Step by step Guide to answer “Tell me about yourself” in an Interview (with Sample answers)
In this article, I’m going to walk you through the steps and examples of how to answer the “Tell me about yourself” interview question. Before going for an interview you must know how to answer about yourself. If you are a fresher who just came out of college and are looking for a job, appearing for an interview is probably one of the most crucial steps. Tell me about you, is such an open-ended question that an interviewer would ask. it’s so basic, yet so many of us suffer on how to answer it.
Relax, You are not the only one!….
Here, I’ll not only be guiding you with step by step procedure on how to start confidently with your answer but also be sharing some extra tips that you can follow to have the best first impression.
Why does an interviewer ask this question?
Have you ever wondered why the interviewer wants to know about you? Or why does he want to know things that may or may not be related to the job you’re applying for. So, what do they exactly mean by this question?..…..
The reason is simple. The interviewer wants to know you better.
This question acts as an icebreaker to begin the interview. It is the point of starting a conversation with something that makes either of you comfortable.
This question helps them figure out what next question they should be asking you in order to know if you match their job profile. It gives you a wonderful opportunity to express yourself and communicate clearly your potential.
Let’s understand this with a simple example, when you meet a new person, you ask them about how they are doing? or What is happening in your life?…you want to know about them ……the same way the interviewer wants to know about you, so that they can get an idea about your background, your interests and what you’re exactly looking for. They want to check if you’re the right fit for their company or not. This is not only in terms of academics but also social skills, communications, being able to adapt to the environment, etc,.
The answer to this question for each one of you will be different, but the reason for asking it and the basic formula of answering remains the same.
This article is going to teach you:
- Step-wise guide for answering “tell me about yourself” with examples/tips
- Sample answers for “Tell me about yourself question”
- Some extra tips on how to boost your confidence for your first interview if you are appearing for the first time.
Let’s get started…
1. Start off with the right attitude!
Start with a positive attitude. Tell the interviewer about your career. Give them a brief, but be clear.
Telling them how excited you are for the interview and why you are so passionate about the career you are in and how you have reached this level will build strong attention to the interviewer.
Now, this may sound very cheesy to you but trust me telling someone how you feel will only grab their attention towards you.
Practice, before starting with an interview, affirm positive thoughts to yourself. Stay confident and be clear with your words. Feel as if you have already got the position you’re looking for.
According to a social psychologist, Ammy Cuddy, “When we form a first impression of another person it’s not really a single impression. We’re really forming two. We’re judging how warm and trustworthy the person is, and that’s trying to answer the question, “What are this person’s intentions toward me?”
Therefore, while giving an interview, smile often, and show the interviewer that you are excited about being here and you’ve been waiting for this day, it’s like a dream you’ve come this far.
Example: Start with the Greeting. Tell them you feel excited to be here and show that you’re confident and ready to begin the interview.
“Good morning! I’m so happy to be here. It’s like a dream sitting here at this place just like I’d imagined years ago ( be genuine though. If it;’s not what you’ve thought, do not say it!). I’m good. how’re you?… Coming to the actual “TELL ME ABOUT YOURSELF QUESTION”….I have recently graduated from a……. (college name)…taking my minor in economics and humanities. I’m a keen learner of economy, world affairs and business and therefore I took honours in business management and social affairs (add if you’ve done any honors). After graduating from high school, I always wanted to go for…….because I have a passion for………the best thing about this is…..(add whatever you like the most in your field)…and I look forward to learning something new and exciting and give my best in the work I do.
#2. Share your accomplishment stories
Have you received any certificate of the appraisal? Worked on any projects in college? Well…show them.
Tell them about your accomplishments and how they framed a new path for you. Tell the interviewer about your college experiences, and how you have grown as a person. These are some little things you must add when the interviewer asks something about you.
Don’t worry if you have not had a great start to college, but remember, sharing some of the good achievements is going to make a positive impact on the listener and would probably increase the chance of you getting in.
You can even tell them about the things that necessarily have not been a part of your steam, but somehow you feel it as an achievement.
For Example: When the interviewer asks about your experience gained in college-start with the academics, tell them about your favorite extracurricular activities you’re good at, and end with some big major accomplishments.
“I have done my minor in economics and humanities with a 4.3 GPA. Not just academics, I also took part in various extracurricular activities, like dance, play,chess, football, and theater where I received the first position in our final year dance performance and won a silver medal in chess. I have recently finished working as an intern for a business firm at….and now I’m looking for a position as a……..to gain some good experience and learnings as well. “
#3. Tell them what you’re currently up to
Tell them why you are interested in this particular job. Be clear about your future plans, it’s simple. But putting your thoughts and vision in front of the interviewer will give them an idea that you are a visionary person.
Be a realist, do not say something you don’t mean it. Or just to impress the person. Be authentic to yourself and the person you are talking to. The years of experience and the position they are in will let them know if you are telling the truth.
Example: Start by showing what you’ve learned and connect it with your future needs. Share your views on what you are looking for in a new job and why. You must show what you can offer the company being in that particular role.
“Since my school time I have enjoyed economics(or whatever you’re interested in) a lot and that’s how my interest in business and world affairs began. Studying this for almost 4 years has given me a ton of experience and the passion to excel in my career as a ….(the position you are applying for), not only this i also believe I’ll be learning a lot from my colleagues and the system. I’m apt in management skills and working under pressure( add other things in what you’re good at).
#4. Keep your answers around the question only.
Do not give an unnecessarily long story answer that could probably take your interviewer to sleep. You don’t have to bore the interviewer. Remember, time is the key, so keep it short and to the point.
Elaborate your answer only when asked. You can tell a brief about the things you’re telling just in case they need a reference, but do not spend so much time on one thing.
Just in case you wonder, how can I stay on my point and not go out of track?
Try this trick, create a few points in your head about the questions asked. Then make a sentence or two for each of them and that’s how you’re going to answer all the questions. if you feel the need to explain your answer, go for it. Add some more points if you like.
Example: You are telling them about yourself, don’t forget that. When you feel like you’re getting off track and saying things that may not be necessary. Pause. Use the point mentioned in the above paragraph.
For example, you’re an aspiring economist…….“I’ve been working as an intern for…..(company)….I learned skills like analyzing data, tracking the graph, time management, collecting data, research and so many more. (now PAUSE, you do not need to explain each of these. CONDITION: But suppose, you are applying for a job as a data analyst, then you can explain that particular skill further, like, what else have you learned regarding that).
5. Be in the moment!
Last but not the least, this is a very common mistake most people make. They get anxious about the next question the interviewer is going to ask or keep thinking about what would happen next, or what should i say next. This is so overwhelming.
You’re there just for the interview, not for the war. it is not a life-threatening situation. So keep your intellect sharp, your mind conscious, and smile with a vibrant eye.
Tip: Being in the moment while you are answering an interview is probably the most challenging thing to do. It is something we all suffer from, but worry not!
This is so normal. But it needs to be taken care of. For that, you need to take a personal break for about 10 minutes before appearing for an interview. In these 10 minutes, ONLY think positive thoughts now that may or may not be related to your interview but all you’ve to do is create a positive environment.
Sample Answers for “Tell me about yourself” Question.
In the following sample answers, assume you are a Mtech graduate. You have an interview with a software company. These sample answers are a framework to give you an idea on how to answer the “tell about yourself” question in an interview.
It is a basic format for an engineer, you can change the job profile and adjust things as per your requirements.
- Well,….I’m a Mtech graduate from XYZ university. I’ve interned for a company, Infosys, for my final year project. Before that, I’ve also worked on several projects where I learned various new skills by being a part of their new area of incubation AL ML and honing the skills like java, c++, software programming, etc. As I gained experience through internships, projects, and networking, I realized this is something I want to continue as a full-time service and that’s where I got to know about the position as a Software engineer which best fits my future goals.
- Sure! So I’ve always enjoyed Computer-based programming, even going back to high school. This led me to pursue engineering, for example in college, where I was a freshman, I took that opportunity to learn the C++, and Java processes before starting my semester. In addition to computer languages, I learned how to work with a team.
I also took a part-time job as a coder for the company blog, but I raised my hand to work on AI which is where I discovered my interest in AL ML which is the future of technology.
I’ve learned I’m more driven toward innovation, which always keeps me exploring my hands-on computer science, and that’s why I wanted to interview with your firm. This position seems like a great opportunity to advance those skills I just talked about, and continue building my career and challenging myself”
- I’ve been interacting with this industry for over three years, as an intern, part-time as well as volunteering for many projects. I’ve most recently worked as an intern for a tech company, Infosys, where I primarily worked on Computer languages. And now I’m looking to expand my experience by working full-time in a tech company focused on the future and innovation, which is why I’m so interested in joining a company like yours.
Some tips to follow while giving the interview for the first time:
- Be confident: it’s very simple but crucial. Getting nervous during your first interview is normal, but do not let that nervousness put your performance down in any case.
- Tip: Spend some time alone and do self-talk before an interview and see yourself as if you have already accomplished.
- Be authentic: now this is something that people often forget about. Just to make an impression do not say anything you don’t mean it.
- Tip: Be natural. Talk as if you are sharing some really good memories with your friend but be professional.
- Practice: You must have heard that practice is the key to perfectionism. The more you practice the better your answer gets.
- Tip: Go to the restroom and talk to yourself in front of the mirror, observe your tone, and your gesture. See where you need improvement and what to avoid.
To sum it all up, going for an interview could be stressful, especially when you are appearing for the first time. Don’t think too much about what would happen, just go for it!
Keep an update about your niche and practice. Know basic things about you. Jot down the things you are good at and memorize.
Most importantly, do not forget to look confident. You do not necessarily have to feel confident in order to look confident. Apply fake it till you make it a strategy and you’ll do wonders.