I am currently doing master in CS now. I have 2 years of experience in IT, after graduation. I am appearing for the interview as final year coming. So, what would be the proper way to answer the question as it kind of mixture between freshers and experienced candidate?
Short answer: Look at your resume. It's probably a page or two, maybe more. Condense it down into one page. Then, condense it down into one paragraph. Then condense it to half a paragraph. Now, look at the job description for the position you've applied to, and write a second half for that paragraph that ties your story into that position.
In other words: This question is designed to give you the chance to tell your story. As with many storytelling or open-ended questions in interviews, there is no right answer. The way you talk and the choices you make about what to include (or not) will be as important as the actual content of your message.
You want to show: - Self confidence - Basic, business- and role-appropriate verbal communication skills - The ability to summarize and focus on the right details - The fact that you have a deliberate "path" in mind, from a professional sense.
You've stated that you have a small amount of professional experience and some advanced studies. Most people in your position would decide to include those facts, and show how they tie into your immediate and long term goals. Bonus points if you can tie it to this specific position. You may end up with something like,
Thanks for asking. As you can see in my resume, I had worked for a few years at Acme Co. doing IT support work - I took that job after finishing my undergraduate degree, because I knew I wanted to be in IT. That was an eye-opening role - I got to spend a lot of time with the business units, understanding how they use IT resources. After gaining that work experience, I decided that I wanted my real focus to be on systems architecture, because I can see a real need for systems that are achitected with a focus on user needs. So I began a Masters program in CS at Ivy University - that program is about to end, so I've begun a job search focused on finding a job where I can pursue my interests and apply the skills I'm learning in this program. I saw your Systems Architect role and it looks like you have a need that I can fill, so I applied for the job.
This answer is good because:
- It gives the interviewers a quick overview of your background
- It ties your professional experience to your decision to go back for a masters degree
- It shows that you learned from the work experience you've had, and that learning has influenced and informed your current job search
- It shows that you understand their needs and you're able to relate them to your skills
Of course, your exact answer will be different, but if possible, you should focus on the same goals.
This is a very common interview question. You are wise to be prepared for it.
Prepare and then tell a true story or two about your professional life.
Example: "In the final project for xxx class, we had a great team of three. We worked well together because we had complementary skills."
Example: "In my previous job, I was able to work effectively with a customer even though he was rude to me and my co-workers. My father taught me to be compassionate to such people"
Tell stories that are true for you.
They're asking for your "30 second elevator speech" introduction. They aren't asking for a life story, but are looking for a basic introduction, and a jumping off point into a discussion about you. They aren't looking for your kids' ages and your cat's name. Keep it professional.
Give a brief summary of where you are, and what you're doing. You're a programmer, proficient in Java, with 3 years experience? Great -- tell them that. Maybe a quick 30 second blurb about what you specialize in. You're a student due to graduate next month? Great -- tell them, and tell them what brought you to this point sitting there in an interview.
In short, it's what you'd say if you ran into the CEO of your dream company in an elevator to introduce yourself, and hoping it will lead to more conversation. Rehearse it, make sure you're ready to tell it when asked.