How to Reply: Tell me About Yourself

Tell me About Yourself?

This is a common question asked in almost every interview as it allows the interviewer to gauge everything about your personality in the quickest and most summarized version possible.

How you answer this question sets the tone of the entire interview and depending on how well you answer it may make or break the interviewers first impression of you. It is easy to provide a good answer as long as you are relatively confident and polite, but providing a great answer will not only give a positive first impression it will also influence what the interviewer will ask next in the interview.

Interviewers want to know most importantly who you are, how you got here and what value you can add in the future; your present, past and future.

Who you are in the present should include these 3 key pieces of information; Your role, the metrics to measure your success and a recent achievement.

For example: ‘I am an illustrator and contribute to my team by designing animation backgrounds. Recently, my work was featured in an Apple commercial.’

  1. It shows you are a professional.
  2. It shows that you know exactly what you are doing and confident in your abilities.
  3. It engages interviewers with your story and lets them ask questions within your comfort zone i.e.: ‘How you got the chance to work with Apple.’

Do not worry about the impressiveness of your story. The logic of the structure still applies as it shows the interviewer you are professional, you know your skills and you have experience.

Next your past should highlight your key strengths and takeaways and include these 3 key pieces of information; 2-3 attributes that are crucial to your role, match your experience with said attributes and one key moment.

For example, when applying for a marketing position: ‘I was an events coordinator and I used the full potential of social media to reach up to 5,000 users online. In the end I helped boost participation in the event by 200%.’ This all depends on the role you are applying for. If you are applying for an accounting position, focus on how you managed the budget and ensured there was strictly no surplus of spending.

Finally, the future should help reinforce why you will be a good fit for the role you are applying for. The objective is to help the interviewer visualize how it is sensible for you to be an addition to their team. For example; ‘Based on my experience and expertise in managing finances in my previous occupation as an events coordinator I am confident that I will be a valuable asset as an accountant in your firm.’

Nailing this common interview question will not only set the tone for a good impression, it will also influence the interviewer to ask questions that are within your comfort zone if they are interested in the achievements and work that you have mentioned. It also gives a huge confidence boost which also sells you as a capable professional.