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How to Answer Tell Me About Yourself in Interview

22 Oct 2019


How to Answer

How to Answer Tell Me About Yourself in Interview

On your big ‘interview’ day, after getting ready, take a deep breath, relax, and go through your professional and academic experiences to be prepared to answer the questions in the interview. Be prepared to face the first interview question, “Tell me about yourself” confidently.

Practice summarizing important questions about the current job, academic, and professional achievements in a subtle manner. Don’t be scared to answer when you’re asked an open-ended interview question. There’s a reason the interviewers ask you such questions; they’re eager to know the mindset of the person they are hiring. “Tell Me Something About Yourself” is an open-ended general question asked in the interview.

Choosing the Right Starting Point for Your Story

The main focus should be on giving a brief, concise answer to the interviewee while giving a walkthrough of your career story to showcase relevant pieces of experience.

It is advised to start from a point why you choose this career, started working in this particular field, and end up in your current situation. Preparing in advance is the best strategy to ace your job interview.

If you’ve graduated recently: Always start answering with the point that you just graduated and followed by why you decide on this career path or field of area of study.

For example, your answer should be like this:

“I graduated with a degree in business studies two months ago. I chose that field of study because I’ve always been interested in business and management, and a couple of family members and friends told me this is a great career option, too.”

If you’re a working professional with 1-8 years of experience, then start with the moment you graduated and then walk through the entire employment experience since then.

Another way of starting your interview answers in such a situation:

“I graduated with my degree in Industrial Engineering six years ago, completed my training in designing, and immediately started work for a small design firm. Staring from a junior design executive, I climbed the ladder of Senior Design Consultant…”

And if you have 8-20+ years of experience, always start with a mid-point in your career to keep the answer short.

For example, if you’re a manager, start with how you first became a manager. Tell about your 25 years of experience, how you started in sales, and your journey as sales professional for 12 years.

An experienced candidate can begin the answer to “tell me about yourself” with I first started managing people fifteen years ago when I was promoted from Digital Marketing Executive to Digital Marketing Manager.

Even if this is a common question asked in most interviews, many job aspirants fumble when asked: “Tell me about yourself.” While few of the job applicants go on to explain everything listed on their resumes, others ramble pointlessly, not knowing which topic to emphasize upon, that somehow hampers the interview. A handful of people start talking enthusiastically about their hobbies and personal preferences confidently. When the job-seeking candidate comes across as an unprepared applicant, it is a big disadvantage and puts a negative first impression on the interviewer

There’s no point in worrying about this question. A little bit of planning and preparation makes handling such introductory questions easy.

It is a simple interview question, but people are usually nervous about answering it.

Here are some tips for delivering a perfect “Tell me Something about yourself” answer.

One should be confident about answering such questions about, even if the interviewer asks vague nature of questions. You should be prepared enough to answer every question without wondering what to say about in the interview answers.

How to nail the "Tell me about yourself" answer

One should be prepared to answer “Tell me about yourself,” and other introductory questions without overdoing it. Here are some tips for answering this question with confidence and ease.

Be Prepared

Generally, every interview starts with “Tell me about yourself” or introduce yourself question. This is an open-ended question, giving the interviewee an option to talk about something they’d like to talk about further in the interview. Giving ample information so that the interviewer can ask questions from it is a good strategy. If you give vague answers, it showcases you didn't prepare for the interview. There are a variety of go-to points that one can start with when asked this question.

Don't Over-Prepare

Interviewers ask the “Tell me Something about yourself” question to know you beyond your job history. Initial questions are asked to see if you are a good fit for their company culture. When you make good starting points, you’re in a positive picture. Always be ready to adapt based on the nature of the interview, rather than reciting a canned answer. Always be prepared to answer questions from the response you gave.

Never Spew Your Resume

Almost in every interview, everyone involved in the hiring process has reviewed your resume. Always in your “Tell me about yourself” answer, tell about yourself, your current job that your resume doesn't have. Make an excellent start with something that interests the interviewer, and he asks more questions about it. Try to put stories to the words on the paper, and then your resume acts as a reminder of the vibrant person they interviewed.

Use Stories To Tell The Employer About Yourself

If you have a particular accomplishment, goal, or story your resume doesn't highlight — like making a campaign, coming up with a social media strategy for enhancing the followers— an interview is a perfect opportunity to talk about your strategy. Also, carefully listen to the questions to answer what the interviewer wants to know. Whatever your story is, tell the employer that you are the right person for their company. The answer to “Tell me Something about yourself” should be a positive depiction of yourself so that the hiring managers make a healthy decision.

Read About The Role And Company Culture

Before interviewing, it’s good to know about the job, the company, and even the people so that you have a long way to crafting your response to the "Tell me about yourself" interview question. Social media has made it easy to decode the company culture and learn about potential colleagues. The hiring manager usually gets impressed by seeing your active interest in the company. It helps the people interviewing to realize your interest, and they see your ability either you fit into the workplace or not.

Use Examples To Show Your Work Style

The "Tell me about yourself," the answer is the best way to identify concerns for both parties. A candidate should be prepared to tell about the history of making great decisions and brainstorming new ideas even in the work pressure. Making crucial decisions in the lunch meetings may be surprising for a few places where lunch is eaten by oneself at the desk. There are companies where employees go home every day at 5 p.m., and they are shocked to discover that there new employer’s workplace culture is different, where everyone goes out to dinner after work, and the best innovations are made in the informal conversations of the team.

Think About What Hiring Manager Or Your Co-Worker Would Say About You

When you answer the questions, “Tell me about yourself,” think about what your references would say about you when your hiring manager would contact them. Also, consider the previous co-workers or managers’ reply to the question to answer the question properly. It is a great route to take when you’re uncomfortable about talking yourself. Thinking of the question from an outsider's perspective gives you a different view. Always create some distance between the affirmation of competency and yourself to show yourself as you are, free of the influence and negative self-perception.

Short And Simple

Don't keep on and on for 10 minutes talking about yourself. Instead, focus on one story and talk about the most important facts and stories of that good story. This is not the place you should be telling your life story, rather take up the entire interview around that story.

Be Prepared To Answer The Follow-Up Questions

Many of the hiring managers spur discussions or the interview around multiple follow-up questions about the introduction. Don’t dig deeper to get to the meat of the answer; just answer what’s asked. Always be prepared to answer rather than giving a vague response to “Tell me something about yourself.” Be prepared to give thorough details while staying focused on a few key points of the introduction.

Practice With Someone Else Or In A Mirror

No matter what interview questions you're preparing for, practice polishes your answer and gives more confidence. When you know exactly what you're going to say and how you're going to say it, there wouldn’t be any problem during an interview. And, if you practice with a real person, the mock interview prepares you to handle every situation in the interview. Or, if you don’t have that option, sit in front of a mirror and practice, keeping in mind your body language and eye contact plays an equal role.

Conclude By Explaining Your Current Situation

After completing your introduction, the best way is to finish your story with your current situation. Taking about why you applied for their job, what you’re looking to do next, etc. gives the hiring person an idea about your professionalism

You can end the answer with-

“…and that’s why I wanted to interview with your firm. This position seems a great opportunity to use my advanced skills and challenge myself”.

Keep Your Every Answer Work-Related

When an employer asks, “tell me about yourself,” in an interview, they want to hear about you as a professional, and the safest approach is to keep every answer work-related. Strategically share your career story, rather than personal details to give the interviewer a glimpse of your personality. Show your personality as the interview goes on, but do not share personal info when answering any question. If any question is getting too long, then only speak about the important professional information the interviewer is looking for.

Highlight Impressive Experience And Accomplishments

Talk about your career story, key accomplishments, work you’ve done, skills, and key career moves in the interview. If you got a promotion that’s worth mentioning, talk about it. Also, talk about accomplishing something significant that’s worth mentioning. You can also talk about the new skills or how you overcame challenges in detail to showcase your various skills in the interview.

Always research the company before going into the interview so that you know the fundamentals of a company. Study their job description in particular to have an insight into the position you’re interviewing for.

Be Concise

When they ask, “tell me about yourself,” you’ll be tempted to give a long-winded answer. It’s such an open-ended question that you can take it anywhere. Try to cover that’s important for the hiring manager to know and be concise. You’re being judged on communication and ability to stay on track while the answer is closely watched in an interview.

The interviewer checks that your response for a question is Point A (beginning) to Point B (the end) without getting sidetracked, distracted, or scattered. Telling the story highlighting the qualities gives a good picture, raising your chances of hiring.

you may also check: Accounting Interview Questions and Answers for Freshers


Remember, you are more than a list of job titles and sales numbers, so talk about something highlighting your skills and potential. A resume should be a balance of knowledge and skills, rather than the information regarding past employment and qualifications. Hiring managers ask, “Tell me about yourself” question to ensure they remember you for who you are and what you offer. They take this "Tell me about yourself" interview answer as a serious red flag to shortlist the candidates. If you hit a slow patch and need a pick-me-up while answering, it’s an indication of your attitude that keeps you away from achieving higher goals in life.

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