At the start of an interview, there is nothing more an employer wants than for the applicant to relax. There are a lot of things that can go wrong when the interviewee is too nervous to think and answer clearly. This is why employers often start by making this request; it’s to help the candidate relax and feel more at ease.
Still, even if the question looks simple, this shouldn’t keep you from setting the bar high. After all, you only have one chance to impress.
Why is this question asked?
- To help a candidate relax – This request is much easier to answer than “Tell me about yourself” because it asks for something specific and recent. It will help the candidate to relax while also showing who he or she really is.
- To gather additional information beyond the resume – Experts often advise job applicants to only keep the most important and relevant information in a resume. As a result, other information that the interviewer may deem important might be left out.
- To check whether the information is true – There are times when applicants aren’t being totally honest just to get an interview. This compels employers to check to find out whether what’s in your resume is true.
How should you answer it?
- Focus on results – Don’t waste your time telling information that the employer can already access through your resume. Instead, spend the time sharing how your work and efforts have led to results that contributed to success for the company.
- Tailor to the position – Different positions have certain priorities, so you have to know these to be able to focus on areas that are more relevant to the job you’re interviewing for.
- Keep it short – There is no time limit that you should follow, but you have to know when to stop. Only keep talking when you have important points to share; if what you’re about to say is just fluff, it would be better to just stop and wait for the next question.
After answering the “Describe your current position” request, be prepared to talk about your other positions as well. You’ll need to be ready and have spent considerable time refreshing yourself on this information in order to satisfy the interviewer’s questions.
This is just one of the many requests you’ll face in your interview, but that doesn’t mean that it should be taken lightly. Every question is important, so be sure to keep that in mind in your interview preparation.