Career Testing
Career Testing
Career Testing
INTERVIEWS / SEP. 05, 2013
version 4, draft 4

How to Answer the Dreaded “Tell Me About Yourself” Interview Question

One of the most frequently asked questions by recruiters is the ‘Tell me about yourself...’ interview question. This is a favourite interview opener and gives the recruiter a chance to assess how prepared, eloquent and relevant you are to the job they are hiring for.

In most cases, candidates rarely prepare for this question, leaving them stumbling out a response that is neither impressive nor catches the recruiters attention. However, the answer you give to this question will set the tone for the rest of the interview, and will either give a positive or negative first impression to your potential employer.

Here are the best tips on how to answer the ‘tell me about yourself question’:

#1 Keep it brief

The standard response to this question should be no longer than 30-45 seconds long. Sometimes, interviews will only ask you this question to bide themselves time in organizing their papers for the interview; either way, try not to ‘babble’ on and keep it as relevant to the job as possible.

#2 Talk about yourself as a brand

Use your 30 seconds wisely – sell yourself as a brand that the company would want to have onboard.  This is your chance to tell the recruiter all the most impressive things you have achieved in line with the expectations they have as a firm. Do not talk about your family history, where you went to school or your favourite pet growing up; remember – this is your one moment to speak freely about yourself so make it insightful!

#3 Structure to adopt when answering the question

Introduce yourself – inform them of where you are originally from, the university you attended, degree achieved, and any other relevant qualifications you have obtained.

Your experience – it is important to inform the interviewer about your previous work experiences that have led you to where you are now. Include your last job title and summarize your key achievements.

Career goals – try to highlight your career goals in line with what the company offers to justify why you want to work for them. Summarizing your main objectives and enthusiasm for the job you have applied for will leave the interviewer with a good first impression of you.

Some additional tips…

Be Unique

Ensure you stand out from the crowd and provide interesting and insightful information that will separate you from the rest of the candidates.

Avoid over talking

Try to keep your answer to under 30 seconds, avoid topics about your family and friends, don’t mention anything negative, and provide only relevant information.

 It is a horrid question which can really catch you off gard but keep your cool and follow the steps above and you should be ok.


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