How To Answer "Tell Me About Yourself" in Job Interviews

One of the most common questions in a job interview is, "Tell me about yourself." Let’s look at the best and smartest ways to answer this question.


Answering "Tell Me About Yourself"

Regardless of the profession in question, nearly all job interviews across industries share one common interview question. One of the most often asked job interview questions is, “Tell me about yourself.” Employers ask this icebreaker question as an open-ended question aimed at helping them get a better sense of each candidate and their current role. 
A good answer to this question can improve a job seeker’s chances of getting hired, as it helps set the tone for the rest of the interview. Unfortunately, despite being one of the most commonly asked questions in interviews, it can often stump interviewees. Talking about yourself and past experiences in a context suitable for a job interview can seem like a daunting and nerve-racking task for most people. But it doesn’t have to be.
In this article, we’ll cover interview tips and five smart ways to approach this question, regardless of the industry you’re applying for. We’ll also cover things you should avoid saying at all costs when answering this question.
To make you more appealing to hiring managers, you should also have your answer to this question showcased in the summary section of your resume. Crafting or updating your resume to look professional and impress hiring managers is simple with ResumeHelp.

Best Ways To Answer "Tell Me About Yourself"

The perks of commonly asked questions, such as “Tell me about yourself,” is that you can effectively prepare for it in advance. You can effectively use this opening question of the interview process to your advantage as a great opportunity to set the stage for a successful interview. It’s always a good idea to prepare by doing a mock interview with a friend or family better.
Regardless of how you answer this question, it’s always a smart move to leave out personal details and keep your response to this question professional and work-related. You can always gradually add more personal answers as the interview goes on, should it be applicable.
Additionally, make sure to tailor your answer to the role and company you’re interviewing for. When an interviewer asks this question, they’re usually looking to hear about yourself as it relates to the position and their company, not about your personal life. However, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be enthusiastic with your answer as to why you’re passionate about your career path or their company.

With that in mind, an excellent first step is to choose the right starting point based on what the company is looking for. This will help with leading off your story. Highlight your impressive accomplishments and work experience as it relates to the job description of the position.

As this is your chance to set a great first impression, it’s also imperative to demonstrate that you have excellent verbal communication skills. Make sure to be positive in your response while keeping your answer concise.

Demonstrating that you have excellent non-verbal communication skills to hiring managers and recruiters is equally important. Maintain a firm posture while sitting, maintaining eye contact while speaking and listening. Conclude your answer by explaining your current job and why you’re looking for a new job—specifically this particular job.

What Are Some Example Answers?

So now you’ve seen our guidelines and tips for answering this question, you may wonder what an answer to this question actually looks like. Here are examples of two common situations interviewees may find themselves in: as an experienced or inexperienced candidate.

  • Experienced candidates:

“I graduated in 2010 from the University of Blank, then interned with company X, where I was later offered a junior position. I loved the dynamic work environment and working with some of the company’s top clients, which helped me improve my X, Y and Z skills. I left and took a similar position at company Y, where I worked for X years and achieved X, Y and Z results. Now, I’m ready to take my career to the next level.”

  • Inexperienced candidates:

“I graduated from University of Blank X months ago with a Y major. I chose that field because of my love for X, Y and Z. My academic highlights include speaking at X conference, where I networked and landed my first internship at Y company and developed my X, Y and Z skills.”

How To Describe Yourself the Right Way on Your Resume

Another key to improving your job search is describing yourself the right way on your resume. You can accomplish this by using adjectives and keywords (sparingly) as they relate to your skills and competencies. Instead, you should spend more space on your resume to provide sample answers and examples of your qualities in the form of results and achievements.
Show your motivation by showcasing past examples at previous jobs where you took the initiative and achieved results by problem-solving.
Highlight your organizational skills by citing past work experience where you successfully managed multiple clients, responsibilities or team members.
Effective Multitasker
Showcase examples where you successfully multitasked and took on multiple complex projects and effectively broke them down into smaller, more manageable tasks to meet deadlines.
Highlight examples where previous employers trusted you with sensitive tasks and the experience you gained.
Showcase specific examples where you creatively brainstormed with team members to find creative solutions to company problems with your previous employers.
Highlight specific results with numerical values from previous jobs where your efficiency improved processes and saved the company money.
Showcase the hard skills you’ve gained and improved on at previous jobs while listing all the areas in which you’re competent.

FAQ: "Tell Me About Yourself"

Q: Why do interviewers ask this question?

Companies ask this question because they want candidates to offer insight into their past work experience, goals and priorities. This helps them get a clearer picture of each candidate.

Q: How shouldn't you answer this question?

Some good career advice is to keep your answer professional and work-related and avoid overly personal answers. This can mean avoiding going deep into your life story. It’s also best to keep your answer to the point like you would in an elevator pitch where you quickly summarize your background and strengths.

Q: What are some similar questions that interviewers ask?

Some common questions that interviewers ask that are similar are:

Could you walk me through your resume? 

Tell me something about yourself that’s not on your resume.

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