How to Answer the Interview Question: Tell Me About Yourself
Tell me about yourself
“Tell me about yourself.” It’s among the most often asked (and complicated) career interview questions. Despite this, many job applicants dismiss the issue as an icebreaker designed to put them at ease.
However, they should think about their answers carefully because “tell me about yourself” is more than just a filler question for most interviewers. When recruiting managers to ask this open-ended question, they hope applicants can provide insight into their ambitions and preferences, giving them a deeper understanding of who each job seeker is.
Not only that, however, interviewers use this question to gauge interviewee morale, giving them an indication of how new hires could present themselves to customers, bosses, and coworkers if they get the job.
As a job seeker, knowing how to react to the question “tell me about yourself” gives you the ideal opportunity to highlight the attributes and abilities that make you the right choice for the job. And, since it’s a subject that many hiring managers begin with, it’s also a great place to start.
Why do employers ask, “Tell me about yourself?”
“Tell me about yourself,” or similar questions are common at the start of interviews because they help both you and the interviewer in the situation. It enables the interviewer to hear a concise summary of your history and expertise. It gives them an idea of what experience and credentials you believe are most important to the job you are interviewing for.
Employers are also aware that it still appears to startle or stall candidates despite being a regular interview topic. By answering this question correctly, you set the standard for the interview as someone calm, robust under pressure, and responsive to the position’s requirements.
Most interviewers might address this question as an icebreaker, using your answer to initiate a friendly conversation to better understand you. Others, on the other hand, may proceed directly to other interview questions after you answer.
Planning your answer
Even for common interview questions, it can be challenging to begin to come up with a good answer. To help you stay on track, here are a few questions to ask as you brainstorm ways to respond and structure your response:
What qualities make you an excellent fit for the role?
Consider the attributes that make you significantly qualified as a job applicant for the position. Maybe it could be the so many years experience or some high sort after technical skills or training. Check the position correctly and note ways that you exceed the requirements.
Why are you interested in the role?
Brainstorm why this position excites you, how it fits into your larger career goals and why you feel it’s the best next step.
Why are you interested in the company or the industry?
After researching the organization and the market, you should articulate the mission, goals, and reasons influencing the industry. Can they be related to the career goals you’ve set for yourself? What do you enjoy and dislike in the company in general? What fascinates you about the future of the industry? Connect the dots between your goals, the company’s future prospects, and industry trends that you feel are especially important when you continue to build your plot.
What are the positive characteristics you have that will serve you well in this role?
Have your friends or coworkers, for example, identified you as highly organized? Are you curious? Are you an entrepreneur? Ready to share? Consider how you have long seen yourself or how people have perceived you. Then consider recent instances in your life where you exemplified that character.
Is there something special about your background that makes you stand out from other applicants?
As previously said, this is one of the most often asked interview questions. As a result, interviewers have heard this response many times. Try to think about something that would pique the interviewer’s interest. For example, when interviewing for a developer role, telling something like, “I’ve been constructing computers since the age of eight,” is likely to catch an interviewer’s attention.
How to answer “Tell me about yourself.”
The interview mood can be set by how you react to the “Tell me about yourself” question. Overall, when you prepare your answer, you want to be able to tell a brilliant story about yourself in no more than 120 seconds. Do the following in your response:
- State past experiences and proven successes as they relate to the position.
Begin by going through the job description again. Please make a list of the necessary skills you possess and recognize recent stories that illustrate them. Ideally, you can draw essentially on recent career experience; nevertheless, volunteer service will also reinforce your story when showing your contribution to your society.
Consider how your current job connects to the job you’re applying for.
Is it a more senior position? If so, describe how you are growing your duties in your current job. Describe how the existing skills move into the new job if you are making a lateral move to a profession that requires different skills.
- Focus on strengths and abilities that you can support with examples.
When you begin writing the script with each scenario, pay attention to specifics and consequences that you can calculate if possible. For instance, saying that you “excellent customer service” is less impactful than stating that you “increased customer service response rates by 10–15 percent per quarter.” If you don’t have specific data, take a good guess.
- Highlight your personality to knock off the ice.
Because the “Tell me about yourself” question is intended to get to know you, it’s a bright idea to discuss your persona with your interviewer—but no personal information. You may want to list quickly hobbies that demonstrate academic growth and cultural involvement (for example, reading, music, sports league, volunteering) or those that illustrate self-discipline and accomplishment (e.g., learning a new skill, training for a half marathon). Discussing personal desires is a great way to round out your answers while being professional.
Format your response.
To ensure that your answer is straightforward and concise, make sure you order it according to a structure or formula. You will use one of two standard formulas:
- Past, Present, Future
- Present, Past, Future
Each of these formulas is valid for your answer. Still, you may choose one over the other depending on the positions of your experience that are more important to the job you’re interviewing for. For instance, if your most recent job shows many of the skills and credentials needed for the position you’re applying for, you may want to start with the present. If you’re considering a career change and your background is more relevant to the profession than your current job, you may want to start with your history.