When interviewing for a job, an employer often uses icebreaker questions to learn more about you and your interest in their company, writes recruitment specialist, Glassdoor.
By preparing for these kinds of questions, you can come up with more thoughtful responses that are more authentic to who you are, the group said.
One common question you may need to answer is ‘Tell me something interesting about yourself.’ Here we further discuss why employers ask this interview question and strategies you can use when answering it.
Why employers ask ‘Tell me something interesting about yourself’
Employers ask, ‘Tell me something interesting about yourself’ to learn more about your personality. They may also use it to ease into the interview before asking more challenging questions.
This question gives you the perfect opportunity to emphasize an interesting fact or skill about yourself. Likewise, you can use it to share a cool experience. Crafting a unique, memorable response can help you stand out among other candidates.
Follow these steps to more successfully answer ‘Tell me something interesting about yourself’:
1. Reflect on major life experiences
Use this question as an opportunity to highlight any interesting experiences you have. You could discuss things like major accomplishments, travels, volunteer experiences, unique skills, or any hobbies you enjoy. Choose one that especially stands out and makes you a memorable candidate.
2. Relate your answer to the job
Although the actual interesting fact doesn’t have to relate to the job, your answer should somehow connect the two. For instance, if you studied abroad, you could say that experience has helped you become more independent and adaptable. Likewise, if you shared that you love photography, you could say how this hobby inspires more creative thinking.
3. Find a balance between professional and fun
This question is simply a lighthearted way employers can kick off the interview and get to know about your personality. When choosing an answer, you can keep it fun and even a little humorous. Of course, you should also keep it professional, so only share work-appropriate facts about yourself.
Example answers to ‘Tell me something interesting about yourself’
Use these examples answers as inspiration when planning your answer to ‘Tell me something interesting about yourself’:
Example 1: Yoga instructor
In my spare time, I grow my own tea leaves. The process of gardening is quite meditative for me. I find that the right strains of tea help me feel more centered during a yoga session.
Example 2: Architect
When I was 17, I spent a gap year between high school and college in France. I used this as an opportunity to get to know myself and my interests better. Each morning I would grab a latte and a scone and wander around the beautiful streets of France.
This daily ritual made me realize that architecture was my true passion. When booking my plane ticket home, I couldn’t wait to use the historical buildings I saw as my inspiration.
Example 3: Copywriter
Although I love copywriting, I make a point to write poetry at least once a week to keep my creative juices flowing. What started off as a hobby has become a very important part of my free time.
I actually won an international poetry contest last spring. I find that continuing to write poetry on the side keeps me feeling passionate about my personal and professional writing.
Example 4: Special education teacher
Last year I had the honor of coaching a Women’s Special Olympics basketball team. Through this meaningful experience, I learned how to create personalized training plans for all of my players.
This showed me that despite what disability a person is living with, professionals can find ways to help them succeed. I look forward to volunteering for the next games.
Example 5: Dog groomer
During my career as a dog groomer, I was lucky enough to groom for the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. Since grooming long-haired dogs is my specialty, I was tasked with grooming the top Irish setter in the competition. I’ve never been more proud of the work I’ve done, and the dog actually took third place.
Example 6: Secretary
I know how to do American Sign Language. My brother is hearing impaired, which I why I learned this skill in the first place. Even though he uses an implant now and can hear quite well with it, I decided to keep up with the language.
Whenever there are special accommodations with a guest, I would love it if my ASL skills would be useful.
Example 7: Nurse
When first starting out in nursing, I was lucky enough to volunteer abroad in Guatemala. During my time there, I made many meaningful connections with the locals. Our volunteer team tried all of the local cuisines and had some time to explore our village. I’ll never forget this experience, and I hope to be able to volunteer with them in the future.
Example 8: Flight attendant
Before my last flight attendant job, I had never left my hometown. I grew up with 10 brothers and sisters, making it too challenging for the whole family to travel. Of course, this is what inspired me to take a job that requires travel!
Example 9: Programmer
I have my own blog about programming. Since I started it in 2017, I have grown to 100,000 followers. When I saw these numbers skyrocket, I was shocked. I find it quite rewarding to help fellow programmers troubleshoot their work or gain new insight. Next month, I hope to make my first YouTube tutorial for my page.
Example 10: Sales manager
I spend most of my weekends practicing with my water skiing team. We can do all sorts of tricks, like building human pyramids and hitting jumps. This activity has helped me improve my teamwork skills and is just plain fun.
- This article originally featured on Glassdoor, and can be found here