Lesson Transcript

Hi, everybody! My name is Alisha. In this lesson, I'm going to cover three basic interview questions and some sample responses. So these are going to be three very common things that you hear at interviews for jobs and at interviews for schools or other universities. I'm going to break down what these questions mean and then show some sample responses that you can use as you create your own answers, so let's get started!
The first question or the first statement that I want to look at is this one that's very common - tell me a bit about yourself.
“Tell me a bit about yourself”
You may hear “tell me about yourself” too.
If your interviewer is one person, it'll be “me,” but it could be “tell us about yourself” for a group of people. So what should you do when you hear this question or when you hear this statement? Inside your answer, some good things to include are answers to these questions - “Where are you from?” So your hometown.
“Where were you born?” “Where did you grow up?” and so on.
“Where did you go to school?” Generally, at least in American institutions, in American businesses, we don't usually include high school or below; usually we include university, college, or university and above. So that could be your undergraduate, your first four years of university, and then your graduate studies, so if you have a master's degree or a PHD or something else, you can include that here. But generally, we don't talk so much about high school and earlier.
“So where did you go to school?”
“What did you study?” So again, this means what was your major in university, and maybe what was your secondary concentration in university. So again, we don't really say like I studied math in high school, but rather focus on your studies, your specific focused studies at university level.
Okay, other things, “What degrees do you have?”
So what degree or what degrees do you have? Do you have a bachelor's degree? Is it a bachelor of arts, bachelor of science? Do you have a master's degree? Do you have a PHD?
If you don't have a degree, maybe you have a certification. So what school or what place did you go to to receive your certification? so those sorts of things, your education.
You can include here, what work or internship experience do you have. So quickly give a little bit of information about the places where you worked or the places where you did internships. So if you are just beginning to search for work, if you are fresh from university, maybe you have some internship experience. If you don't have job experience, that's at like a professional level, like, if you are a university student looking for a job and you don't have professional work experience but you have some part-time job experience, that's okay to include here. So if you are just looking for maybe, like, your first job out of university and you have something that's related to that job like from your past part-time work experience, you can include that, that's okay.
All right, finally, then “what are your interests?”
So that means like your professional interests or your study interests, what do you want to do?
Some people also like to mention a hobby here, it kind of depends on the interview. In some cases, people are very happy to share about, like, you know, yoga or a specific sport that they like to do; but in other cases, if it's a very formal, like, kind of stiff interview, it might not be such a good idea to do that. You might focus instead on your work and your study experience. So let's look at an example of how we might answer this.
So let's look at part one here:
“I was born in New York City. I moved to Boston with my family when I was little.”
So here is where I'm from. This is not true but this is where I'm from and where I grew up so here I say that's where I grew up and went to school.
So this first part talks about the place where I'm from, the place where I grew up and where I attended school.
“After graduating high school, I went to UCLA where I studied computer science. I did an internship with a tech company and I'm interested in a job with a tech startup.”
Okay, so there are a lot of just small hints that give lots of information here. I said after graduating high school, so this brief part shows the speaker has finished high school. I went to UCLA, so UCLA, this is the name or the abbreviation for a university in Los Angeles, University of California Los Angeles, UCLA, where I studied computer science. So the speaker studied computer science at UCLA, then the speaker did an internship with a tech company, so there's work experience and internship experience and am interested in a job with a tech startup. So this is the speaker's interest. So in just a few sentences, the speaker has shared a lot of information about where he or she is from, what they're interested in their educational experience and their work experience, so there's lots of good information here in just a few sentences.
Following this, then you might hear a question like this one:
“Why do you want to work at this company?” or “Why do you want to study or attend this school?”
So you will be asked to give a reason why, so what attracted you or what attracts you to this place specifically, why did you apply here, also what are your goals and how do they match the company's goals or the school's goals? So think again from the company's point of view, why should they choose you. So why do you think you are a good choice, so not just you, you, you like, I want money or I want to work at a famous company, but why does the company need to look at you specifically. Are you a good match together?
So let's look at an example of how we might answer this question.
First, “I'm interested in ABC tech company because it's a startup,” so specific information about this company.
“I understand there are a lot of challenges when working at a startup but I feel I would gain a lot of hands-on experience by working here. I'm interested in the applications the company is developing, they're similar to what I worked on during my internship.”
Okay, so this is not like a direct answer of each of these things but it's all kind of mixed together. So the speaker said, I'm interested because it's a startup company, a tech startup company, so that's what attracted the speaker here, then the speaker includes this line here, I included this because it's good to show that you understand the specific parts of, like, working in a company, so not just that you're applying to 10 companies and saying the same thing every time, but you need to show that you've done some research for that specific company. So a line like this, a sentence like this shows that you understand there are challenges with working at a startup but you think that's a good match for you. So in this case, because you can get lots of hands-on experience (hands-on experience means actually doing things yourself, gaining experience by doing things yourself), so sometimes literally hands-on, so doing things with your hands. Finally, then “I'm interested in the applications the company is developing” so that's again specific to this company, the speaker is interested in something this company specifically is doing, and the speaker says they're similar to what I worked on during my internship, so the speaker is saying I have experience with the thing that you are creating now, so this is a reason I am a good choice for your company. So again, just a sample for how you can answer these kinds of questions, so think about what attracts you to the company and show that you did some research, then talk a little bit about your goals and your interests. In this case, like application development, and do they match the company. So in this case, again, application development matches.
Then third, “why are you a good choice?” So if you can explain those sorts of things in response to a question like this, it's a good idea.
Finally, then this is another very common interview question, it is:
“Where do you see yourself in five years?”
Where do you see yourself? So this doesn't literally mean see yourself, so this means - five years in the future, what do you imagine your life will be like, or what do you imagine for your future in five years. So this question is really asking what are your goals for the next five years; what do you want to achieve, and hopefully, do they match with the company's goals for the next five years? So what are your goals for the next five years and how will you help the company or the school in the next five years? So if you say, I see myself rich and living on a beach, it's probably not a good answer. So you need to talk about how you personally plan to grow and change and how you will contribute to the company or to your school. So for example, “In five years, I see myself leading my own project. I aim to work as part of a team to reach the company's current goals, then propose some new ideas to implement.”
So the speaker is saying, in five years, I want to lead my own project; so after we finish something successfully, the current goal successfully, I want to propose some new ideas. So the speaker is kind of promising here, “I have some new ideas” or “I think I will have some new ideas that we can use in this company” and “I see myself / I imagine myself leading that project or leading a new project.”
So they have this kind of image of a leadership role for themselves, so this again is just a sample way to answer this question. Of course, for each person this will be different but it's generally a good idea to think about where you see yourself in the next five years and prepare an answer for each interview that you attend.
So these are three very basic but very common interview questions, the meaning of each question, and a few ideas for how you might answer them.
So I hope that this is helpful for you. Of course, there are many more interview questions and there are many different styles of interview in English for schools and for businesses, but this is a good base, I think.
Thanks very much for watching this lesson and I will see you again soon. Bye!


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Tuesday at 06:30 PM
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EnglishClass101.com Verified
Tuesday at 12:00 PM
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Hello Carlos,

Thanks for getting in touch. 😄

Yes, I would suggest speaking about your past positions and professional experiences in a job interview.

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Tuesday at 03:20 AM
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can i speak about another position or charge ?