The question that is guaranteed in every interview, yet one that can perennially ruin them.

N.B. See it as an opportunity rather than a question.

It can be the most challenging question throughout an interview. While you can recite roles, responsibilities and past duties, this question isn’t so easy and needs to be adjusted per interview. This is yet another point where the Hiring Manager is looking to ascertain whether or not you are a good fit for the job in question. While it may be seen to be a conversational question and often asked quite informally, it is most definitely another instance to see whether you are a fit for the job in question.

Think about what you want the interviewer to know about you.

Don’t go in and try wing it. Prepare and have a natural flow to the question.

This isn’t a filler for the actual interview. There is a purpose behind the question.

Reveal the information which highlights you as a suitable candidate.

As Ireland’s Retail Recruitment specialists, our consultants prepare candidates for interview every day. Here is one such example we think would suit the jobs we recruit for:

Good Example

‘‘I’ve worked in Retail all my life and have ascended into management in the last five years. I first started as a Sales Assistant in _________ where I worked to supplement my income as I studied _________ throughout College, graduating in _______. I grew to love the retail environment and the industry and have held ____________, ____________, and ___________ titles across the years. While at times very challenging it has been incredible rewarding. My highlight was opening the first Flag Ship/ A New Store Opening/ Being promoted etc. as it proved that the company valued and trusted me and the contribution I’d made to date’’.

This is a fool proof answer, which highlights your expertise, beginnings and career trajectory, showing you as a dependable and experienced professional. This is far more beneficial to you as a prospective candidate rather than the answer below:

Bad Example

‘I’m originally from Limerick but live in Dublin. I love animals, good food, fashion and friends. My favourite book is ________________ and I’d love to travel to ___________ someday. In the past I’ve lived in ______________, _______________ and _______________.

Personalise this towards the job in question, preparing a short script in advance.

Think about what you want to convey and how best you can construe this.

Career experience is always pertinent to this question and you should build the answer around this.

Physically write out your answer, as this will also help you visual and remember it.