Question 1 “Tell me about yourself”
What is the Interviewer Asking About?
The interviewer is asking about your career story.
Your career story is the academic and professional path that led you to this interview. In other words:
- What are the academic and career experiences that make you both interested in this position, AND a good fit for this position?
- What they are not asking you about, is your life story: hobbies, family, general interests etc.
2 steps to follow when planning your answer
Think about which of your past experiences, whether academic or professional, best demonstrate your qualifications for the position:
- For example: you could have taken a class in computer networking that really inspired and interested you
- If you’re now applying to a related engineering job, mention that class as a key past event in your career development
Then, think about current positions or projects you’re completing that demonstrate you are reaching a professional level of competence:
- Sticking with the engineering example: if you have a current internship in back end engineering, mention back-end projects at your internship in which you have a significant role
- Successful completion of projects in a professional context proves that you are ready to be immediately productive at a future job
Lastly, mention what you hope to achieve in the future given the opportunity to work at that company
- Make sure you’ve done your research beforehand on the company and the position, so you can mention exactly what about the job matches your past and current experiences
- For example: you may have done research revealing that the company allows engineers to work on small independent projects part of the week.
- Mention your excitement about that benefit, and the initiative you hope to take by using that free time to develop your own features
Step 2 – choose whether your career story is a straight progression from your past experiences to this job OR if you are making a transition
Some people follow a very direct path from a certain major, to related internships, and finally to a related first job. If that is the case for you, then you can follow the “past, present, and future” structure directly. BUT if you made a transition between different majors in your undergraduate and masters, OR if you are pursuing a first job that is different from your major:
Then this questions is a great opportunity to explain WHY you are making that transition.
As you go through your Past Present and Future sections, give specific reasons for why you are transitioning. For example:
- If you changed from a math undergraduate position to a masters in CS, and now you want to do full stack engineering. What inspired you to make that change?
- What about full stack engineering is attractive to you? And how can you prove that you are dedicated to making that shift given what you have accomplished before applying to this job?
- 全站工程师的工作哪些方面吸引着你？同时，你为了转行， 做过了哪些努力？
- 面试官问这个问题，是为了了解你的“career story”。