How to Answer Tell Me About Yourself in an Interview? Top 10 Tips + 3 Sample Answers to Tell Me About Yourself

Do you want to know how to answer the question «tell me about yourself» in an interview? Do you want to make a positive impression on a recruiter and impress them with a coherent and cohesive story about yourself? We’ll tell you how to answer the question «tell me about yourself» in an interview and why self-presentation is an essential part of the interview.
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tell me about yourself

Why is it important to answer «tell me about yourself»?

Self-presentation is an essential part of the interview. The idea behind self-presentation is to talk about yourself, your career, your experience, and your successes in a few minutes in an interesting way.

tell me about yourself

Your task to answer «tell me about yourself» at the interview is to impress the recruiter and demonstrate your soft skills: adaptability, communication, persuasion, and negotiation.

The key moment is understanding the recruiter’s motivations to answer the «tell me about yourself» question. What is important for the HR specialist to hear, and what do they pay attention to? Let’s get to the bottom of these questions.

Here’s a list of questions the recruiter is thinking about when you talk about yourself:
tell me about yourself

Keep these thoughts in mind, and then you can answer «tell me about yourself» wisely and make a good impression.

When is the right time to answer the «tell me about yourself» in an interview?

All interviews follow the classic 5-step pattern.

tell me about yourself

There are two options for when you can start your «story about yourself»:

  • After greeting and small talk with the recruiter.
  • After introducing the company by the recruiter.
tell me about yourself

Structure of the answer to the «tell me about yourself» question in an interview

tell me about yourself

The formula for answer to the «tell me about yourself» question: «I am — I can — I want to»

I am

Under «I am,» when to answer the «tell me about yourself» question, introduce yourself by name and state your age. Then name the city you live in and briefly describe your career now.

tell me about yourself
I can

«I can» is the main part of the answer to the «tell me about yourself» question. In it, you list your skills, achievements, and career experiences.

tell me about yourself
I want to

At the end of the answer to the «tell me about yourself» question, point out your motivation for getting the position and the extra value you can bring to the company.

tell me about yourself

Answer plan for the question «tell me about yourself» in the interview

The content of your answer should be clear and structured.

Get the answer plan to the «tell me about yourself» question so that you are sure to make a good impression on the recruiter:

tell me about yourself

Tools to answer the «tell me about yourself» question

You can visualize your answer using two aids: a flip chart and a tablet.

On the flipchart, draw some simple graphs, charts, and pictures that reflect your skills, experience and length of time working in companies, and your other characteristics.

Use the compact and handy tablet to prepare mini PowerPoint presentations.

tell me about yourself

If you take a special HDMI or VGA adapter, you can connect your tablet to a projector or TV.

Five mistakes when you answer the «tell me about yourself» question

Mistake 1. Speaking with mistakes.

Mistakes, slips and stammers are the enemies of a beautiful and successful speech and must be dealt with.

When you answer «tell me about yourself,» speak slowly, follow logical pauses and intonation, and watch your breath.

Mistake 2. Talk about your personal life.

Remember, the purpose of an answer to the «tell me about yourself» question is to show your professional skills, competencies, and experience, not to describe your latest vacation or discuss the latest personal life news.

Catch a list of things to include in your answer to the «tell me about yourself» question:

tell me about yourself

Do not go into detail and avoid introductory phrases. Make your answer structured, clear and concise.

Mistake 3. Criticizing a previous employer.

It seems unprofessional and unethical. A recruiter will not want to hire an employee who has failed to improve another company and blames the other person for it.

tell me about yourself

Mistake 4. Avoid constructions with «not».

Our subconscious mind often misses and does not perceive constructions with «not».

Formulate sentences in the form of an affirmation. Then the recruiter will not have unnecessary questions for you.

tell me about yourself

Mistake 5. Be confident.

Modesty is a good person’s quality, but not when it comes to a job interview.

tell me about yourself

Five tips for answering the «tell me about yourself» question

Tip 1. Know your motivation.

Clearly define why you are going to an interview and why you want to get a position with this company. «Why do you want to work for us?» — is a frequent question the recruiter asks.

Formulate your motivation and justify it at the conclusion of your story. Sincere enthusiasm and eagerness to work will not go unnoticed.

Tip 2. Do a thorough search of the position and the industry.

When preparing to answer the «tell me about yourself» question, analyze the job description and the market and company situation. Knowing the company’s needs will help you structure your story to speak only about what you will be helpful in the business.

tell me about yourself
Here are three sources to help you prepare to present yourself:
tell me about yourself

Tip 3. Come up with an exciting introduction.

Make your story unique and add a catchy introduction.

tell me about yourself

With a vivid introduction, you set the structure of your answer. Emphasize 2-3 of your strengths: this will make it easier to answer and help you connect with the company.

Tip 4. Address the recruiter by their first name.

Memorize the names of all employers and address them personally 2-3 times per interview. This psychological trick will increase sympathy for you and help build strong relationships with employees.

Tip 5. Practice in front of a mirror.

Practice your answer at home in front of a mirror or record a self-presentation video on your smartphone.

Better yet, «tell your story» to family and friends. They will give you feedback that will help improve your answer.

How to answer the «tell me about yourself» question if you have no work experience?

Here’s a list of things to include in your answer to the «tell me about yourself» question if you’re a student:

tell me about yourself

Three sample answers for «tell me about yourself» at the interview

tell me about yourself

1. The answer of an experienced employee to the question «tell me about yourself at the interview.

«My name is Indy Jans, I’m 33 years old, and I’m happy to be here today. In high school, I became interested in product management and majored in it at university in the Marketing and Market Analytics program. Since then, I have gained teamwork experience in companies X and Y from different industries: construction and pharmaceuticals. My tasks included competitive analysis of industries, development of product promotion strategies, and monitoring its implementation. I was also tasked with internal project control and risk analysis. During eight years of work, I found out that my strengths were the operational management of the project teams and my creative approach to promoting the products. Therefore, the next logical step in my career is to become a Product Management Team Leader. That’s what brought me to you today».

2. A college graduate’s answer to the question «tell us about yourself in the interview».

«My name is Christian Joy. I am 22 years old, from Antwerp. I am a graduate of the University of Antwerp specializing in Sustainable Business. My 6-month internship experience at company X and participation in 3 case studies about ESG integration in e-commerce allowed me to learn and successfully apply greenhouse gas regulation tools. I believe this skill and knowledge will be especially useful in my position. My current focus is on developing carbon neutrality strategies for companies. I am ready to assume the position of Sustainability Manager at your company and consider myself a worthy candidate».

3. Student response to the question «tell me about yourself in the interview».

«My name is Iris Battle. I’m 20 years old, and I’m a student at Columbia University in the City of New York. I have been studying international relations and specializing in Central Asia for three years now. At the university, I am the Chair of the student council of my department. I am also the organizer of the annual Alumni Debate. My theoretical background in corporate governance, international economics, and business ethics and communications will help make a positive difference in the international standing of your company X. I am confident that I will be able to put to good use the knowledge I gained during my 3-month exchange study at Peking University. They will enable me to confidently and efficiently perform the tasks of the Assistant Head of International Cooperation in your company».

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Why Ucanremote is what you need now?

tell me about yourself

A successful and thoughtful answer to the «tell me about yourself» question is your chance to present yourself positively at the beginning of the interview. Take our advice, prepare for your interview in advance, and take your self-presentation seriously. Then you will be certain to gain the respect of your employer and get the job of your dreams. You will succeed!

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