Job Interview Question & Answer: Tell Me More About You
What Employers Are Looking For
“Tell me more about yourself” is often the first question of an interview, and it can be a tough one for job seekers. Without preparation, candidates tend to focus on irrelevant personal info and start the interview off-balance and flustered. When asking this question, all employers want to know is what skills, training, and education make interviewees ideal for the position.
How To Respond
To answer this question well, emphasize what you want hiring managers to remember about you. Replies should put past work successes, current job goals, and future career ambitions in a short, bite-sized form. If the rest of the interview is like the main course, “tell me about yourself” should be an appetizer that sets the tone and makes hiring staff want to hear more.
- Treat it like an elevator pitch: The best way to conquer this interview question is to treat your answer like an elevator pitch. Essentially, you’ll want to summarize your job skills and achievements in about the same amount of time as a shared elevator ride. Promote your worth to the company in a brief, focused reply of around one to two minutes.
- Focus on work-related facts: Job seekers should highlight accomplishments and information employers would want to know about a candidate’s work abilities. The three main points to touch on are education, employment, and skills since they illustrate your qualifications.
- Prepare examples: Candidates should consider creative ways to demonstrate their value. Stories with examples of your skills are memorable and may engage hiring personnel. Concrete instances of success or achievement in the past can also prove you are a good fit for this position.
- Share your personality: Interviewees can consider mentioning hobbies as well as work. As long as you relate activities to desirable qualities for an employee, sharing things you enjoy can help employers get to know you. For example, discussing volunteer work demonstrates community engagement, while team sports show collaboration.
How Not to Respond to “Tell Me More About You”
This question is intentionally vague. Interviewers want you to show poise and good judgment as you create a clear, structured answer. Talking at random or discussing aspects of your life unrelated to the job, especially sensitive topics like relationships or politics, might work against you. Instead, think of this question as a chance to direct employers’ attention where you want them to focus.
Recruiters value confidence, so job hopefuls can make a strong first impression with a focused response that demonstrates their passion and abilities. Hiring managers will evaluate your presentation as much as the content of your reply, so practicing your answer is key. These example answers can serve as inspiration, but make sure to give a personalized response.
Sample Answer 1 – Fashion Sales Associate
“Ever since I was a kid, I’ve been passionate about fashion. One of my earliest memories is dressing up and accessorizing my friends for a fashion show held in front of our parents at a birthday party. Even then, I knew I wanted to pursue a career where I could help people gain confidence and express themselves through clothes.”
“Since then, I’ve devoted myself to learning more about the art and business sides of the fashion industry. I’m currently attending college to receive my degree in fashion merchandising. This connection has given me chances to intern with several department stores and learn about creating displays that speak to customers’ desire to be seen.”
“One of the most rewarding aspects of my internships was applying knowledge in a real retail setting. Opportunities to interact one-on-one with customers, help with buying choices, and exercise my sales skills are what immediately caught my attention about this position. I would love to work with you to make every customer’s day better through fashion.”
Sample Answer 2 – Cable Field Technician
“When I saw this job opening, I couldn’t get over how well it seemed to fit my personality, my past work experience, and my future goals.”
“I value personal discipline and initiative. Training for my first half marathon this year taught me a lot about staying laser-focused on my goals, even without outside prompting. The fact that this work is largely independent doesn’t scare me. In fact, it energizes me. I love evaluating problems and finding solutions, and I am capable of self-starting and troubleshooting in the field.”
“My experience in IT also gives me a good knowledge base to build on. I’m used to learning new software and hardware as well as working with networks, so I’m confident in my existing skills and ability to keep expanding my cable knowledge. I’ve been searching for new applications for my skills and ways to challenge myself, and I believe this role is the perfect fit.”
Welcome to the Job Applciaitons.com Ultimate Guide to Interviewing, a web series where we evaluate real responses to common interview questions and give you tips on how to provide the best answers. In today’s episode, we cover “Tell me about yourself.”
This answer is okay, but it’s a bit off target. He opens up about his personal life by talking about his hobbies, interests, family, and even where he grew up. Although he gives insight into his life outside of work, he does not show traits that would benefit an employer.
Remember, with any interview question, it is not as much about you as it is about the employer. You want to talk about yourself in ways that relate to the job. You do this by highlighting qualities that would benefit the employer.
Here is an example of an answer with the candidate interviewing for a customer-service-based job. Notice how he highlights qualities an employer for that role would be interest in.
If you’re still having trouble crafting your answer, I have an easy structure you can follow. You just have to answer three questions.
First: Who are you professionally?
You want to say how long you have been working in your industry, what types of tools you use, or which functions you regularly perform.
A good answer would start out something like this, “I’ve been working as a graphic designer at a boutique agency for over four years. I’m proficient in Photoshop and InDesign, which I use do design everything from print advertisements to logos.”
Second: What’s makes you great?
Mention one of your main strengths, particularly something important to the role. Drive your point home by highlighting an example of how your strength makes you great at what you do.
The graphic designer in our example could continue the answer with something like, “In my time doing this, I have discovered that I’m a great communicator. I ask the right questions to understand my client’s wants and needs so I can turn around and give them exactly what they envision. Knowing what the client wants right off the bat allows me to work fast. Clients often praise me for creating exactly what they wanted in very little time.”
Finally: What do you want?
Now, tie in what you want out of your career. Make sure to show that this job relates to your goal. For our graphic design example, a good final part would be, “Now, I’m looking for bigger challenges, and I want to work for a mid-sized agency with well-established clients. This is why your position is very appealing to me.”
Interviewers expect the answer to be about 60 to 90 seconds long, so avoid getting of track.
Now with this three-step approach, you have you have an easy way to craft your answer for one of the most daunting interview questions.