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The employer is looking for a succinct synopsis about you, your education, career and achievements to date, all of which should relate to the job you are being interviewed for. This is your opportunity to differentiate yourself from other candidates by setting out your own personal USP (Unique Selling Proposition) also known as personal branding.
To prepare for this question you can write a few paragraphs about who you are, your qualifications, career history and skills, experience, strengths and personal attributes that are relevant to the role.
Make sure you memorise them and are able to relay the information in a conversational manner so as to not appear too rehearsed.
If you have researched the company thoroughly you should be able to provide the interviewer with an answer that addresses the company’s products, services, challenge, mission, values and goals. Also include anything relevant and topical that you are aware of.
While it is good to show you have done some research on the company, make sure you don’t overwhelm the interviewer with an encyclopaedic knowledge about the company.
You can also use this question as an opportunity to find out more about the company and build a rapport with the interviewer by asking questions.
Your answer should relate to the strengths required for the role you are applying for. The best way to respond is to list 3 or 4 strengths and support them with real examples of when your strengths benefited your current or previous employer.
The intention of this question is usually to establish how self-aware you are. No one is perfect and everyone has faults so it is important to spend some time thinking about your professional weaknesses. You may find you can turn the answer into a positive response by explaining what you have done to address your weaknesses.
Don’t say anything negative about your current employer as it may reflect badly on you and bear in mind that to state that salary is your primary motivation for wanting to leave may well be inappropriate.
Acceptable answers would include how you are looking for a new challenge, more responsibility, experience and a change of environment or need to relocate.