Tell Me About Yourself Interview Answers

How to Answer: "Tell Me About Yourself"

Tell Me About Yourself Interview Answers

The first thing everyone expects to hear once an interview kicks off is the ‘tell me about yourself’ question. Although you’ve come across it in several interviews, it will always stump you. Describing yourself is an easy thing to do, but knowing how to frame a response in an interview context is the daunting task.

What makes it so difficult is because of its open-ended nature. The question is too broad, and therefore thinking of an appropriate answer becomes hard. However, Getting prepared before the D-day will help to make the whole experience a success. Read the following tips to help you prepare;

So What Makes This Question Common in Interviews?

Before you start thinking of an appropriate reply, take time to understand the reasons why you come across it so often. Knowing the interviewer’s intentions will help to guide you in crafting the appropriate reply for the question.

Mostly such questions set the direction for the interview session. Many interviewers use it to ease the situation and also transition into the main interview questions. They do this because, as an interviewee, you may feel nervous, but after this question, you can get on with the rest smoothly.

Also, the main goal of any interview is to give interviewers a chance to know you personally. They use such questions to achieve this objective. How well you introduce yourself can help make the path to getting hired easy.

Besides, some interviewers may pose this question to assess whether you possess good communication skills. When answering, prove that you are an excellent communicator, and you can do it professionally. It will give you immense success.

An Effortless Formula of Formatting an Answer

You may need a guideline to come up with a reply. Here we provide you with a simple way to get it right. Read on.

  • Talk about the present. When answering, highlight things you’re doing at the moment. Also, include some of the things you have accomplished lately. The interviewer needs to know what’s going on in your life and career at the moment.
  • Tell them about the past. Each person has a story. It’s good to ensure that it is short and generally telling the interviewer the steps you’ve taken in your career in a precise manner. Talk to them about the experience you’ve had working in your career.
  • Say something about the future. The interviewer also wants to know what your plans are. Take them through what you’re thinking of doing next and show that you have the best skills and experience to work in that position.

You can use the above formula to answer this question without much struggle. However, do not restrict yourself; you can always twist it to fit the interview or current situation. For instance, some interviewees start with a short story of their past then bring in the present and future.

Whichever format you use in introducing yourself, ensure you give a satisfying answer. Also, your ultimate aim should be linking your response to the vacant position. Show the interviewer why you’re here at the moment. He or she should understand that you are in the right place, attending an interview for the right job.

More Tips That Can Help You Craft a Good Answer to This Question

Other than the formula above, there are other things you ought to understand before you attend an interview. It can be among the trickiest questions; however, with proper preparation, you’ll nail it. Read below for some additional tips for you.

  • Relate your response to the role

When thinking of an answer, know that it should tell the interviewer what intentions you had when applying for the position. Also, they want you to show that you’re indeed the best fit for the position through your skills.

You need to seize this opportunity. Conduct a background check of the company before the interview. Have a clear understanding of what they laid out in the job description. It will make the interviewer feel that they’re interviewing the right person.

Also, you should make sure you share your objectives with them. In case the hiring managers select you, what will you bring to the company? Demonstrate that your objectives will help the company achieve its mission. It should be in line with their aspirations.

  • Maintain a sense of professionalism

As you understand, this question relates to the position and the company. Being professional in answering it is key. It is not always that you’ll have to share personal details. In some countries, you’ll not be allowed to give any private details.

Some of the information you should avoid include details of spouses and children or personal interests and hobbies. You can only share them if you have been asked so by the interviewer on rare occasions.

  • If it interests you, add some passion to your answer

Even though professionalism comes first, showing the interviewer how passionate you are should not be a problem. You can talk about the reasons why you’re passionate about this role specifically. Also, make them understand that you’ve been longing to work with their company.

The interviewer has emotions. You can draw his or her emotions using your answer. Showing the passion you have for the position, and the company may draw their emotions. However, you have to do this skillfully.

When adding passion in your answer, take care not to overdo it. If done properly, it can give you an edge over other interviewees. Explain shortly about what drives you to work and how what attracts you to the company.

  • Be brief; avoid reciting your resume

Many interviewees get it wrong when asked to introduce themselves. Most people start giving every detail of their career life. The interviewer has no interest in that. If you do it, you’ll just make them lose interest in listening to you.

It also goes a long way in showing the interviewer what kind of communicator you are. Show that you understand the art of speaking in any event. How you answer the question will tell them what they should expect from you in a meeting when hired.

Well, there may be no limit to the amount of time you can use answering this question, but experts advise that it should be around a minute. However, keep it to a time that you feel is right for you. The main thing is to avoid going into much detail.

  • Practice well (Do not memorize)

You should not wait until you are in the interview room before thinking of the best answer. You should practice in advance to make the interview easy. Record yourself answering the question, then take time listening to it later. Assess the credibility of your answer and how well you presented it.

  • Be positive

You may have been one of the employees who a company laid off, but this is not the best opportunity to talk about it. Including such things in the first question brings in negatives into an answer that should be positive to give the interview a perfect start.

Do not start talking about who your employer was. However, much awful he or she was, badmouthing will turn off the interviewer. It shows that you’ll still speak ill of the company if you get better opportunities.

  • It is your first impression, Do not lose it

In your interview, this is the question that allows you to make an excellent first impression. What the interviewer sees in you, matters a lot. Experts say that most interviewers make their hiring decisions at the first minute with the ‘tell me about yourself’ question.

An excellent first impression adds color to the whole interview. If you mess up with the first response, you may have a hard time making up for it for the rest of the interview. Therefore it’s better done correctly.

Tell Me About Yourself

Let’s Walk You Through Some Sample Answers

If you use the tips mentioned above, you’ll come up with an appropriate response to the question effortlessly. But what makes a good answer? Here are examples.

A newbie’s possible answer

“Hi, I am David Lawson. I am from Illinois. I just completed my medical degree from Harvard University. I come from a family with two doctors that is my mother and brother. They have inspired my journey and made me want to get better each step of the way. I want to get an opportunity to practice the skills I gained in medical school in your hospital.”

A Procurement manager sample answer

“Well, presently am the head of procurement at Smith. Previously I had worked as a procurement assistant in three different companies. While I enjoy everything I do at my current workplace, I fancy broadening my experience in an international company. That’s why I am excited and ready to take this opportunity with your company.”

A sales representative’s possible answer

“I have worked as a sales representative for the past six years. Most recently, I worked as a sales manager for a large sales company where I oversaw the sales and managed several other employees. I want to expand my experience into a field such as marketing, and that’s why I would like to take this position.”

How a teacher could frame his or her answer

“I have worked in the teaching industry for over five years. In my last school, I won many accolades as the most outstanding teacher. I developed good relationships with students, parents, and colleagues. I impacted positively on the lives of students, and that is what I am looking to do in my new challenge as a teacher in this institution.”

An answer befitting someone with five or more years of experience

“Hello, my name is John Clarke. I started my education in the year 1995 and completed ten years later. After completing, I started working as an assistant in a private office. After two years, I went further in my studies to graduate with a Masters in Engineering. I landed a senior engineer position in a large company where I have worked for five years now. I want to bring the experience I have amassed to your company.”

How a computer scientist should mold his or her answer

“Good morning sir/madam. I am Satyam Mishra from Chittoor. I finished my bachelor’s degree in computer science four years ago, and I have been working with a Tech company in Delhi. I am now pursuing my masters, which I’ll complete in the next two months. I have one sibling who got inspired by my journey and is not undertaking a similar bachelor’s degree. I plan to work at your company and broaden my skills.”

Example for you if you’re searching for a job while working elsewhere

“Well, I am currently working with XYZ Company as a researcher. What made me apply this job is that I learned that you wanted someone who can research on financial markets. I am sure I can help your company do that. I have accomplished a lot in my previous position, among them, helping my employer steer the company to be more profitable. I believe I can replicate the same here.”

Sample answer for highly experienced individuals (Up to 20 years’ experience)

I first worked as a manager eighteen years ago in a small company. I had been working as a customer attendant until then when I got a promotion. Since then, I have taken a senior management role in three different companies. I want to fill the vacant general manager position in your company and work toward becoming as successful as I was in my previous workplaces.

The best answer to give if you want to demonstrate your passion for learning and working in a team

“In the past few years, I have been hanging out a lot with friends whenever I am free. I have come to learn about how the world is beautiful from the personal experiences I have had traveling around the world. I have also learned about different cultures and how to interact with people. On my trips, I also partnered with my friends to help the needy and also contribute to other people’s lives. It is through such things that I have developed a better perspective on life.”

Got fired? Sample answer you can use in your interview

“My name is Anthony, and I have been working as a teacher. I am attracted to this profession because I want to improve the level of learning in my community. It has been low in the past, and I would love to change that. I disagreed with my previous boss, who was the principal in my school, and they decided to end my contract. However, I am okay with that, and I wouldn’t want to dwell in the past. I took a lot of time reading about your school, and I believe I am the type of teacher you are looking for.”

Sample answer for someone switching careers

“I am Sammy, and I enjoy having nature walks and working in my garden. After working with computers all my life, I would like to change my career since I feel I have had enough of corporate jobs. I may be overqualified for this ecological farm worker position, but it is what I would love to do from now onwards. Though I have no previous experience handling animals, I believe the more time I’ll spend with them, I’ll start feeling them and also become better at my job.

What a former prisoner can answer

“My name is Mike, and first, I’d like to let you know that I have been a detainee for the last two years. That is because of the mistakes that I have made in my life. However, during my time there, I reflected on my life and decided to quit the crime life. I read about your store, and I think it’s somewhere I can display my ability to work and better work ethics. I believe you’ll grant me the chance to prove my skills.”

A financial analyst’s sample answer

“Hi, my name is Mary. I have worked as a financial analyst for the past six years, where I helped customers make profits from the savings and investments they’ve made. I am also a sportsperson and also a competitive employee in every company that I work in. I have always wanted to work in a private company like yours. Since I saw your advertisement, I couldn’t wait any longer. I will be happy to fill these positions and deliver to my best.”

If you answer similar to the examples above, you’ll have gotten it right. However, do not restrict yourself to the format. Showing how creative you can be with your answer can convince the interviewer that he or she is already speaking to someone that will deliver. After reading the tips, you should be able to come up with your format. Practice it and answer the question confidently.