How to Answer The Question “Tell Me About Yourself” In An Interview

Wondering how to answer the question “Tell me about yourself” in an interview?

This is one of the most common interview questions even though it seems like an easy question –after all you all about yourself- It’s a challenging question because it is broad and open-minded.

Most job seekers don’t take this question serious they think it’s an icebreaker meant to put them at ease.

They should carefully consider their response because “tell me about yourself” is more than a throwaway opener for most interviewers.

Most people struggle with this question here is some good news, there is a very easy way to answer the threaded interview question.

Read on this to learn more we are going to tackle the following sub-topics:

  • Why interviewers ask this question?
  • What you should not say.
  • Essential tips to keep in mind when answering.
  • Planning your answer.
  • How to answer.


Why employers ask this question

To be able to answer the question confidently and correctly you first need to understand why they ask it in the first place.

This question allows the interviewer to hear a short, summed up version of your background and skills, and it gives them insight into what experience and qualifications you think are most relevant to the position.


What you should not say

Many job candidates make a mistake of answering this question with a talk of something personal.

Some even launch into their life story, starting with hometown and continuing on through their college graduation.

Alternately, others share descriptions of the problems in their current job, explaining that they applied for this position because their employer won’t allow them to have a flexible schedule.

All these responses can quickly send your new job dreams down.

Hint: The interviewer isn’t looking for your life story, or what you had for dinner last night the interviewer wants to know why you would be a good fit for the job.

Or rather the question is a way for them to ease into the actual interview and get a general idea of what you are about. It acts as an introduction and depending on how you answer, it’s going to help the interviewer decide what’s next.

This is your opportunity to leave a lasting first impression.


Tips On How to Answer the Question “Tell Me About Yourself” in an interview.

As with any interview question, the key to crafting an impressive answer is understanding why people are asking in the first place.

#1. Relate your answer to the job description

Tell them why your personality is great for this job, your skills, your experience and qualities.

Give relevant work experiences.


#2. It’s okay to say something about your hobbies and interest outside of work keep your answer rooted to the role you are applying for and your work performance value and ethics.


#3. Use positive words in your answer i.e., reliable, enthusiastic, competent, professional, role model, decisive, flexible, self-motivated and trustworthy.


#4. Research about the company you are applying to don’t just walk in blank have a clue about the company.

Here is an example of positive words in a sentence

I am reliable, enthusiastic, and a happy person who will act as a positive role model for your company if successful I will adapt and learn the role quickly so that I can become professional and a self- motivated person of your team.”

Here is a simple formula for structuring your response

  • Present: talk a little bit about what your current role is, the scope of it, and perhaps a big recent accomplishment.
  • Past: tell the interviewer how you got there and mention your previous experience that’s relevant to the job and company you are applying for.
  • Future: tell the interviewer what you’re looking to do next and why you are interested in the position.


#5. Practice don’t memorize

Practicing for an interview is an important step in the interview preparation process because it will help you feel confident and comfortable during your real interview

Practicing for an interview also gives you time to make sure you prepare the outfit you want you wear, gather documents you need to bring with you to the interview and practice your body posture body language and eye contact.

Gather a list of practice questions practice answering the questions.


#6. Planning Your Answer

Even for common interview questions, it can be hard to get started crafting your response.

To keep track, here are few questions to ask your self

1. Who are you?

Basic introduction introduce yourself your full names and maybe mention your age, status and religion if it was a requirement in the advertisement for the role/ job you are applying for.


2. What qualities make you great for this position?

Think what makes you stand out as a job applicant for this role.

Perhaps it’s your years of experience or some highly desired specialization, training or technical skills.

Review the job description closely and note ways that you exceed the requirements.


3. Why are you interested in the role?

Think why this position excites you, how it fits into your larger career goals and why you feel it’s the best next step.


4. Why are you interested in this company?

After you have spent time to research about the company you should have a better sense of the mission, goals and trends impacting the industry.

Do they align to your professional goals that you have set for yourself?

What do you like and respect about the company? What excites you about the future of the company?

As you start building your story, tie together similarities among your future goals, the future vision of the company and industry trends you feel are especially important.


5. Is there something unique about your background that makes you stand out from other applicants?

Think of something unique that you have experienced or had in the past that is related to the job you are applying for.


6. What are the positive traits or characteristics you possess that will serve you well in this role?

As we have mentioned this is one of the asked interview questions therefore interviewers have had this answered time and time again try and look for something unique that will catch the interviewer’s attention

Think about how you have long thought about yourself or how others have seen you then think of a recent example from your life when you applied that characteristic.

Make it align with the role you are applying for.


How to Answer “Tell Me About Yourself”

The best way of knowing how to answer is to make sure you clearly explain how you are suited for the particular role and just as important as why you want it.

So, before you start crafting your answer spend some time reviewing the advertisement for the position and researching the company.

That way you will have a good understanding of what the hiring manager is looking for as far as to the skills and experience needed.

Next, prepare a short script that highlights your post relevant abilities, strengths and areas for expertise.

Follow that with the reasons you are applying for the job, focusing on career related motivations such as the desire to build your experience and take on added responsibilities.

Conclude with a brief statement explaining why working for this specific company appeals to you.

Answer as truthfully as possible as this maintains your credibility status towards the employer.

In case you do not know an answer to a question make it known that you will do more research on it and will get back to them.

Luckily, you can prepare in advance and use these guidelines to your advantage and set the stage for a successful interview.

All in all believe in yourself. You are the only person who matters. Go in there with that belief and come out with a new job. You have the power to control your own destiny. There is nothing which is out of your reach.

You are strong, confident and motivated. If you feel nervous good, that means you want this job channel that nervousness energy and take what is rightfully yours. Good luck on your interview.