How to Handle Tell Me about Yourself Just Right

Although jobseekers are aware that the first poser that they’ll have to confront during an interview is ‘Describe Yourself’ they neglect preparing for the same, safe in the belief that they’ll be able answer the question with panache. Most job applicants focus more on preparing for analytical and probing questions that are the mainstay of interviews which happen to be typically situational (in character) these days.


The ‘tell me about yourself’ question can take many forms like ‘what’d you most like to tell us about yourself’ or ‘tell us who you’re’. More often than not, the poser can be a tad straightforward like ‘Why should we hire you?’ that can catch you off guard. As a job aspirant, you must bear in mind that your interviewer or prospective employer is more interested to know about your career than about your personal history.

He’ll be eager to find out as to how you’ll contribute towards the growth and development of the organization. What you say (as well as how you say it) will to a large extent help the interviewer to size you up and decide whether you’re the right fit for the advertised position.

What Interviewers Really Want to Hear

Attempting to answer the ‘tell me about yourself’ question is very much like trying to work out a Sudoku puzzle that apparently seems easy to solve but gets irritatingly difficult when you try to solve it. Since the subject of the question is ‘about you’ most candidates end up waxing eloquent about themselves instead of focusing on how they shaped their careers.

Since you’re attending a job interview, you must realise that the interviewer is more interested in evaluating as to how you’ll relate yourself with the job and not what you did in your last vacation. The interviewer wants to establish as to how you’ll exploit your interpersonal skills, communication skills, team-building skills, and managerial skills to help the organization grow and prosper. You’ll need to briefly elucidate on how your past work experience will enable you to efficiently carry out the responsibilities associated with the job.

If you can handle the question effectively, you’ll be setting the pace for the interview and will feel confident about answering the questions that follow with equal dexterity.

What You Actually Need to Tell

You should bear in mind that there are no standardized answers to the question. So, there’s no point in worrying about whether you’re going on the right track while you’re replying to the poser. Let your interviewer have a fair idea as to why you’re the best man for the position by bringing up instances of how you harnessed your skills to deal with pressure-cooker situations in your previous jobs.

Start your answer with a robust statement that mirrors your persona vis-a-vis the job and try to be as natural as possible. Thereafter, go on to give a brief account of your work history in a manner that’ll make it clear as to whatever you’ve done till now has set you up ideally for the position you’ve applied for.

In case you don’t have any work experience and appearing in a job interview for the first time, you can frame an intelligent answer by elaborating on how your innate and acquired skills will help you to adroitly execute the job responsibilities.

Take Your Time in Rehearsing for an Effective Reply

Make preparations to answer the question days before your interview. Enquire about the job profile by consulting somebody from the organization or go through the company website. List the key tasks related with the position and also enumerate the skills you’ve mastered in your past jobs and see how best you can use them to accomplish the responsibilities associated with the advertised position. Do not forget to highlight your work accomplishments.

Finally, instead of trying to memorize a particular answer, rehearse with different possible replies in front of a mirror. Tape your answers and listen to your voice for changes in modulations and intonations and let someone close to you rate your answers. Always wear a smile on your face.






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