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How to Answer the Interview Question: "Tell Me About Yourself"

Interviews. They can be intimidating! However, it is important to approach interviews with good intentions, preparedness, and confidence. More often than not, the interviewer’s will first ask you to tell them about yourself. This question is usually overlooked as a “simple” question, but this is so false! Your answer to this question sets the tone for the interview, so here are some tips to successfully answer it!

1. First Impressions are Key

This is the interviewer’s first time meeting you! While reviewing your resume, you should uniquely tailor your answer to stand out among the other candidates. This may mean to depict passion in your answer and make it memorable, though you should always keep the conversation professional.

2. Background Information about the Company

Do your research! Your answer to this question should be tailored to the company’s values and the role that you are applying for. After researching, you can then frame your answer to this question through applications of personal experience or traits that would be beneficial to the company. You should always know your audience to best impress them!

3. Don’t Ramble!

Your answer to the question “Tell me about yourself” should be concise! This means that it should not be more than a couple of minutes. It should only be a brief description of who you are and why you would make a good candidate for the position.

4. Past, Present, and Future

An effective way to structure your answer to this question is by talking about the past, present, and future. Meaning, for the present you can talk about your current role or a recent accomplishment. You then can follow with a past experience showing how you got to where you are now. As for future, what are your goals? Why are you interested in this position? While this is a helpful formula to use, it is important that every aspect of your answer should be relevant to the job that you are applying for.

5. Practice Your Answer Out Loud

I highly recommend that you practice your answer to this question out loud or even with a friend! This practice will ensure that you don’t ramble and your partner can help you omit any unnecessary information. It is okay to have an outline of your answer, but you should not memorize it. This will seem unnatural if you rehearse exactly what you are going to say.

Overall, your main takeaway should be to prepare for this question in any interview-setting! It is very commonly asked and your answer can allow for a successful start to the interview process.

As always, Boiler up!

Windle Fray

For more interview tips, check out the blog posts “Online Interview Tips” and “Dress for Success: What to Wear for Virtual Interviews!”

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