Tell Me About Yourself: How to Answer This Question

tell me about yourself

As life and business begin to open up, so do new job opportunities. That means interviews and the age-old question: tell me about yourself. But, how do you begin to answer this open-ended query? In today’s blog, we’ll give our tips on talking about yourself. Plus, how to answer other common interview questions. 

Tell Me About Yourself

Talking to a stranger about your life, values, and personality feels like a daunting task. But don’t panic! Keep reading to see why recruiters want to know and how you answer them. 

The Purpose of the Question 

So why do interviewers ask this question?

Firstly, they genuinely want to know more about you. Secondly, it allows them to hear in your own words about your experience and soft and hard skills. Lastly, it gives interviewees the opportunity to demonstrate:

Remember, when you answer “tell me about yourself”, you are selling yourself to the company. Including how you talk and approach questions in general.

How to Answer It

The most important thing is to have a structured answer for your response.

First, talk about your current role, what your responsibilities are, and any recent accomplishments.

Then, mention previous experience that’s relevant to the job you’re applying for.

Lastly, segue into what you’re looking to do next and why you’re interested in the job. Also include what’s makes you a good fit for the position! 

Need a bit more guidance? Check out these tips on answering: “tell me about yourself”!

  1. Tailor Your Answer to the Company. Research the mission statement of the job you’re applying for. Link your personal journey and goals with their interests.
  2. Remain Professional. This is about your journey as an employee, not your full life story. 
  3. Inject Some Passion. Shed light on why you’re passionate about your work. Plus, why working at the company would support that passion. 
  4. Be Succinct. Don’t recite your resume. Try not to speak for longer than a couple of minutes. 
  5. Practise. Write down what you want to say and speak it out loud (before the interview). Record yourself and listen back to see if the answer is what you want it to be. 
  6. Keep positive. Don’t mention if you were fired or laid off from your last job. What’s more, avoid badmouthing your previous employer. 
  7. Be prepared. This is your chance at a good first impression. Show the interviewer that you took the time to prepare. 

Other Common Interview Questions

Unfortunately, (or fortunately) interviews don’t consist of only: “tell me about yourself”. Check out these other common questions you should create an answer for. 

  1. What Is Your Greatest Strength? Discuss attributes that are specific to the job. Bonus points if it sets you apart from other candidates. Remember to “show” not “tell”: give specific examples where you demonstrate these qualities. 
  2. What Is Your Greatest Weakness? Frame your answers around how you overcame these “weaknesses”. Show employers that you are improving your skills.
  3. How Do You Handle Stress and Pressure? Acknowledge that workplace stress exists and give examples of how you overcame it or used it to your advantage. 
  4. What Are Your Goals for the Future? This question seeks to find out if you’re going to stick around or move on quickly. Reiterate to the interviewer that the position aligns with your long-term goals.

About the Author

Lydia B.

Lydia B.

Lydia is a Gooroo Courses Tutor at Gooroo, a tutoring membership and online learning platform that matches students to tutors perfect for them based on their unique learning needs. Gooroo offers math, English, ESL, Spanish tutoring, and more.