add more value, because your artistic side may be difficult to replicate.


8/10 candidates would have done the digital marketing course, but you may be the only one with an artistic side!

4. Outline to perfect your answer to this question

Now there may not be a one size fits all kind of situation here, but I have just the perfect outline that you need to prepare your own answer for this question and you can access the same below!


Step 1: Come up with a line that is unique to you and your name and grabs the attention of your interviewer.


Step 2: Start listing your achievements with respect to your work (latest to the first) and make it elaborate


Step 3: Swoop in a line, something similar to “That was on the professional front, on the personal front, I…”


Step 4: Talk about your personal achievements, ensure that these are not the same as your strengths and weaknesses answer


Step 5: Relate all of the above points mentioned to certain key areas in the JD, this will ensure that your answer seems crafted for the job


I hope you guys enjoyed reading this article, please ensure that you SUBSCRIBE to my YouTube Channel, and check out the video on the same. I am aiming for 130 subscribers before the release of next article on cracking marketing interviews!

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