How to Answer: Tell Me About Yourself

Tell Me About Yourself: A question that is asked in almost every interview that many applicants fear.

It seems like such a simple question, but what comes out of the applicant’s mouth on the spot probably isn’t what the interviewer wants to hear. Some job seekers are under the impression that this question is casually asked by the hiring manager just to make them feel more comfortable. In reality, the answer to tell me about yourself is quite important and sets the tone for the rest of the interview, so let us help you prepare.

Some of us could talk about ourselves for days, while others struggle to say much at all. In this interview scenario, neither of these extremes would be acceptable. Hiring managers do not want a blank stare followed by a simple statement that you’re looking for a job, but they also do not want to know every little detail about you down to your favorite restaurant. The interviewer brought you in to see if you are a good fit for their open position, so they want to hear what you are about from a professional standpoint.

You should keep your answer to this question fairly short, but effective. Although you might have an extensive professional background, you want to make sure you only mention relevant information for the position you are interviewing for.

Sell yourself! The only way you can successfully do this is to jot down a script and practice prior to the interview.

Here’s a simple template of what should be addressed when asked this question:

  1. Briefly talk about relevant work experience and successes.
  2. Mention a few strengths and abilities appropriate for the position at hand.
  3. Conclude with your current career situation and what your goals are going forward.

Here are a few things that should NOT be addressed:

  1. Don’t repeat your entire resume. As previously mentioned, keep it short, but effective.
  2. Don’t bad mouth current employers.
  3. Don’t let yourself sound like a robot. Practice to an extent, but don’t memorize your prepared notes.
  4. And again, don’t mention your favorite TV show. It’s the first question asked, so keep it professional.

You might be thinking that this is a lot of information for one small question. However, when an interviewer asks tell me about yourself, it is much more than an icebreaker. Take the time to properly plan out how you should answer this question to start off your interview on the right foot, and ultimately, get yourself the job.