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

Almost all interviewers these days begin with this question “Tell me about yourself.” They do this for a several reasons, the most important of which is to see how the interviewee handled him/herself in an unprompted or an undefined situation. Moreover, they do it to judge their eloquence, confidence and the type of impression they would make on the people with whom they would have to deal with in the future.

Most candidates are afraid of this question and find it difficult to answer. This is a wrong conception, it should rather be taken as an opportunity to expose yourself positively and highlight your strengths. This has become a popular, inevitable question these days. So be prepared to deal with it.

Replying to this question by saying, “What do you want to know?” is equal to a job-suicide. This shows you are unprepared for the interview and hence your lack of enthusiasm for the job. Another mistake people make, is thinking the interviewer wants to know about them as a person. They start saying things like I was born in Houston, and my father was a…’ It’s totally wrong. The interviewer is only concerned about whether you can do the job or not, how well you will fit in the organization, what are your accomplishments in life and what and how did you do in your prior jobs. Hence you need to be well prepared for the answer.

Almost all coaches agreed that that the following two points should be kept in mind while answering the question, ‘tell me about yourself’: “Focus on what would interests the interviewer” and “Emphasize over your most important accomplishments”. It is recommended that you start with your most recent employment and explaining why you are well qualified for the position. Sell yourself to the buyer who is the interviewer in this case.

So tell me about yourself” response should directly fit the interests of your prospective employer.” While making your accomplishments prominent in the interview, many coaches advise to tell a memorable story about your achievements or personality. For example, if you tell an interviewer that people think of you as strong-willed, provide a brief story that shows how you have been persistent in achieving your goals. Stories are powerful, interesting and remembered.

Most importantly keep your answers brief and captivating. The interviewer wants to know a little bit about you not your entire life story. Just offer up two or three things that are interesting and relevant. A minute to answer it would be ideal. Rather than fearing this question, a candidate should welcome it. As a well prepared answer would let the candidate take over the interview and set the tone which would allow them to answer questions they are willing to answer.