Tell Me About Yourself Interview Question

Mar 21, 2023

The single most important question that one can expect to be asked is the question “Tell me about yourself”. It’s the question that most people get nervous around because its extremely open ended and really the road or path can be taken almost anywhere. When preparing for an interview you want to make sure that you are ready to tell your story and what makes you a great candidate for the role.


Why do recruiters ask, “Tell me about yourself?”


Interviewers often ask the question "Tell me about yourself" for several reasons:

Break the ice: This question helps create a more relaxed atmosphere at the beginning of the interview, allowing the candidate to feel more comfortable and open up.

Gauge communication skills: The way a candidate answers this question provides insight into their communication and presentation skills, which are essential in most roles.

Understand the candidate's background: The response to this question often includes a brief overview of the candidate's educational and professional background, helping the interviewer understand their experience and qualifications.

Identify key strengths and motivations: Candidates often use this question as an opportunity to highlight their strengths and explain what motivates them. This information can help interviewers assess whether the candidate is a good fit for the role and the organization.

Assess self-awareness and introspection: How a candidate answers this question can reveal their level of self-awareness and introspection, which are important qualities for personal and professional growth.

Establish personal connection: Sharing personal information, such as hobbies or interests, can help build rapport between the candidate and the interviewer. This can lead to a more engaging and productive conversation throughout the interview.

Discover unique qualities: Candidates may share unique experiences, accomplishments, or skills that set them apart from other applicants. These insights can help interviewers identify potential standout employees.


How can I prepare for a “Tell me about yourself” interview question?


Preparing for the "Tell me about yourself" interview question is essential, as it's often the first question you'll be asked and can set the tone for the rest of the interview. Here are some steps to help you prepare:

Reflect on your background: Take time to review your education, work experience, skills, and achievements. Make a list of the key points that you want to highlight in your response.

Analyze the job description: Carefully read the job description and identify the most important qualifications and skills required for the position. This will help you tailor your response to focus on relevant aspects of your background.

Develop a concise structure: Organize your answer using a clear, logical structure. A common approach is the "Present-Past-Future" format:

  • Present: Briefly describe your current role or situation.
  • Past: Share relevant experiences, achievements, and skills that have led you to where you are today.
  • Future: Explain why you're interested in the position and how it aligns with your career goals.

Focus on relevant details: While it's important to provide a well-rounded picture of yourself, be sure to emphasize the aspects of your background that are most relevant to the role. Keep your answer concise, generally within 1-2 minutes.

Practice your response: Rehearse your answer out loud several times, ideally with a friend or family member who can provide feedback. This will help you refine your response and increase your confidence.

Show enthusiasm and personality: While you want to maintain professionalism, don't be afraid to let your personality and enthusiasm for the role shine through. This can help build rapport with the interviewer and make your response more memorable.

Be prepared for follow-up questions: Interviewers may ask follow-up questions to clarify or expand on certain points. Be prepared to provide additional details or examples to support your response.


What is a good Example of a “Tell me about yourself” answer?


Here's an example of a well-structured "Tell me about yourself" response for a marketing specialist position:

"Currently, I am a marketing coordinator at XYZ Company, where I've been for the past two years. In this role, I've managed a variety of digital marketing campaigns, developed content for our social media channels, and coordinated events to increase brand awareness. I'm particularly proud of the recent campaign I led, which resulted in a 30% increase in website traffic and a 20% boost in online sales.

Before joining XYZ Company, I graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Marketing from ABC University. During my time at university, I completed an internship at a public relations agency, where I gained valuable experience in media outreach and content creation. This experience helped me develop strong communication skills and a passion for storytelling in marketing.

I'm excited about the opportunity to join your team as a marketing specialist because I believe my background aligns well with the job requirements, and I'm eager to contribute to the growth of your company. I'm particularly interested in expanding my skills in data-driven marketing and exploring new ways to engage with your target audience. In the long term, I see myself taking on more responsibility and leadership within the marketing department to help drive the success of your brand."

This example follows the Present-Past-Future format, highlighting relevant experiences, achievements, and skills while expressing enthusiasm for the role and its potential for personal and professional growth.

Keep in mind that you should tailor your response to the specific job and company you're applying for, focusing on the most relevant aspects of your background.


Remember that the "Tell me about yourself" question is an opportunity to make a strong first impression and showcase why you're the right candidate for the position. By thoroughly preparing your response, you can set the stage for a successful interview.

If you need more guidance on being able to speak well in public, feel free to swing over to check out my public speaking course. Click the link below.

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