How To Answer the Interview Question "Tell Me About Yourself"

One of the first questions asked in an interview is ‘tell me about yourself'. And while it may seem a bit personal and unrelated to the job you're applying for, it's actually a really important question for the interviewer. It gives your potential boss an idea of who you are and why you are a good candidate for the job. Don't discount the importance of answering the interview question ‘tell me about yourself' strongly. Here are a few suggestions.

Step 1

Start with your characteristics. A potential employer will want to know who you are. So start with a brief description of your traits and characteristics as a worker. (Keep your personal life out of your interview!) Are you performance-driven, do you prefer a challenge, are you looking to advance your career, or are you a great leader? Mention traits that any employer will want new employees to have.

Step 2

Discuss your education briefly. Without bragging, mention your education. It's sometimes a good idea to mention your high school as well, since you never know what affiliation your potential employer may have with your high school. It might just uncover an unknown tie between the two of you, and lighten the mood of the interview. Go on to talk about your post-secondary education (college, university, graduate school). And then mention any additional training you have. As always, keep your answers related to the job you're applying for. (Your employer doesn't need to know that you are a trained yoga instructor if you're applying to be a financial planner. It just isn't relevant.)

Step 3

Mention any skills you have that pertain to the job you're applying for. Hopefully, your previous job will have given you some skills that will carry over to this new job. Be sure to mention those. You've got to sell yourself during an interview, so bring up all the things you can do that would benefit the company you are interviewing to work for. Are you skilled in the necessary computer programs? Can you use the technical equipment required in the new job? Mention anything that you can do that may benefit your new employer.

Step 4

Talk about your relevant experience. And finally, the last thing you need to do when you answer the interview question ‘tell me about yourself' is to focus in on specific experience you have that relates to the job. Talk about what training you received on your old job and any mentors you worked with, what you were required to do at your old job, and what projects you have worked on that have given you experience that you can use in this new job. You want to give the impression that you will need little training. The less a new employer needs to invest in you to have you become a part of his team, the more likely he is to see you as a potential candidate. Sell yourself and your abilities as an employee and you'll definitely have answered the interview question ‘tell me about yourself' well.


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