Answering to “Tell me about yourself”

The first question that you will face going to a job interview, whether on the phone, online or face to face will be “Tell me about yourself”.

Prepare your answer to the question “Tell me about yourself”

tell me about yourself

This question should be prepared in advance because it has to be strongly studied and linked with the job description. Let us explain more about it.

Structure your answer

When you go to your job interview and you know that the “tell us about yourself” question will pop-up, this will be the first question you will answer and a very general question. This gives you the possibility in a thousand different ways. However, there is a proper way to answer this question that requires a bit of work but that is worth it.

Read your job description and use its vocabulary in your answer

The first thing you will do is to read your job description and list all the main keywords that are important for the job position. When you have those keywords ready, you will select your experience as a student or as a professional, most relevant to the job description and will connect to it using the keywords you have listed.

Summarize your answer

Now, you need to be aware that the primary goal of this question is not much about hearing for a second time your CV. Instead, the job interviewer wants to know what is your capability of answering such a large question, in a precise and structured manner.

Let’s be honest, if you wanted to fully tell about yourself, the answer could last for 7 days. This question is not about getting to know every piece of information. It is for you to select the accurate experience and traits of your personality that will start to make the job interviewer think that you may be the one for the job position.

Tell us about yourself should be a story about yourself

tell me about yourself

Now that you have read carefully your job description, listed the main keywords, and selected the experience you want to evocate. You need to work on your storytelling.

Don’t spend too much time on it

The answer to this question should not be longer than 5 mins max. Start from the oldest fact and finish by the most recent one, to today if possible.

Remove doubts

If there is an important gap in your CV, try to use this time to clarify directly, so you remove the doubts in your first job interview question.

Every information you tell in the question “tell me about yourself” should be adding-value to your application and tell the job interviewer that this is the reason why today you are here in the job interview and also the reason why you are the best candidate.

The truth is this is the first question, somehow this is also the first impression you will give to the job interviewer. We all know that the first impression is very important.

Also, the first 5 mins are decisive for the quality of the job interview. It is decisive for the candidate because it determines how confident you will be in this job interview but also for the job interviewer on the quality of the upcomings questions.

For some interviews, the first question “tell me about yourself” is so poorly answered that it does not give much motivation to the job interviewer to truly carry out the interview. By consequences, the next questions may be wrapped up in.

To summarize, to the question “tell us about yourself”, you need to focus on:

  • The keywords of the job description that you will re-use in your story telling

  • The chronological order of your story to make it simple to understand.

  • Fill in the gap with a clear explanation on the what and why.

  • Show that you are able to summarize a story.

  • Focus on telling about the experience or your personal traits useful for the job.

For more interview tips, we invite you to check these blogs:

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