How do you introduce yourself during an interview?
Be it for a senior-level management position or an entry-level position, “tell me about yourself” is one of those interview questions that recruiters are bound to ask you.
This is an open-ended interview question that seems like a natural way to get the interview started.
How difficult can it really be to talk about yourself?
But, before you overlook the weight of this question and skip preparing a solid answer for it, understand that your answer can set the tone for the entire interview.
Interviews are not a social setting and recruiters do not want you to ramble for 5 whole minutes about your personal life, where you were born, etc.
Your answer to “tell me about yourself” needs to be concise and has to tell the interviewer exactly what they want to know - a peek into your professional trajectory.
Read on to learn how to answer tell me about yourself and get clarity on related FAQs like the following:
- Why do interviewers ask “tell me about yourself”?
- How do you answer so tell me about yourself during an interview?
- What are some tell me about yourself sample answers for experienced candidates?
- How to answer tell me about yourself with no experience?
- How to answer tell me about yourself for college interview?
Why Do Recruiters Ask Tell Me About Yourself Interview Question?
The best way to frame tell me about yourself answers is to first clearly understand why the recruiters are asking it in the first place and what they want to know about you.
Apart from being an easy conversation starter, this question gives the interviewers an idea about how you view yourself, how confident you are, and how good your communication skills are.
However, this doesn’t mean that you need to tell the recruiters your life story.
Nah-ah, they are not interested in that. What they are interested in knowing is your professional history, your qualifications, and a brief background about yourself.
If you answer this question correctly, you can cue the recruiters to see you as the ideal candidate that they are looking for.
Also Read: What are the most common job interview questions of 2022?
How to Answer Tell Me About Yourself in an Interview
To help you build an impressive answer to tell me about yourself interview question, given below are some tips that you can follow:
Read the Job Description
Yes, thoroughly reading the job description provided in the listing is one of the first things you must do while preparing your answers for the interview, or any part of your job application process.
As stated earlier, by asking “tell me about yourself” interview questions, the recruiters want to know about your qualifications and professional experiences.
The whole point of interviewing you is to find out if you’re a good fit for the role.
Therefore, by understanding the top requirements of the recruiters, your answer to “tell me about yourself” can highlight your experiences that showcase your ability to meet those requirements.
Instead of talking about every single job experience, you can choose the ones that are relevant to the role by analyzing the job description.
Use an Elevator Pitch
An elevator pitch is a concise yet impactful way of introducing yourself or putting your point across to someone.
And that is exactly how to answer tell me about yourself in an interview.
Your elevator pitch must answer the 3 key questions that interviewers want to know:
- Who are you?
- What are your qualifications?
- Why are you here?
Start your answer by providing a brief background about educational qualifications or your most recent role that applies to the position you are interviewing for.
It’s advisable not to waste time providing personal details such as your age, where you grew up, etc. because it will only make your answer lengthy and bore the interviewers.
Now, the second part of your answer must highlight your selling points related to the job description.
For instance, if you are interviewing for a sales role, share your experience in exceeding the monthly sales quota, etc. to emphasize your ability to do the job well.
Finally, wrap up your answer by explaining your reasons for wanting to work for the company.
Keeping the company in the loop will show your enthusiasm and interest in working for the company.
Also Read: How to write an elevator pitch to impress the recruiters?
Practice Delivering Your Answer
To build confidence and flow, you must rehearse your answer to “tell me about yourself”.
You can create bullet points covering the 3 points that make up your answer or make a mental outline of what you’re going to talk about.
This way, when you practice giving your answer out loud, you don’t need to mug up a scripted answer or risk coming across as unauthentic.
While simultaneously, you will get comfortable speaking about your professional self, helping you give an impressive answer when the recruiters say “tell me about yourself” during the interview.
You can also seek feedback from friends and family by practicing your answer in front of them.
Also Read: How to use the STAR method to answer job interview questions?
Tell Me About Yourself Sample Answers for Experienced Candidates
Take a look at the following tell me about yourself examples for candidates who have professional experience:
Example 1: “I’m an HR coordinator with 3 years of experience in managing all aspects of the recruitment function, from sorting resumes to calling candidates for interviews. During my tenure of 3 years at XYZ firm, I won several performance awards and have been promoted twice for strategizing innovative ways to slash recruitment costs and reduce the time taken for the onboarding process of recruits. Although I love my current position, I want to be a part of something bigger. And since I love your company’s work culture that provides ample room for growth, I’m looking forward to being a part of your team.”
Example 2: “I’m an account assistant manager with 4 years of experience in competently handling budgets, taxes & payrolls services for 40+ US-based clients. In my previous stint, I won several performance awards for providing primary accounting & bookkeeping support to clients and have been promoted twice. And although I love my current role, I feel like I’m now ready for a more challenging role and this position really excites me.”
Also Read: What are some top interview questions with sample answers for job interviews?
How to Answer Tell Me About Yourself with No Experience
The basic guidelines for answering tell me about yourself interview questions remain the same whether you are an experienced candidate or a fresher.
The only difference is that if you are a recent graduate with no professional experience, your answer to tell me about yourself must focus on your educational qualifications and skills.
Think of any relevant projects or volunteer experiences that you may have that can showcase your suitability for the job and highlight the same in your answer.
Given below are some tell me about yourself sample answers for freshers:
Sample 1: *“I’m a recent graduate from XYZ University with a degree in engineering and 6 months of internship experience at XYZ company. I have structural knowledge of Auto CAD, CREO, and ANSYS, including programming languages and I’m skilled at conducting structural analysis & test runs. I believe that with my qualifications and skills, I will be a great fit for the role and company.” *
Also Read: What are some tips to ace your first job interview in 2022?
How to Answer Tell Me About Yourself College Interview
Since college interviews are slightly different from job interviews, the fundamentals for answering tell me about yourself questions differ in a few aspects.
For instance, college interviews are more focused on assessing your GPA, academic achievements, extracurriculars, volunteer hours, etc. while very little importance is given to these factors during job interviews.
Thus, your introductory answer for college interviews needs to be different.
Your answer can include points about where you grew up, your passion, future goals, your reasons for being interested in the major that you're choosing, and your hobbies.
Given below are some tell me about yourself sample answers for students during college interviews:
Sample 1: "My name is XYZ and I'm from Boston. Growing up, I moved alot as my dad is in the military and with every new place that I visited, my interest in architecture grew as I realized how it places an important part in defining the identity and experience of every place. This is when I realized I wanted to study architecture. Currently, I'm a senior at New State High School with a 3.9 GPA and I'm a part of my high school's basketball team and Model club. Given that your college is one of the best places to study architecture, I'm excited to learn from the best and turn my passion into a career."
Sample 2: "My name is XYZ and I'm a Chicago native, but I recently moved to New York with my father to be closer to my grandparents. Since I was a child, I always knew I wanted to do something in the medical field and help others as my father did. Seeing him saving lives and making such a big difference in society, aspired me to do the same. At present, I'm a senior at New Age High School and I play varsity soccer. Besides soccer, in my free time, I enjoy volunteering at medical camps and hospitals and listening to music. I'm excited to attend your university as it is one of the best medical schools in the country and kickstart my medical career."
Also Read: How to build a college resume in 2022?
Key Points from the Blog
- Tell me about yourself is an open-ended question that almost all interviewers ask at the beginning of an interview.
- Your answer to “tell me about yourself” needs to be concise and has to tell the interviewer exactly what they want to know i.e. your professional trajectory.
- By understanding the top requirements of the recruiters, your answer to tell me about yourself can highlight your experiences that showcase your ability to meet those requirements.
- Your answer to tell me about yourself must cover the 3 Ws - who are you, what are your qualifications, and why are you here.
- Avoid providing personal details such as your age, where you grew up, etc. because it will only make your answer lengthy and bore the interviewers.
- You must practice answering tell me about yourself interview questions to gain confidence and know exactly what you’re going to talk about.
- If you are a recent graduate with no professional experience, your answer to tell me about yourself must focus on your educational qualifications and skills.
Visit Hiration’s Career Activator Platform with 24x7 chat support to get expert guidance on how to answer tell me about yourself interview question. You can also write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any of your queries.