Tell Me About Yourself - How to Answer

Published on: December 14, 2020 (Updated on: April 22, 2024)

Tell me about yourself

Some job applicants dread when the recruiter says "tell me about yourself". It could be one heck of a nerve-racking question. You might start wondering: What do they want to hear? I mean, I thought giving them my resume would help with that, why do they even want me to start telling stories considering how nervous I am right now?

Tell me about yourself
Tell me about yourself

It's natural for anyone to feel nervous when going for an interview because everyone knows that their performance there can determine whether they'd get their dream job/role or not. So, it's always an issue of I don't want to say too much or too little to avoid jeopardizing my chances.

Why do interviewers ask the question?

Well, here's the thing: interviewers know how nervous people get when coming for an interview, so the last thing they'd want to do to anyone is to make them feel worse. So, here's why they ask the question:

  • To make you feel calm enough to start the interview. The one thing you'd be able to do better than anyone else in the world would be to give a little description of yourself. So, to get you to feel relaxed enough to talk about why you want the job, they need to calm you down.
  • To ease into the direction of the interview. Yes, the recruiter has your resume, but bringing up small talks, in this case, it is getting you to talk about yourself, will serve as a good conversation starter.
  • To get to know you professionally. They want to know what your past achievements are, and how you fit into the new role.

Note: Although telling the recruiter about yourself isn't what the entire interview is all about, it's a good opportunity to stand out from the rest of the crowd. This is why you need to know how best to answer this question.

So, let's get to it.

The next time your recruiter tells you to tell them more about yourself, here are 3 things you should consider:

1. Start with your present situation when talking about yourself.

Talk about a strength that your recruiter or hiring manager is looking to hire.

2. Capture your past professional journey.

Talk about how that skill or quality helped you and your employer in the past. Talk about your accomplishments as well.

3. Talk about your future expectation in your profession.

Finally, this is the point where you segue into how an opportunity at theirs will help you grow your talents, to not only benefit you but also the company.

Note that everything is about your profession, so, it should all be linked in that direction.

Here's my example of what to say when you are asked to talk about yourself:

I enjoy providing helpful insights and strategies via blog posts and video contents to help entrepreneurs build successful brands. I teamed up with a group of 5 content creators at ABC company for 2 years. Our greatest achievement as a group was winning the best entrepreneurship YouTube channel of the year in 2020.

Before that, I worked with XYZ company as a content writer, where I single-handedly moved the website's monthly visits from an average of 1,500 to 20,000. It's been great so far, but I'm hoping to dive in better at this field by working with a team of high-performing senior content marketers, like the one at your company, tell better stories, and promote them even better.

Now, does that sound like a good introduction or not? We both know it does. Smiles.

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