So, Tell Me About Yourself: How to Answer This Question in Your Job Interview

JobNow Contributor
October 5, 2021

job interview


You may have been on multiple job interviews in the last few months without success. At this point, you're wondering what the problem is. What exactly do employers want that you haven't shown? Without a doubt, you're qualified for the jobs you've interviewed for. But there may be a slight mistake. Job interviews are more than about skills, outfits, or being presentable. 

Many times, interviewers are looking for specific answers to job interview questions. One thing they'll most likely want you to share about is yourself. Keep reading to find out learn how to nail your answer.


How to Prepare and Craft Your Answer

Tell us about yourself is one of the typical job interview questions and the most challenging. It usually seems straightforward, yet without proper preparation, you may miss the answer. How do you ensure your answers agree with the interviewer's expectations? 


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Define the Qualities That Make You Suitable for the Position

If you're shortlisted for an interview, it means you're one of the best candidates. The remaining part is to show your employer they're right in choosing you over other candidates. You have to identify the qualities that can help you outshine the remaining candidates. Suppose all the selected candidates have the experience and skills to fill the role. Figure out specific details in your experience that can set you apart. It could be you won an award or have on-the-job accomplishments that magnify your profile. 


Write Your Story

We all have stories that mark are significant to our career paths and where we are in life. Your story could be the reason you want to stay and succeed in your career. If you could tie your story to your larger career goals, you're likely to gain the interviewer's interest.


Think How the Position Matches With Your Long Term Career Goals

With skill shortages, it can be costly finding the right talents. Unless the job is short-term, you need to convince your employer they can count on you for a long-term stay. The interviewer may want to know if you're committed to the position. Establish how the job is a match for your long-term career goals. Highlight how you respond to challenges and what are your career motivations.


Pinpoint What Excites You About the Company and the Industry

You should research the company and the industry before the job interview. This is one way of how to prepare for a job interview. It also gives you information on what your potential employer expects. Find out more about the company's missions and goals. Figure out the trends currently affecting the industry. You'll want to help the employer see that the company is suitable for your career growth and goals.


List the Strengths That Make You the Best Candidate

With the job descriptions clear, there could still be unique strengths that give you a competitive edge. Think about the traits friends and colleagues associate you with. Are you a problem solver, entrepreneurial, courageous, or good leader? Identify real experiences where you've shown distinct strengths.


Find Out Which of Your Values Align With Company's Values

If you want to stand out, you have to show potential employers you'll champion their mission and vision. Companies are built on specific values and want employees who'll embody those values. You can tell what values drive a company from their website. If their mission is to speed up the world's transition towards sustainability, insert yourself in their vision. Share about your participation in environmental campaigns, for example. 


Tips for Answering the "Tell Me About Yourself" Question

The star method is excellent to ensure you're not fumbling or freezing during job interview questions. Apart from that, you need to know how to respond to the request to tell them about yourself correctly. Here are some tips to help perfect your answers.


Choose Your Starting Point

It can be easy to go off-topic and lose relevance when answering any job interview question. By choosing a starting point, you'll give your response a solid foundation. Start at a unique moment in the past and build your answer from there. For example, you could share a story or explain why you joined this particular career. Let the interviewer know you're in the profession for a cause.


Prepare for Different Audiences

Sometimes you may go through different audiences or panels during interviews. You'll want to give relevant answers if you're asked to talk about yourself at each stage. Granted, the panel might change at each stage so prepare different answers. The interviewers at the initial stages may not be interested in your hard skills. Later stages of interviews may test your passion and commitment. 


Keep Answers Positive and Concise

This is the time to mention the facts or events that increase your chances of getting hired. Stay positive and share your success stories. Avoid self-degrading phrases even when speaking of your weaknesses. Answering "tell me about yourself" is also an opportunity to sell yourself. It's not the time to dictate what's in your resume to the panel. It's also not about engaging your audience or getting into lengthy details.

Think of the answer as a pitch or teaser to pique your audience's attention. Focus on the bits that give weight to your pitch and remove any fluff. If you speak for longer than three minutes, there's a chance you're sharing too much too soon. Read the audience's moods to know whether you're hitting the mark. If the listener looks bored, think about regaining their attention and wrapping it up. Sometimes it helps to allow follow-up questions from your audience. 


Wrap Up With Your Current Situation

Remember to touch on your current situation when finishing your story. Your recruiter will want to know why you're leaving your current job and looking for a new one.


Ready for Your Next Job Interview? 

Preparing for a job interview can increase your chances of success. You'll be very composed and confident, knowing you're ready to answer any question. Are you currently interviewing? Check out these questions to make sure you nail your next job interview.