Make it better 101: Your Best Answer for “Tell me about yourself”

By: Paul Rivera

If you answer this poorly, you set yourself up to get grilled by the interviewer. You’ll be a nervous, rambling wreck,’ writes Kalibrr co-founder and CEO Paul Rivera

TELL ME ABOUT YOURSELF. This seemingly simple question can make or break an interview. Illustration by Ernest Fiestan/Rappler
TELL ME ABOUT YOURSELF. This seemingly simple question can make or break an interview. Illustration by Ernest Fiestan/Rappler
An earlier version of this story first appeared on Kalibrr. Visit this page for more on the ups and downs of navigating your career.
Talking about yourself should be easy, right? Who knows you better than you? However, in an interview, we don’t want to know everything about you. We don’t care about your life story – who your parents are, what they do, your religion, and where you live. Its probably the most common mistake I see people making – spending too much time talking about personal information, rather than painting a picture of their professional background and career aspirations.
If you answer this poorly, you set yourself up to get grilled by the interviewer. You’ll be a nervous, rambling wreck. We’ve seen it many times and its entirely avoidable if you’re prepared.
If you are prepared and answer this question well, then you set the tone for the interview and immediately begin the process of selling yourself to the interviewer.
And that’s what you’re doing here – you want to start the interview by essentially saying how awesome you are and why I’m the best candidate for this job.
The best way to answer this question is to make sure you cover this core theme in your answer:
How does your personal and professional background relate to you being an extremely good candidate for the position you’re interviewing for?
Any information that doesn’t make a strong case for you should be an excellent candidate isn’t important here.
A good answer shouldn’t be more than 60-90 seconds and should cover core these core points:
Where’d you go to school (and what you studied)

A very short summation of your career or background

The last job you’ve had, what that company did, key responsibilities and one important impact you made in that organization

Why you’re there interviewing for this job

Here’s what I would say if I were interviewing for a call center agent:
Hi, my name is Paul Rivera. I graduated with a Political Economy degree from UC Berkeley and have spent the last 10 years working for and starting internet startups. I’m currently the CEO at Kalibrr. Kalibrr is talent matching platform based in the Philippines with global investors like Y Combinator and Omidyar Network. My key responsibilities there include management of strategy, sales, customer success, marketing, finance and legal. I spearheaded the raising of $2 million in venture capital funding for Kalibrr in 2013, which was a record for a seed round for a Philippine startup. I’ve also directly managed product before creating a product team overseen by our COO. Though I enjoy the work I do at Kalibrr, I see a tremendous opportunity to leverage my skills and experience, especially with excellent communication ability, to be an outstanding call center agent at Accenture and that’s why I’m here interviewing with you right now.

The best thing about this interview question is you almost always will get it so practice it, rehearse it, and memorize it so you start off your interview in control and with momentum. Your answer and how well you tell your story will drive the rest of the interview. In our opinion, the better you start, the better you finish.
What if you have no professional background and just graduated from school?
Not a problem – here are the core points you should cover:
Where did you go to school

What was your course and how is that going to be useful for you for this job

Key coursework, an internship/OJT, or work experience and what they taught you

Why this company + this job to start your career?

If Paul was graduating from Jose Rizal University with an HRM degree and was interviewing for a Recruitment Assistant job at Globe, here’s what he would say:
Hi, my name is Paul Rivera and I’m a fresh graduate of Jose Rizal University. I studied Human Resources Management because I really enjoy working with people and I’m fascinated with the role of people in building and operating companies. Without the people, you don’t have a business. While in school, I was an OJT during my fourth year at Jollibee Corp where I worked with their recruitment team and helped coordinate the interview of candidates for cashier roles at Jollibee restaurants. I really understood the role and value that recruiters create and how they help ensure a company always hires the best talent. I saw an opportunity on Kalibrr to be a Recruitment Assistant at Globe and after doing my research, I saw that Globe was one of the best companies in the Philippines and I feel my experience and work ethic will make me a valuable contributor at Globe.

So there you have it – a template for you to answer the ‘Tell Me About Yourself’ question. Write this down on paper and practice it until you have it memorized and can say it without looking like you’ve memorized it. Make sure you customize it for every interview you do – so research the job and the company and really understand what they do and how you could add value to them.
Put on your best Piolo Pascual and nail that interview.
If you want Kalibrr to help you, just leave a comment and we’ll make sure you have an awesome answer to tell me about yourself. –
Paul Rivera is the co-founder and CEO of Kalibrr.


No copyright intended. Credit to the owner.


Essentials of Time Frame: Stick to it!

Meeting our deadline is really exhausting part in our job. Frustration, stress and time pressure arises everytime we have a task to be done.
Most of the people, stress overwhelm their production lead them to poor performance.
While some workplace stress is normal, excessive stress can interfere with your productivity and performance—and impact your physical and emotional health. It can even mean the difference between success and failure on the job. You can’t control everything in your work environment, but that doesn’t mean you’re powerless—even when you’re stuck in a difficult situation. Whatever your work demands or ambitions, there are steps you can take to protect yourself from the damaging effects of stress and improve your job satisfaction.

Timeframe is very important to succeed. It will help you stay organize and focus on what you are doing. If you stick to your timeframe and prioritize your tasks then everything will fall in a right place.
Here are some tips to setup your timeframe.

Know your deadline

Date and time is the key to setup everything to make your task done. It will tells you which tasks should be done first. By simply writing it down, it will remind you for time to time. Use your calendar and mark it with the task that should be done for that certain day and put time of submission.

Workloads and Limitations

Multiple tasking is normal in our workplace but if you have workloads and you are meeting the dead end then tell your superior about it. Point out those things that you can do base on what tasks that you have right now to set your limitations.

Stay focus

Always check your priority lists and take a deep breath to stay focus. Set your mind setting on how to finish your job.

Ask for assistance

There is nothing wrong for asking a help. Sometimes you have to if you are meeting your deadline and you are way far to finish it.

Follow the “two-minute rule.”

Entrepreneur Steve Olenski recommends implementing the “two-minute rule” to make the most of small windows of time that you have at work. The idea is this: If you see a task or action that you know can be done in two minutes or less, do it immediately. According to Olenski, completing the task right away actually takes less time than having to get back to it later. Resource:

So try to do this and make your self productive. It will helps you to work under pressure.