How to Answer the Big “Tell Me About Yourself” Question

We have all heard this question. It makes your heart skip a beat because you had everything planned out with your response…but what if you spill a little too much? If you struggle with what topics to juggle when this question comes, we are here to help! Here are the do’s and don’ts of how to answer.

The Do’s

Start with The Present

Talk about what you do currently because this is what they want to know. Bring up any big accomplishments you have had from your current work that would impress them. Avoid going on about everything you can do and only mention the important skills and responsibilities that are relevant to the position.

Then with the Past

Briefly explain what made you interested in this type of work and why this passion exists. Steer away from listing every working experience you have done and only talk about the ones they would want to hear. This is also a chance to bring up big accomplishments from the past too.

Move onto the Future

End your response by leaving a vision of how you picture your career in the long run. Make sure the role you are interviewing for is in that vision as well as the employer. Even if this is not your real dream job, you want to sell yourself and look confident and who knows this job just might be there for the long run!

The Don’ts

Bashing Your Current Employer

If you hate your current job, do not complain about it. You want to make a good first impression and you will not get that by trying to make your current job look bad. The new employer is not interested in hearing the details and just want to know what you can offer to them. If they ask why you are leaving your current job, you can mention that you are seeking other career opportunities and you are ready to grow. Simple as that.

Leave High School/College Clubs Out

Unless you were the founder or a president of a finance or IT club in your school (or any other career-building club), leave out the specifics of your college involvement. This also goes for sports—being involved in football for all four years of school and talking about how much you loved it will not help you land this job. In most cases, the employer will not find this detail relevant.

Your Resume Is Not Your Script

The employer already has your resume from when you applied, so there is no reason to go through it from top to bottom. Review your resume before the interview and only remember to bring up the big details like life accomplishments and amazing projects you were handling. Everything else on your resume is just fluff for this question.

Avoid Rambling

This is what happens commonly when we are nervous. We feel like we need to share everything in fear of missing…well, anything. Just relax before the interview begins and tell yourself to stay focused. Try to avoid going off on a tangent by answering this question with a friend or family member first. In the end, have them share with you what they found were unnecessary details and take their feedback.

Sharing a little about yourself sounds scary, but it should not be. Keep your response clean and stay focused. Study your responses and once the moment comes, you have it all down and are ready. Our team of recruiters helps our candidates prepare for these types of questions all the time. Feel free to reach out to our team for personalized advice at [email protected].