WASP is a powerful too to answer the ‘Tell me about yourself’ question.
The most common first question asked at a job interview usually is – â€œTell Me About Yourselfâ€. If you are indeed asked this question by an interviewer, it is a valuable opportunity to launch your interview on a solid note.
We should remember that interviewers are people like you and I only, and they are a bit nervous too at the beginning of each interview. You and they are unknown quantity to each other at the beginning and the ice needs to be broken at the very outset. Hence the above mentioned question is generally asked by them.
While answering it, if you are able to deliver the core related information about yourself in a succinct and brief manner, it puts everyone including yourself at ease. They are able to form an opinion, in that quick introduction, about how you look, sound and act in three dimensions. So it becomes imperative that you are well prepared to answer the â€œTell Me About Yourselfâ€ query beforehand. It is certain to set the tone of what would follow in the rest of the job interview.
Carefully consider these three steps of this process:
1. How Long?
While carefully crafting an answer to this question, the first important thing that should be clear to you is that your answer should take no more than two minutes at the most to reply. It may seem a very small time stretch but when you start practicing, youâ€™ll find that it is more than enough if you use a little creativity.
Also, one should not just start rambling on and on with disjointed pieces of oneâ€™s life history and thus putting any chances of selection in jeopardy right at the outset. So how to prepare for a brief and yet relevant tell all about yourself? Read on…
2. What is WASP?
One of the very effective ways to prepare a response for â€œtell me about yourselfâ€ is outlined as WASP below. You have to diligently prepare and practice it before going in for an interview. Let us examine what WASP stands for and the details to fill in, as follows:
WASP stands for:
Â â€“ Work
Â â€“ Academics & Achievements
Â â€“ Skills & Strengths
Â â€“ Personal
W – Work:
After saying a quick thanks (optional), you may start immediately by telling your work history. Start by saying â€œIâ€™m a trained electrician and have been working in that capacity for the last three years forâ€¦.â€ or â€œIâ€™m a registered nurse and have had two years of productive employment at St. Johnâ€™s Hospitalâ€¦.â€, and so on according to your own line of work.
Starting with the most recent experience, you may tell them that (for example) â€œOut of the last ten years in my sales position, I have worked as a Senior Sales Manager for the last three. I was responsible for leading a team of six people, setting targets, evaluating performances, hiring sales people and actively promoting our products. During the time I have been at the helm, the company sales registered a steady growth of between 5 and 7 percent over previous years.â€ Bring out your best work related achievements, hitting on the core, and include major points that would create your professional image in the eyes of the interviewers. Add a line about how your experience relates to the position you are interviewing for and convey how you want to bring it to your new job.
If you have had no work experience so far or are a recent graduate, you may start with your academics first, as pointed out next. In such a case, you must make sure to mention any volunteer work that you performed while you were still getting education or training. Any internship experience would most likely be considered recognized work experience by the selectors. Or mention any research or educational experience that seems relevant to the position.
A – Academics & Achievements:
Briefly outline the studies and courses you have completed. â€œAfter graduating from high school, I decided to join a four year Electrician degree course at the Seattle Institute of Technology. Since I always had a fascination with anything electrical since my childhood, I eagerly absorbed everything they taught us, and then some, resulting in top grades throughout.â€ Or â€œI completed my Registered Nursing Training at the Compassionate Care College in Denver, Colorado three years ago. In my childhood, I had seen an exceptionally warm nurse add years of life to my dearest ailing aunt and before I knew it, I had fallen in love with the profession.â€
If the job you have applied for is directly related to your degree or diploma, mention how you always wanted to be in this profession and hence chose that line of study. Explain any achievements or training that you completed during your time at school with a sense of pride. Itâ€™ll positively reflect your eagerness and passion for the subject.
S – Skills and Strengths:
This is the segment that will involve the interviewersâ€™ attention fully as it is the most important component of what they are looking for in a future employee. Put forth in words your genuine strengths and, if possible, relate how all of those would apply to the job youâ€™ll be performing. Briefly explain what your acquired skills are and do mention it if they were ever recognised in the past. These would include, among others, your good communication skills, ability to deal with pressure, leadership qualities if any, problem solving skills and a flexibility to merge into any team.
Later on in the interview, you might have to explain further about such claims if one of the interviewers is making mental notes. Actually, you should look for an opportunity to give relevant examples to emphasize your skills later, as a couple of minutes won’t be sufficient to fully expand the matter right now. You can always promise them to â€˜tell more specificsâ€™ as the interview progresses.
P – Personal:
Finally, conclude with only a couple of lines about yourself as a person. Now this is not a place to explain too much personal stuff – like how you like to binge on the weekend or about things which are deemed private by most people. Here, a generalized statement would suffice explaining a major positive attribute of your life like â€œAs a person, I place great emphasis on keeping healthy. To maintain a healthy lifestyle, I try to go to the gym or play sports whenever possible. I do that because not only is it the right thing to do for anyone but would also make me a valuable worker, as any employer would like an employee to be in prime health.â€
3. Prepare and Practice Beforehand
Depending on how you perceive the above process, some of you might think that two minutes is such a short time for all this information while others would think they can easily breeze this much within seconds. Precisely for both these reasons, you have to prepare well for this answer. This prepared content will prove to be useful for you at more than one place you interview since most facts, except the most recent developments, should remain constant,. So it is worthwhile to go to all this trouble.
Keeping the above order in consideration, write out your answer on a paper or on your word processor file. Keep a clock nearby. Now time your answer by reading it aloud from beginning to end. You would get an idea of how much time it will take right away. Remember, it will most likely be a monologue from you as they wonâ€™t interrupt you (unless you wonâ€™t want to stop on your own!). Now depending on the time taken by you, add or delete relevant information and refine it to make it a powerful representation of yourself that fits into two minutes.
Another good and very effective method is to let somebody else time you while you read it out aloud. Make the other person pose the question â€œTell Me About Yourselfâ€ to you and then start speaking from your prepared material. The other person almost always can tell you about your hesitation, unclear sentences or hurried moments and can time you accurately.
Finally, while it is only one of the deciding factors for interviewers to select you, if you are able to deliver this little speech effectively, be assured that youâ€™ll get their attention right at the beginning. Good Luck!!