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How to answer the Job Interview Question: Tell us about yourself?

Updated on April 25, 2013

Job Interview Question and Answer - Tell Us about Yourself

This is another important job interview question, in fact it is the most important job interview question because it usually is the start of most interview sessions and it tells the employer so many things about you that are relevant to the job. Whether you are silly, proud, innovative, organized, dutiful and so on or not.

What does tell us about yourself really mean?

Don’t get me wrong answering this question does not mean you should tell your employer everything about yourself including your private dealings, your sexuality and your political views (your prospective employers don’t care about those). Hardly any of that, instead it means tell us everything about yourself that is relevant to the job. For instance, your academic qualification is relevant to the job, your bio data (name, age and state of Origin/nationality), hobbies, career objectives, work history and career achievements are all relevant to the job therefore these are the only things you should talk about when you are asked this question.

How to answer the Job interview question – Tell us about Yourself

Let’s take a good look at how to answer this question. Let’s assume you are asked this question for a post in a bank may be a banking officer, your answer could start like this “I am James Milk, a 28 year old native of Arizona, I (career Objectives) am eager to work in a bank that continually invests in the career development of its staff and encourages healthy rivalry, merit and efficiency. I hold a bachelors degree from University of Arizona in banking and finance (academic qualification), and a post graduate diploma in risk management (professional qualification) from the University of California in Los Angeles. I have worked with wonder bank inc in Ontario Canada as an Intern between August 2009 and March 2010 and as a junior banking officer at HSBC in New Jersey from April 2011 till date (work history). During my stay at Wonder bank, I was able to device a creative solution for handling customer enquiries by the customer service unit that saved the company valuable time and made the customers happy. That achievement made me the staff of the month for September 2010. Now other branches have adopted the same model (here he has talked about his job relevant achievements). I love to read, do research and meet people with new perspectives to life (hobbies).

This is a very good answer to this question and should create a good impression in the mind of the interviewer. At this point the interviewer is beginning to see James Milk as a creative, result oriented, organized and very confident person. His first answer to this question already puts him in such a favourable position that answering all other questions accurately would make him land the job provided none of his competitors can offer better answers than he already has.

Wrong answers to give to tell us about yourself

Like I said earlier most employers don’t care about your private dealings so quit saying things like “I don’t drink, I hate the smell of cigarettes, I don’t womanize and I have travelled with my Dad to Moscow when I was 6”. Don’t come and narrate your life history either, the question just requires a simple, direct answer that shouldn’t take more than 2 minutes or 3 minutes at most.

Some job seekers may awkwardly ask “what do you want me to tell you about myself?” while this may not seem out of place, you are telling your employer that you may not be experienced enough to manage yourself, they expect you to know without anyone telling you. So just focus on the tips already given and you will be fine answering this question and hopefully if you continue answering others as correctly as possible then you should land the job all other things being equal.

Final Tips on how to answer tell us about yourself

Go straight to the point.

Be as brief as possible, try and highlight the key points and nothing more. Try and answer all the questions within 2 or 3 minutes.

Be confident.

Be relaxed as you speak, don’t feel intimidated or frightened by anyone including the interviewers as you speak.

If you can do this and hold your own, then you will be fine. Good luck.


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    • profile image

      Chamila Rajapakshe 

      6 years ago

      I got point from this.

      This is very helpful for the new interviewee.

      Thanx a lot.


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