4 Strategies to Answer the “Tell Me About Yourself” Interview Question

Have you heard this interview question before? Of course you have! Most interviewers use it as an easyway to break the ice and get a little insight on you before tackling the more specific questions. This is a great opportunity to express your unique qualities and qualifications. But, with such an open-ended question, where do you start, what should you mention, how long should you talk for? Here are four strategies to help you craft your answer. 


Create A Road Map

Before entering your interview, you should expect that this question will be asked. Therefore, you should prepare a general outline of a response ahead of time. It’s best to check out the responsibilities and qualifications of the job so that you can ensure your response reflects just that. Having a road map of what you will want to say will structure your answer to be condense, logical and full of relevant content.

Have A Few Main Points

How do you want to paint your image for the interviewer? Think about what type of job you are applying to and what specific qualities they are looking for in their ideal employee. Have one or two personality traits you want the interviewer to recognize and base your response on how it will support this characteristic (remember CDI 101?). For instance, if you want to highlight your unparalleled work ethic, then be sure to mention that you took on 6 courses one semester, have extensive internship experience across a variety of industries, balance multiple leadership positions, or have been promoted based on performance. Each of these will show that you execute a work ethic that incomparable to others.

Be Specific

Anyone can rattle off a list of skills or attractive qualities. Rather than give the interviewer a list of all 12 of your most valuable skills, pick one or two and elaborate on them. Having projects or coursework that proves your competence in these areas will add credibility to your skill. Relate it back to something that demonstrated your use of this skill, strength (reflect on strengths finder results!), or quality and then how you will use it to add value to the responsibilities for the internship or job you’re applying for.

Keep It Well Rounded

Sometimes students can often get caught up in rambling on about all of their internships and forget to mention other valuable information about them. In order to avoid this fallacy, make sure your road map to answer the question touches on a variety of topics that all pertain to that job. This includes mentioning education, job experience, skills, leadership, etc. Pick one strong point in each to demonstrate that you are a well-rounded candidate.

By Yasmeen Alwani
Yasmeen Alwani CareerEdge Content Creator Yasmeen Alwani