I think you’ll agree with me that when you
are asked this dreaded question “tell me about yourself” in the most intense environment
you can think of, the chances are that you will blabber and will make little sense if
you are not prepared. Worst of all, it will most likely be the first
question they will ask you in the interview. Today, I will share you a very detailed answer
that will increase your chances to win that job a by a large margin. I am Deniz Sasal. I am a manager with PwC Consulting and also
the creator of Landing Interviews Guaranteed and The Career Mastery. I have been interviewing 1000s of candidates
as a hiring manager for a very long time. In this video, my intention is to show you
a different perspective than you find in conventional wisdom. Alright, let’s continue. First I will cover what not to dos. These will be short and sweet I promise. Then, we will look at why they are asking
this question. And eventually, we will craft the perfect
answer for you. Sounds good? Great! What not to do? – To start with, hiring manager has seen your
resume and even cover letter most probably. There is really no need for you to go over
your resume bullet by bullet. Having said this, it doesn’t hurt your chances
to highlight some of your most important qualifications and achievements. – When you are presenting your background,
don’t fall victim to under or over qualification. Just give them what they need. There is a very thin line between being an
over-achiever and over-qualified. – No need to share your life story. And oh god please don’t you start from your
high school years. It’s really a waste of everybody’s time. I recently interviewed a candidate for a graduate
hire role at PwC. She literally started her pitch like this;
“I graduated from grade school in 1995 from XXX school and then continued my education
further with XXX junior high in London. High school years were very challenging with
new environment…” By this point I was already done. Horrible first impression. I interrupted the candidate and asked her
to talk about her current experience. She definitely failed the interview. Not necessarily only because of how she presented
her background though. – Don’t keep it too long. It’s a monologue so nobody really has 20
minutes to listen to your background however exciting that may sound to you. – Don’t be boring. Please… You can show some serious enthusiasm in your
pitch. The more energetic you are the better it is. Oh, remember to smile. It makes a big difference. OK. Now, this is out of the way. Let’s talk about why hiring managers ask
this question. First, I will cover what everybody else thinks
why they ask that question. Then, I will tell you what I think why hiring
managers and I ask that question. Everybody else thinks that you are asked to
present yourself because; – Hiring managers want to see how your response
would be to a question that you are not prepared. Not sure why they think you’d be unprepared… – They want to know what you consider important
in your background For this one, I can agree to a certain degree. I’d also want to see what you consider important
in your background. But, the real reason I and I know many other
hiring managers in multinational organizations ask this question is because we want to see
your presentation skills! Yeap, surprised? After all, think about it, we all have seen
your resume, your cover letter, you have probably already passed the HR interview. Why go over your background all over again? Even if they haven’t seen it before, they
are holding that CV in their hands when they ask the question. Know this Companies want employees who are;
– presentable – represent the firm professionally to their
clients (especially true for consulting and other professional services companies)
– charismatic and likable especially if you are in a client facing situation
So, think about it; If they ask you to present the company, it would be unfair to you as
you have very limited knowledge. But what better material is there then your
background to present? Right? So, they are giving you an opportunity to
present something. They already know when you graduated, which
company you worked for, when you left them, what tasks you carried out for each of them. What they are interested in is;
Can you speak smoothly without stuttering? Can you be charismatic? Are you getting nervous when presenting? When you speak, do you impress people? How are your communication skills? How is your language skills? These and a lot more questions like this need
to be addressed by the way you present. See, this is actually an incredible opportunity
for you. It’s an unbelievable opportunity. Why? Imagine you are entering a college exam and
you already know what the professor is going to ask. Wouldn’t it give you an almost unfair advantage? It would, right? This is exactly what it is. You already know they will ask you that question. So, you just need to put in the work. You need to know how to present your background
very clearly and impressively. Alright so, how to do it? I will present you 2 approaches. Let’s call the first approach Toyota and
the second one is Porsche. In Toyota method, all you have to do is prepare
a 1 minute pitch. It will have 3 sections in it;
1 Talk about your current role 2 Talk briefly about your background
3 Talk about your future ambitions and why that company is the perfect match to what
you want. Something similar to this ;
So, this would be what I would say if I were in an interview today; I’ve been working as a manager with PwC
Consulting for the past 4 years. During this time, I’ve been providing incredible
value to my clients through strategies we developed and implemented for them. These are typically projects lasted anywhere
from a week to 4 months. Looking back it now, I must have done a great
job as engagement manager that our clients particularly requested for me whenever they
came back for new work packages. Prior to PwC, I was with 2 other consulting
companies again in professional services industry. And finally, or I should say firstly in this
case I guess, I started my career with S&P as an analyst. I was with S&P until 2008 which is when I
was laid off – I guess some would find this ironic… In addition to this, I have an MBA degree
from Cass Business School of City University London and I hold various professional certifications
including; PMP, PMI-RMP, and CMA. Now I’m looking forward to taking my career
to the next level with [the xxxx] and continue to add more value to my clients under xxx]’s
umbrella. I think pitching above would be good enough
but not necessarily something you would collect so many points. It would be like ticking the box. If you want to gain even further points with
your answer. Then, I suggest you employ a technique which
we use on a daily basis at work. In my line of profession, in management consulting,
we always present with supporting tools, for example; a PowerPoint presentation, videos,
charts, interviews with experts, the list is long. So, when I get interviewed by clients I always
have at least a PowerPoint presentation made up of only 3-4 pages which allows me to clearly
highlight what my relevant experience is, which methodologies we used, and how the results
were. I suggest you do the same. When you are asked to present your background,
or talk about your previous experiences, why don’t you take your printed out presentation
and walk them through the pages? Try to get that presentation printed out professionally
and binded with nice quality material. So, when they say “tell me about yourself”
then just say; “Can I instead just show you? I prepared a short presentation on this”
They will definitely say yes. This will
work wonders if you are an experienced hire, or at least have “some” experience to
show. This “some” experience can be small as
an internships, on the job trainings, even your part-time roles during studies will be
fine. The slides may look something similar to this;
Imp If you are interested, I will put a link to
a page where you can download it. Just remember to customize it to your needs. You don’t need to sign up or enter your
e-mail address. It’s a direct download. This template is a good starting point. But you can make it more visually appealing. While preparing your 3-slide presentation,
focus on your; – Key achievements
– Make it relevant to the job you are applying for
– Demonstrate why you are qualified for this role
The final step is the most obvious one; Practice! You need to practice your speech and delivery
until it becomes second nature to you. There is no stuttering, uhmms, wells, it’s
just smooth delivery with pauses and consistent eye-contact. Show them how charismatic you can be! Before, I conclude the video, can you please
do me a favor and like this video if you benefited from it? Also, this is a very new channel. Creating these videos take so much time. So, would you please subscribe to my channel
if you’d like to see more videos like this? They will be good indicators for me to see
if I should spend more time on preparing more videos. Finally, I have one more awesomeness for you
today. I prepared a 3-day video training where I
teach you how to prepare, pass, and most importantly land interviews with multinational companies. it’s a free training by the way. It runs for 3 days so please make sure you
are committed to it before signing up. Trust me when I say I share some real life
changing tips here. Alright that’s it for today.