I would like to find out, when an interviewer asks you to tell him/her about yourself, what exactly do they mean as this has always confused me? - Jennifer S.
When in an interview, one needs to remember that the point of the meeting is for you to show the organisation what it is that you have to offer. A prime fault that most candidates make, is telling the interviewer what you think they want hear. Generic answers such as saying you are reliable, dedicated and hardworking will immediately deter the interviewer, making it difficult to get them to see you as an innovative candidate who put some thought into the answer.
It is always best to describe yourself as a person as well as even give them a brief background about who you are and where you come from - without getting too personal. Mention some of your positive traits, and elaborate on how those traits could be beneficial to the company. We all have traits that we may deem undesirable however; you can change these into constructive qualities by relating them to the role that you are interviewing for, in a positive light.
Honesty is key, so be upfront and open about yourself rather than create an improper expectation and not meet up to it, assuming that you end up in the role as the outcome.
Hope this helps.
Remember to always love what you do! Juliette
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Juliette Attwell is currently head of marketing and operations at Recruitgroup, a Level Three BEE contributor which was awarded the Best Recruitment Agency of the Year at the CareerJunction Awards in 2010 and 2012, as well as other industry honours. She holds a BCom in Industrial Psychology and Honours in Marketing Management. Juliette is also the resident "agony aunt" on the BizCareers Column.
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