As a candidate who goes for an interview you must know that the most common question ever asked is the ‘tell me about yourself’ one. It’s a quick way for the interviewer to understand what values you bring to the table based on the synopsis you give. You’d be wondering what is the right way to answer this question, especially when you’re applying for a data scientist/data analyst role? The success of your interview is measured through this question. Because this is the first and foremost question asked, this forms the first impression. We’ve reviewed the most common mistakes that you must avoid and what is the best practice to land that data scientist role!

Common mistakes to avoid

  1. Don’t get too personal in your introduction. Keep it professional. When the hiring manager asks this, he wants to know your background and why you’ve applied to this technical position. He wants to understand how you’re an asset to the company. Unless there’s some hobby or passion you pursue that’s deeply related to data science, refrain from mentioning it.
  2. Don’t give a really long answer and include your entire history. You don’t want the hiring manager to doze off, do you? Keep your answers concise and keep it within 2 minutes, maximum. This is the chance to talk about the highlights of your professional life.
  3. Try not to narrate your whole resume in words. The hiring manager has the document in front of him to read and digest. You should take this opportunity to tell them about something that’s not on the paper, for instance, a real-time data science project you’re doing currently, or any statistical hypothesis you tested.
  4. Focus on the strengths and don’t undersell yourself. Don’t start off with saying how you’re not qualified enough for the role. Don’t oversell yourself either, else you’ll be in trouble when you will be questioned about those specific capabilities.

How to answer this question?

It is a great practice to elaborate your own personal values for the interviewer. Clearly and concisely state what you believe in and why. For example, “I believe that data tells us more than just numbers, it helps us understand our users and their desires. I want to pursue data science because I want the business to use data to maximize their value.”

Use this question to create a story using your past, present and future goals to keep the interviewer intrigued. Put in a sentence or two about the present about where you are in your career right now by highlighting a few of your important achievements. For instance, “I have 2 years of experience in data analytics and now I am focusing on marketing analytics as my niche, where I help the brand with valuable insights using the customer data, so they can make informed decisions.” Take some accomplishments from the past also, if needed.

If you have held more than one position, then talk about how and where you started from. Talk about the skills you gained to reach here. For instance, “I started off as a systems engineer. I eventually migrated to data analysis by getting certified. I am now skilled in SQL, Java and currently learning Python.” To conclude, stress on why you’re an absolute value addition for the data scientist role in this company. Talk about the future and lay down a path in front of them which will help them understand you better.

Put your best foot forward and ace this self-introduction!