This is usually one of the first questions, and therefore, there is primacy effect at play. This means that the interviewer is most likely to remember your answer to the first question more than any of the other ones, except perhaps the last question.
Interviewers make up their minds about a candidate very quickly. That’s why it’s even more important to nail this one.
This question creates anxiety for many candidates, simply because it’s open-ended. Don’t let this question stump you. This is an easy win if you thoughtfully craft your story in advance.
The most important part at this stage is to avoid raising any red flags in the interviewer’s mind while showcasing an interesting trailer for the movie of your life. Weave your story together with logical transitions. Start with a beginning, middle, and include an end (future goal) and connect to the job / role and Company.
- Starting with where you were born (unless it uniquely adds to your story)
- A laundry list of all the jobs you’ve had
- Sounding bored while telling your story
- Not connecting your story to the job / role or the Company
- Being “too honest” about future plans
- Not taking company culture into account
Recommended response time: 2 minutes