“Tell me about yourself.” How should you answer in a job interview?
Here are answers to the question, “Imagine you were asked, “Tell me about yourself” in a job interview. How would you answer?”
- Attempt to Build Rapport
- Answer Professionally, Not Personally
- Thank You for the Question
- Stand Out from the Crowd
- End With a Quirky Fact
- High Standards, Wit, and Positive Energy
- State Your Passions
- Use a Thesis Statement Format to Answer!
- Tell Me About Yourself Example
- Highlight Your Most Relevant Qualifications
Attempt to Build Rapport
“Tell me about yourself” at the beginning of a job interview is how an employer may attempt to build rapport with a candidate before jumping into the interview. It can be difficult for the candidate to know how to answer. When I’ve been asked the question, I like to tell the interviewer a little about myself, personally.
It shows I want to also build rapport, and it adds a little depth to me as a person. It helps them understand they have a whole person sitting in front of them, not just a job-seeking robot. Then, I’ll briefly walk through my career history, highlighting specific experiences that relate to the role for which I’m applying. I try to avoid a verbatim read-through of my resume – especially since I imagine the interview will have time for me to give more specific examples and elaborate more on my previous work experience.
Then I tie that work experience to why I’m sitting in front of the person today and highlight my reasons for applying for the job.
Eric Mochnacz, Senior HR Consultant, Red Clover
Answer Professionally, Not Personally
Many times when asked, “Tell me about yourself,” candidates take a personal approach. They talk about hobbies or interests or family status. Your interviewer is almost certainly interested in the professional part first. Give a concise and clear narrative of your work history and why you’re a fit for the job. That approach will have much better results than sharing that you like hiking or playing the guitar!
Logan Mallory, Vice President of Marketing, Motivosity
Thank You for the Question
Thank you for asking. I am a highly motivated and dedicated individual with a strong background in DJing. I have 20 years of experience in DJing and events MCing, and I have a proven track record of success in energizing crowds. I am a quick learner and am always eager to take on new challenges. I am a team player and have strong communication and leadership skills. I am also passionate about corporate events management and am constantly seeking to improve my knowledge and skills in this area. Overall, I believe that my experience, skills, and dedication make me a strong candidate for this position.
Will Gill, Event Entertainer, DJ Will Gill
Stand Out from the Crowd
A lot of people just repeat what’s in their CVs already or try to tell their entire life story. That means no added value. But “tell me about yourself” is often your best chance at leaving a great first impression. And those are priceless.
I would start off with my career objective and best skills. Make sure it aligns with what the company is looking for. Recruiters ask “tell me about yourself” to see if you can do the job, and it’s vital to build your answer with that in mind. The second step would be to discuss my current role and successes.
After that, it’s time to talk about the skills I have that would make me the best fit, and to share my excitement for the role I’m applying for. At the end of the day, don’t forget that the recruiter needs to know if you can do the job better than others and if you’re excited about it.
Derek Sall, Founder of Life and My Finances and Financial Expert, Life and My Finances
End With a Quirky Fact
The “Tell me about yourself” question is a given in almost all interviews, and even if the interviewer has a full idea of your whereabouts, they would still want to see how you carry yourself with confidence.
I think the deciding factor in answering the question is the way one ends it. You can have a conventional answer by talking about yourself that is already mentioned in your CV, but the thing that would separate you from the rest would be depending upon how you end it. I believe ending the answer with any quirky fact about you, a secret talent, hobby, or a “one time this happened to me” funny story can absolutely change the mode for the interview and shift it in your favor.
There would be no looming tension, and you could be confident throughout the interview.
Connie Glover, General Manager – Product and Market Development, Bfx
High Standards, Wit, and Positive Energy
I would try to present myself as a valuable employee, a dedicated colleague, and an interesting person. The answer could be as follows: “I treat work with passion, people with respect, and new challenges with enthusiasm.
I can do many different things and master new ones quickly. Fluency in English, good analytical and organizational skills, creativity, and kindness are just a few examples of what I can offer you. Thanks to hard work, the ability to learn fast, and motivation, I set very high standards for myself. I’m energetic, witty, open-minded, and outspoken. I honestly believe that I could be an employee who makes the company proud. On a personal note, I’m a bookworm, cat lover, and mother of a curious three-year-old. One of my greatest dreams is to visit Mexico.
Agata Szczepanek, Community Manager, LiveCareer
State Your Passions
This should be a mix of personal passions and aspects about the role you’re applying for that make you passionate. What is it that gets you going? What certain things about the position excite you?
Showing that you’re interested in the role and have interests outside of work as well will reveal you to be a rounded individual and give the hiring manager insights into how you’ll fit into company culture.
Jarir Mallah, HR Specialist, Ling App
Use a Thesis Statement Format to Answer
When you review a job description, pull out three things that the company wants in a candidate and then present them as a thesis statement. During an interview, when asked, “Tell me about yourself,” respond with “I am X, Y, and Z.” Then elaborate with an example for each one, like you would when writing a five-paragraph essay. Repeat your X, Y, and Z thesis statement at the end for recency, and try to keep it under two minutes. https://greatcareers.org/have-a-timed-written-test-as-a-job-candidate-try-thesis-statement-writing
Lynne Williams, Resumes and Linkedin | Executive Director, Great Careers Groups
Tell Me About Yourself Example
Here is how I would answer: “I am a hard worker. I have been working since I was 15 and I come from a family where that was valued. I am passionate about the things I love like painting, music, and creating. I am originally from California and I have a large family that I visit often back home. Finally, I have the desire to learn. I am constantly trying new things and expanding my knowledge because it makes me feel productive and all-around better.” For citation purposes, refer to me as “Brittany Mendez, CMO of FloridaPanhandle.com.
Brittany Mendez, CMO, Florida Panhandle
Highlight Your Most Relevant Qualifications
A good answer to “Tell me about yourself” in a job interview should be brief and to the point, highlighting your most relevant qualifications and experience. It should also be tailored to the specific job you are applying for. You could start by giving an overview of your professional background, including your current or most recent job, and then highlighting the skills and experiences that make you a strong fit for the position you are interviewing for.
Be sure to mention any relevant education, training, or certifications you have, and mention any specific accomplishments or successes in your career that are relevant to the job. It is also important to mention your personal skills, such as your ability to work well in a team or your strong work ethic. Lastly, you can finish by expressing your enthusiasm for the position and why you are excited to be interviewing for the job.
Thomas Reynolds, Content Coordinator, Skill Success
Submit Your Answer
Would you like to submit an alternate answer to the question, “Imagine you were asked, “Tell me about yourself” in a job interview. How would you answer?”