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How to Respond to the Job Interview Question "Tell Me About Yourself"

"Tell me about yourself" may appear to be an easy interview question to answer—after all, you know everything about yourself! And it's a good thing, because it's frequently the first thing an interviewer will ask you to do—whether it's a preliminary phone screen, interacting with your future boss, or sitting down with the CEO during the final round.

However, responding to this offer to talk about oneself at a job interview can be difficult and complicated. You could be thinking: What exactly do you want to know? Should I tell you about my workplace drama's biographical storyline, complete with excellent casting? Knowing how to respond to the question "tell me about yourself" as a job seeker gives you a wonderful opportunity to highlight the job abilities and experience that make you the best candidate for the job. And, because it's a question that many hiring managers begin with, it's also a good approach to get started.

What is the purpose of interviewers asking, 'Tell me about yourself?'

The purpose of a job interview is to get to know you. The "tell me about yourself" interview question is used by interviewers to transition from casual conversation into technical and behavioral interview questions. The interviewer is looking to see if you can communicate effectively and professionally. It's unprofessional to freeze up the first time you're put on the spot. The interviewer hopes the candidate can respond to the question in a natural way that demonstrates their preparation and interest in the interview. In a job interview, a great answer can help you stand out.

A few popular "Tell me about yourself" versions:

There will be numerous occasions when you will be asked, "Tell me about yourself." However, interviewers may have their own variations of the prompt that ask similar questions, such as:

  • I have your résumé, but please tell me more about yourself.

  • Please go over your resume with me.

  • I'd like to learn more about your experience.

  • Please tell me a little bit about your background.

Here are some suggestions to help you respond:

1. What characteristics make you a good fit for this position?

Consider what makes you stand out as a job candidate for this position. Maybe it's your years of experience, or a highly sought-after expertise, training, or technical talents. Examine the job description carefully and make a list of how you exceed the standards.

2. What piques your interest in the firm or industry?

After investigating the company and the industry, you should have a better understanding of the mission, goals, and industry trends.

  • Do these correspond to the professional objectives you've established for yourself?

  • What do you appreciate and value about the company as a whole?

  • What excites you about the industry's future?

As you begin to write your resume, look for parallels between your professional aspirations, the company's future vision, and industry trends that you believe are particularly relevant.

3. Present circumstances

Inform the interviewer about your current position and a recent major accomplishment or favorable feedback. Avoid discussing your current employment adversely. The interviewer is interested in hearing how your current role compares to the position you're applying for. If you're a current student, use this opportunity to discuss relevant educational experiences such as classes you've attended, projects you enjoyed, or internships.

4. To break the ice, emphasize your personality

Because the purpose of "Tell me about yourself" is to get to know you, it's a good idea to share your personality with your interviewer—but not personal information. You could want to add activities that reflect intellectual development and/or community involvement, as well as those that demonstrate personal discipline and achievement. Discussing personal hobbies is an effective method to conclude your response while being professional.

How long should your response be?

Remember that interviewers are interested in learning more about your work experience and personality. Answering this question with a couple of phrases may appear inadequate, and talking for 10 minutes is a warning sign that you may do the same in meetings. Try to limit your response to one to three minutes. Examine your interviewer's body language and feel free to elaborate on any points that pique their interest.

Important Takeaways

To summarize, these are the most crucial ideas for answering "explain me about yourself..."

Structure your response in a logical manner.  Keep it brief and relevant (1-2 minutes max). Nobody wants to hear about your entire life. Mention any of your most notable accomplishments and relevant job experiences. Because this is merely the beginning of the interview, anticipate them to follow up and ask a slew of other questions.


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