9 Essential Things to Include in Your "Tell Me About Yourself" Interview Answer (2024)

To help you ace the "Tell me about yourself" question in your next interview, we've gathered nine expert tips from Career Coaches and Counselors. From learning how to use storytelling and practice your answer to differentiating yourself from other candidates, these insights will guide you to make a memorable first impression.

  • Use Storytelling and Practice Your Answer
  • Follow a Structured Five-Step Approach
  • Align Your Personal Journey With the Company's Needs
  • Highlight Relevant Strengths and Experience
  • Share Professional Stories and Relevant Anecdotes
  • Exercise Research-Based Empathy in Your Response
  • Provide a Brief Highlight-Summary of Your Experience
  • Divide Your Answer into Three Parts
  • Differentiate Yourself From Other Applicants

Use Storytelling and Practice Your Answer

"Tell Me About Yourself" is a longer version of the 30-second elevator pitch, with a maximum of two minutes. Inject storytelling and consider who, what, why, where, when, and how in your answer.

Discuss your present job/title/student status/recent graduation and major/degree. Talk about what you are doing—internship, working your way through school. Discuss what you have done and why you are interested in the job and organization, including the skills, experience, accomplishments, and passion you possess that match their needs and requirements and align with the company’s organizational values, goals, and industry. Conclude with why you are interested and examples of how you would be a great fit.

Test your answers with a friend, family member, or counselor, and use a timer—it takes practice! In my experience, I have seen experienced executives go on and on, so be concise and keep it to 2 minutes!

Salvatore Tofano, Career Counselor, Coach, and Career Strategist, Pace University

Follow a Structured Five-Step Approach

Don't assume you can improvise the answer. Instead, structure your reply in five steps:

  • Keep it professional. I know the question itself might mislead you to go more personally in your reply, but keep it related to your career.
  • Start with the present. Summarize your current job title and one recent achievement relevant to the job you are applying for. It's even better if you can mention numbers and percentages.
  • ​​​​​​​Move to the past. Highlight your previous work experience related to the job, powerful examples, and situations aligned with the job description requirements.
  • End by talking about the future. Make it clear why you are choosing to apply for this company now and how your career path aligns with that. The clearer this alignment, the better.
  • Keep it short. Aim to answer this question in two minutes maximum. It will probably be the first interview question, so there's no need to share everything about your career with only one answer.

Juliana Rabbi, Career Coach for Remote Jobs, Juliana Rabbi

Align Personal Journey with Company's Needs

In my experience, the key to answering "Tell me about yourself" effectively lies in your storytelling. My best advice is to share a narrative that aligns with your personal journey and the core values and needs of the company.

It's about adapting your experiences by connecting the dots between your unique story and the specific role so that ‌it’s clear your unique path has naturally led you to this opportunity. This approach will make you more memorable to employers and help you be more connected and engaged in the roles you're applying for.

Bayu Prihandito, Certified Psychology Expert, Life Coach, and Founder, Life Architekture

Highlight Relevant Strengths and Experience

It's a trick question. What they are really saying is, "Tell me, in less than two minutes, how your experience, interests, and expertise would be an asset to our organization and this position."

Rather than walking them through the resume, a candidate should start by saying, "I'd like to share with you the most relevant and critical strengths and experiences that best highlight what I could immediately contribute to your company."

After that introduction, the candidate needs to succinctly explain four to five assets that are aligned with the position description. Then, provide a strong closing statement like, "This underscores why I'd be an immediate value in this position to your company."

Denise Fowler, Founder and Career Coach, Career Happiness Coaching

Share a Professional Story and Relevant Anecdotes

In an interview, you want to stick to telling your professional story along with some fun anecdotes about yourself.

You could say something like, "I am a dog mom and love to hike. Every job I have worked since I started working has included some element of customer service. In each of my jobs, I offered a friendly attitude, empathy, and kindness to all of my customers and clients."

You could also add specifics from the job description for the job you are applying to that relate to your experience.

Amanda Meuleners, Career Counselor, Avivo

Exercise Research-Based Empathy in Your Response

This is a very tricky answer for most job seekers because they don't know how much detail to share from their personal life and professional background. When considering how to respond throughout the job search process, always exercise research-based empathy.

Try to put yourself in the interviewer's place and imagine what they want to know to make the decision they're trying to make. With the simple question of "Tell me about yourself", they're looking for a broad overview of your career and its relevance to the job.

I suggest starting with your current position and then going back to your college degree(s) and listing highlights until you get to the present. End with why you're now excited and qualified to apply for the job.

Linda Evans, Career Coach, Launched By Linda

Provide a Brief Highlight-Summary of Your Experience

The best way to answer "Tell me about yourself" is with a brief highlight-summary of your experience, your education, the value you bring to an employer, and the reason you're looking forward to learning more about this next job and the opportunity to work with them.

Use numbers to quantify how many years of experience you have, or the percentage of growth you created for your previous employer. Know that this is not the time to give them a lengthy laundry list of all that you've done, but to focus on your best qualifications for this job.

When you answer "Tell me about yourself," that's your opportunity to draw them in and intrigue them to want to find out more about you throughout the rest of the interview. Last, always know that your answer to this question is never about your personal life; it's always about who you are as a professional.

Kim O'Neill, Authentic Confidence and Interview Coach, Kim O'Neill Coaching

Divide Your Answer into Three Parts

The best way to answer "Tell Me About Yourself" is by dividing the question into three parts:

  • What you've done in the past.
  • What you've done recently.
  • What you're looking to do in the future.

The third part is the most important. All too often, job seekers will give a synopsis of their work experience and end with "—so yeah."The key to a successful interview is shifting the interview from being an interrogation to a conversation.To do this, you should always end your answer with a question, and this format lets you do that.So, as you end your answer, throw it back to your interviewer. For example, you can end with, "—so now I'm really looking to grow into a leadership position. Do you have a strong culture here of fostering leadership?"

Bogdan Zlatkov, Lead Instructor for HR and Hiring, Growth Hack Your Career

Differentiate Yourself from Other Applicants

A common mistake students and recent graduates make when interviewing is simply answering the questions presented to them by prospective employers. While it's important to answer your interviewers' questions, you also want to use the conversation as an opportunity to differentiate yourself from other applicants.

You can do this from the very beginning when asked, “Can you tell me about yourself?” Rather than simply sharing your major and extracurricular activities, highlight what sets you apart from other candidates.

This might be the fact that you worked in a research lab, studied abroad for a semester, or can speak multiple languages. Importantly, you want to connect the dots between what you share and the job posting language, so it's as easy as possible for the recruiter or hiring manager to envision you succeeding in the role.

Dr. Kyle Elliott, Founder and Tech Career Coach, CaffeinatedKyle.com

The Eller graduate experience comes in many forms, including four MBA programs, 12 specialized master’s degrees, and many more options for concentrations, specializations, dual degrees, and certificates.

9 Essential Things to Include in Your "Tell Me About Yourself" Interview Answer (2024)


9 Essential Things to Include in Your "Tell Me About Yourself" Interview Answer? ›

Provide a Brief Highlight-Summary of Your Experience

The best way to answer "Tell me about yourself" is with a brief highlight-summary of your experience, your education, the value you bring to an employer, and the reason you're looking forward to learning more about this next job and the opportunity to work with them.

What is the best answer for "Tell me about yourself"? ›

Provide a Brief Highlight-Summary of Your Experience

The best way to answer "Tell me about yourself" is with a brief highlight-summary of your experience, your education, the value you bring to an employer, and the reason you're looking forward to learning more about this next job and the opportunity to work with them.

What is the best answer for "Tell me about yourself without experience"? ›

Things You Should Know. Mention your academics, like what you're studying, what extracurriculars or student organizations you're a part of, and what relevant schoolwork you've completed. Highlight volunteer experiences to show employers that you follow through on commitments and are able to communicate well with others ...

How to impress the interviewer in Tell Me About Yourself? ›

How to Give The Best Answers to 'Tell Me About Yourself'
  1. Be honest.
  2. Tell a story.
  3. Weave in personal details.
  4. Describe what motivates you.
  5. Explain what types of challenges excite you.
  6. Highlight your most relevant skills.
  7. Spell out why you want to work at the company you're interviewing at.
Aug 24, 2022

How to answer "Do you want to tell us anything else about yourself?"? ›

How to answer, "Is there anything else we should know about you?"
  1. Summarize your strengths and accomplishments. ...
  2. Reiterate your interest in the position. ...
  3. Clarify your previous answers. ...
  4. Show examples of your work. ...
  5. End with a follow-up question.
Aug 10, 2023

Could you kindly tell us something about yourself? ›

A: The best answer for "Tell me about yourself" is to briefly talk about your background, experience, and skills relevant to the job. Start with a quick introduction, mention your education, highlight any work experience, and discuss key skills that make you a good fit for the position.

How do I answer why should I hire you? ›

A: When answering, focus on your relevant skills, experience, and achievements that make you the best fit for the role.You should hire me because I am a hard worker who wants to help your company succeed. I have the skills and experience needed for the job, and I am eager to learn and grow with your team .

How do you say tell me about yourself without saying it? ›

“Tell me about yourself” is probably better phrased as, “Tell me what brought you to apply for this job, and some of the main qualifications that make you stand out. And maybe throw in something that helps showcase your personality.”

What is a good answer for what is your weakness? ›

Example: “My greatest weakness is that I sometimes have a hard time letting go of a project. I'm the biggest critic of my work. I can always find something that needs to be improved or changed. To help myself improve in this area, I give myself deadlines for revisions.

How to introduce yourself and tell about yourself in an interview? ›

When introducing yourself to a recruiter, be polite and confident. Start with a greeting, state your name, and briefly mention your current job title or area of expertise. Highlight your most relevant experience and skills that match the job requirements. Mention any significant achievements or certifications.

How to answer tell me about yourself in a fun way? ›

You could talk about:
  1. An interesting hobby.
  2. A less common instrument you play.
  3. A weird sport you practice.
  4. An interesting language you're learning.
  5. Your biggest achievement at work or outside of work.
  6. A hidden talent.
  7. A weird job you had.
  8. Your biggest fear and a funny time you faced it.
Oct 30, 2023

How can you describe yourself professionally? ›

I am a hard-working and driven individual who isn't afraid to face a challenge. I'm passionate about my work and I know how to get the job done. I would describe myself as an open and honest person who doesn't believe in misleading other people and tries to be fair in everything I do.

What is the best answer for "tell me yourself"? ›

Here's how to best answer “tell me about yourself”:

Introduce yourself, tell them who you are and what you do. Then, talk about your past work experience, key responsibilities, and skills. Mention your relevant achievements. Finally, explain how your strengths can contribute to the company.

What makes you unique? ›

To answer the question of what makes you unique, start by identifying your strengths and attributes that differentiate you from others. Consider your skills, experiences, and personal qualities that make you stand out. Are you particularly creative? Do you have strong problem-solving abilities?

What is your strength and weakness? ›

For strengths, discuss how they can help you excel at the job. For example, if you're a motivated self-starter, focus on how that relates to the role you're applying for and how you believe this strength can benefit the company. For weaknesses, avoid anything that doesn't directly impact your professional performance.

How do I introduce myself in an interview? ›

To introduce yourself professionally in an interview, start with a polite greeting, state your full name, mention your educational background and relevant work experience, highlight key skills and strengths, briefly share your career objective, and express gratitude for the opportunity.

How can I introduce myself? ›

My name's [name]. I completed my [qualifying course or training] in [year] and have [x] years of experience working as [relevant position]. While working for [previous company's name], I developed [soft and hard skills], which I think will apply well to this role.

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