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How to answer "tell me about yourself"

The first question you will likely be asked in an interview is some variation of “tell me about yourself.” Interviewers ask this because it is a good ice breaker. It is also your opportunity to articulate right off the bat why you are the great fit for the role. How should you answer this question though?


Start by talking about the present. Tell them what your current role is. What your job title is. Who you work for. What the company does. How long you have been there. What the scope of your job is. Make sure to mention the transferable skills that you would bring from your role. Use your current experience to show that you can do the job you are applying for.


Next tell the interviewer about your past. Tell them how you got where you are today. What your relevant education is. How you got interested in the field. Tell them about some big accomplishments you have had that are relevant to this position. This is your chance you highlight your relevant past experience that you could use to help them.


Finally tell them about your plans. Explain what you’re looking to do next. Articulate why you are particularly interested in this specific position and why you would be a great fit for it. Frame your plans in a way that benefits the company. Instead of saying "I want to earn more money" say "I am looking for a position that allows me to leverage my past experience and take on more responsibility."

Other tips

As you are answering the question make sure to tailor your answer to the job and company. Keep your answers positive. Avoid criticizing previous employers. Put a positive spin on any unfortunate experiences you had. Only include information that is relevant to the job you are applying for. They don't need to know that you won the school egg and spoon race when you were 10!

Lastly, practice your answer to this question beforehand so you remember to include all the important information that will help you land the job. Your answer to this question should ideally take less than three minutes. You need to allow the interview time to ask the questions they have.

A Career Coach can help you prepare for an interview.

You might also be interested in reading: How to overcome interview nerves.