Interview Questions

How To Answer “Tell Me About Yourself” | Dos & Don’ts6 min read

December 16, 2019 5 min read
tell me about yourself

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How To Answer “Tell Me About Yourself” | Dos & Don’ts6 min read

Read­ing Time: 5 min­utes

Is it that time of the year when you should be ready for job inter­view ques­tions? But don’t know how to answer “Tell me about your­self”? Before going for an inter­view, remem­ber some “Dos & Don’ts”. Gen­er­al­ly, inter­view­ers are seek­ing to hire those can­di­dates who can be the best fit for the cul­ture of the com­pa­ny. 

The main pur­pose of this ques­tion is to have over­all infor­ma­tion about the can­di­date. It’s a per­fect way to ana­lyze com­pe­ten­cy as well as the com­mu­ni­ca­tion skills of a job seek­er. Answer this right and you will help the inter­view­er to under­stand your poten­tial at the com­pa­ny. While answer­ing tell me about your­self, job seek­ers must com­mu­ni­cate their abil­i­ties to the inter­view­ers. 

Fresh­ers, are you look­ing for a job oppor­tu­ni­ty? Click here to find the most promis­ing jobs in the indus­try.

Dos for “Tell Me About Yourself”:

  • Start Slow, Safe & Personal:

Start with who you are as a per­son, offer a peek into your fam­i­ly and per­son­al­i­ty. If you have hob­bies and inter­ests that are rel­e­vant to the job please let the hir­ing man­agers know your spe­cial­ty. 

For exam­ple, if you are approach­ing a con­sul­tan­cy job and you are good at putting your thoughts into words then let the inter­view­er know. If you have done vol­un­teer­ing or assis­tance in any type of pitch­ing com­pe­ti­tion then you should show your sol­id char­ac­ter to the ques­tion­er. 

  • Achievements:

Exhibit­ing your accom­plish­ments in front of an inter­view­er can boost your inter­view a lit­tle. If we move fur­ther with the pre­vi­ous exam­ple of a con­sul­tan­cy job and you have achieve­ments like cer­tifi­cates in extem­pore or a medal in inter-col­lege com­pe­ti­tion then it will be a suc­cess. 

Or if you are a pro­fes­sion­al with some work expe­ri­ence then men­tion the pre­vi­ous expe­ri­ence of pitch­ing for the prod­uct to your clients, sim­i­lar­ly, if you have cracked any deal, men­tion that as well.

  • Work Experience: 

While talk­ing about your work expe­ri­ence and skills, always be sharply defined. Let the inter­view­er know all the things you have learned from your expe­ri­ence. Tell about your projects, the dif­fi­cul­ties you faced and the out­come.

If you are a fresh­er then speak about your intern­ship projects, col­lege projects, how you have game-planned it. With this, pre­pare your­self to explain the gap in your employ­ment win­dow. 

  • Sell your Skills Relevant for the Job:

More and more employ­ers are look­ing for skills like emo­tion­al intel­li­gence, team­work, com­mu­ni­ca­tion, dig­i­tal lit­er­a­cy, crit­i­cal think­ing, lead­er­ship, strong work val­ues and ana­lyt­i­cal and prob­lem-solv­ing (we know that’s a lot).

Leave no stone unturned while answer­ing to tell them about your­self and your skills with a set of exam­ples that show exact­ly who you are. Dur­ing the inter­view process, you should high­light as many of your strengths as pos­si­ble.

Try to talk about the uphill bat­tle that you have faced in your pre­vi­ous job and how you have raised the bars for oth­er employ­ees.

Don’ts for “Tell Me About Yourself”:

  • Information Overload: 

While answer­ing “tell me about your­self” try not to pro­vide infor­ma­tion that is loaded, it should be crisp. You want to sound nat­ur­al, like a real per­son that peo­ple would like to have in the next cubi­cle or talk to while a hap­py hour. Although an inter­view­er will be try­ing to find out more about you, make sure you know where the line is. 

A small-talk can help to break the ice, but don’t dis­close too much per­son­al infor­ma­tion about your life. Stay pro­fes­sion­al and only share what’s rel­e­vant to your job.

  • Controversial Subjects:

Unless you’re inter­view­ing for a com­pa­ny that’s com­mit­ted to pol­i­tics, it’s best to stay as far away as pos­si­ble from this top­ic dur­ing your inter­view. But don’t for­get to acknowl­edge the interviewer’s per­spec­tive.  

Reli­gion, Pol­i­tics, Per­son­al Life, Career Aspi­ra­tions, Health Prob­lems, and your debts- try to avoid talk­ing about these top­ics. Try stick­ing to safe top­ics while answer­ing for “tell me about your­self” and prac­tice for the top­ics that are less con­tro­ver­sial like movies, music, trav­el, and food (espe­cial­ly if you bring some to share).

  • No Negative Information:

If you believe you had the worst job expe­ri­ences, resist the urge to bad­mouth them dur­ing your job inter­view. The inter­view­er may ask you about your present or past employ­ment sit­u­a­tions, and while you have to answer it should be brief and neu­tral.

If you are no longer at the com­pa­ny, explain why. Try to make a short state­ment about what you have learned. Answer the ques­tion smart­ly and try to eas­i­ly move on to the next ques­tion in your inter­view.

Com­pa­nies don’t need to know that you’re drown­ing in stu­dent loan debt or hav­ing rela­tion­ship prob­lems. The wrong pri­vate details can often dis­qual­i­fy an oth­er­wise excel­lent can­di­date.

  • Bragging: 

Have you ever felt like peo­ple don’t want to lis­ten to you? Then stop talk­ing big about your­self, always be spe­cif­ic and to the point.

Do: Let the inter­view­er know that you’re the best fit for this posi­tion he or she is going to find. Show them you’re per­fect for the job, a hard work­er, an excel­lent prob­lem-solver and a leader. Don’t be afraid to brag(but don’t be diar­rhea of the mouth). Appro­pri­ate brag­ging will sure­ly help you. 

Don’t: There’s no way you can go to a job inter­view and say, “I’m awe­some! You should hire me!”

Employ­ers are sick of hear­ing job appli­cants say­ing fool­ish things. The prob­lem is that brag­ging does­n’t work. It’s not con­vinc­ing and sends the wrong mes­sage. Brag­ging about your­self does­n’t con­vey con­fi­dence; it con­veys anx­i­ety. Only ner­vous peo­ple stoop to beg oth­er peo­ple to think they are smart, accom­plished or clever. 

Things To Do Before Job Interview: 

  1. Fix your Ques­tions 
  2. Exer­cise your Inter­view Tech­niques
  3. Plan your Jour­ney
  4. Stay Focused
  5. Sleep Well
  6. Stay Calm and Con­fi­dent
  7. Eat a Healthy Breakfast/Lunch
  8. Don’t For­get Print­outs
  9. Dress Suit­ably

It does­n’t mat­ter what indus­try you’re in or what stage of your career you’re at. The job inter­view is nerve-rack­ing every sin­gle time. The secret to keep­ing your anx­i­ety at bay is craft­ing “tell me about your­self answer” in advance. If you have to stay ahead of the pack, then you should know the answers to the ques­tions giv­en below– 

  1. What does this par­tic­u­lar job search include?
  2. Is there a lot of lead­er­ship and author­i­ty involved? 
  3. Talk about your expe­ri­ences, how you have dealt with things that you haven’t thought about (No mat­ter how small the prob­lem was) 
  4. Does the job involve a lot of trav­el­ing or a high lev­el of tech­ni­cal skills? 
  5. You need to “tai­lor” your answer for, “tell me about your­self,” in a nut­shell. 
  6. What you can bring to the table?
  7. What makes you work for the com­pa­ny you’re inter­view­ing at?
  8. Why is this job is a good fit?

Your answer to the ques­tion “tell me about your­self” isn’t the only thing that mat­ters. What mat­ters, even more, is your con­fi­dence, pas­sion, tone, and deliv­ery. If you get on well with an employ­er, try not to shoot from the hip next time.

The Bottom Line: 

Remem­ber that a job inter­view is an oppor­tu­ni­ty to sell your­self to a prospec­tive employ­er. Be sure to slip in the right catch­words to give you the best chance pos­si­ble of secur­ing your dream job. Your body lan­guage always casts you who you are. Sit­ting in a pos­ture of con­fi­dence even when you don’t feel con­fi­dent can boost your chances of suc­cess. 

“You are the only per­son on earth who can use your abil­i­ty”~ Zig Zigler

All the best!

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How To Answer "Tell Me About Yourself" | Dos & Don'ts
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How To Answer “Tell Me About Your­self” | Dos & Don’ts
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Is it that time of the year when you should be ready for job inter­view ques­tions? But don’t know how to answer “Tell me about your­self”? Before going for an inter­view, remem­ber some “Dos & Don’ts”. Gen­er­al­ly, inter­view­ers are seek­ing to hire those can­di­dates who can be the best fit for the cul­ture of the com­pa­ny. 
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Anshi Agarwal is a Computer Science Engineer. She is specialized in Digital Marketing. She loves to do research & write content that is focused on Career, as well as, Job Search.