Tell Me About Yourself: How to Respond in a Job Interview?

The first encounter with the recruiter is crucial to increasing or decreasing your chances of winning the job offer. What you say and how you say it will determine your future in the selection process. Especially when the interviewer tells you, “Tell me about yourself.”

Interviews are won or lost in the first 20 seconds, in the first 20 words, and in the first 20 gestures. For that reason, before entering the job interview it is very important that you feed your security and confidence. Because a bad answer could close the doors, even if your profile is the best.

Find out the right way to respond to “tell me about yourself” in a job interview to impact recruiters.

Why do recruiters repeat the talk to me about you when interviewing?

Because they want to have an overall picture of you in a few minutes, they want to know how confident you are of your abilities and abilities, they want you to sell them your profile.

You should not see this as an obstacle in the selection process. On the contrary, it is an opportunity to make an excellent first impression.

At this point, maybe the interviewer has already read your resume, your profile, your work experience, your skills, and even your social networks… However, it is testing you; He wants to know how you communicate.

Here are other reasons that lead interviewers to ask you to talk about yourself:

  • They want to know your qualities.
  • They want to know if you fit with the company’s values.
  • They want to corroborate the information in the resume.
  • They want to know how you describe yourself as a person and as a professional.
  • They want to test your confidence and security.
  • They want to filter the selection process to keep the best candidates.

If you see this question as a time to stand out, you could keep the position.

Where to start?

There are other phrases that selectors might use to ask you to tell them about yourself. Some examples would be:

  • I really liked your resume. Could you tell me more about yourself?
  • How would you describe yourself?
  • How has your professional career been going?

With this introduction, you already know that the interview is at a decisive point. What you answer (and how you answer it) will influence the direction it will take.

That’s why it’s important that you know how to answer this important question. Those first words are crucial to attracting (or scaring away) the interviewer’s attention.

Check out these courses of action you can consider:

  • Mention your professional vision.
  • Mention your motivations.
  • It tells a story (why you studied your career, why you work in the sector…).
  • Introduce yourself (say who you are, what you do, and why you do it).
  • Explain how you are sitting in front of the interviewer today (your track record).
  • Rely on your professional summary, but do not repeat it as it is on the CV.

Omit very personal data, focus on the professional field, your training, the ability you have to face responsibilities, etc.

What should I mention?

When the interviewer tells you “talk to me about yourself” do not be paralyzed, and do not show nerves, lack confidence, or insecurity. Remember that communication skills are strengths for any job and, therefore, for any company.

So what are those topics you can bring up in the job interview? Here are some examples:

  • Your work experience.
  • Your knowledge.
  • Your current job (not the company you work for, but the role you play).
  • Your professional (and complementary, such as languages or other courses) training.
  • Your professional motivation.
  • Your vision within the sector (how you project yourself in 10 years).
  • Your connection to the vacancy (which you could add to the team).

An impact answer will convince the interviewer that you are the perfect candidate for the job and help you move on to the next stages.

Tips for responding assertively

This part of the interview should be used to your advantage. The recruiter is giving you the opportunity to be the one to highlight your strengths. So don’t underestimate your capabilities. Take into account these tips to give a good answer:

  • Prepare your script in advance. Before going to the interview, take the time to rehearse the answer based on the image you want to convey and the impression you want to make on the selectors.
  • Adjust your response to the position and the company. The recruiter wants you to convince him why you are the ideal candidate for the job. Your answer should fit both the position and the company.
  • Be short and concise. A short, forceful, relevant, and understandable answer will be more than enough for the interviewer to form a global picture of you.
  • Highlight the strengths of your profile. Keep a positive attitude at all times. It’s about highlighting your strengths, not lamenting your weaknesses.
  • Use honesty as a weapon. Don’t lie, the recruiter will discover you and it could be the end of an interview you missed so much. If you don’t have a career path or if you’ve just graduated, you don’t have to hide it.

The human resources area, in interviews, evaluates both your answers and your gestures. Your personality should show how you would perform in the job if you got it.

Possible answers

There are several ways to answer this question, it will always vary depending on the approach you want to give to the speech and, of course if the selector adds additional information. There is no single correct answer to this question or formula; However, these alternative answers could be adapted to your job interview:

Get straight to the point

It depends on the pace of the interview, when the coach asks you to talk about yourself you could get straight to the point. For example:

I have been an architect for 6 years and I specialize in the commercial building. Since I started in architecture I was interested in the construction of functional spaces for companies. My purpose is the creation of cozy and attractive work areas where a worker feels comfortable to the point of wanting to arrive early until Mondays.This is what I want to achieve with the commercial building projects of this construction company: to create comfortable spaces that allow the company to enhance the productivity of its staff and, in turn, transmit a positive image to its customers.

Start with a story

It’s a good way to break the ice and move the recruiter into the context you want. Like the beginnings of your professional career, your vision in the sector, learning… For example:

Who knew a movie would bring me here? When I met a part of the advertising world, on a movie afternoon, I discovered that I wanted to study Advertising.

I have just completed my degree in this wonderful profession, and for me, it would be an honor to enter the labor market with this agency. Creating advertising campaigns capable of penetrating the mind of the target consumer is what keeps me awake day and night.

I have a master’s degree in neurology, through which I have been able to understand how the human mind works and how, through Advertising, we can connect with the client. It is this feeling that has brought me here. I want to create unique campaigns that the competition doesn’t expect and whose conversion rate exceeds expectations.

Mention how you have evolved professionally

The person you were when you started your career is not the same person who is in the interview today. Let the recruiter know how your knowledge, experiences, skills, and accomplishments have changed… Let it be noted that your goal is to evolve.

For example:

I started as a kitchen assistant with one purpose in mind: to learn from the best to become one of the best. I have made sure that this is the case. Throughout my career, I have lived rewarding experiences. From mistakes to achievements. It is precisely this that has made me the professional who is here today taking a big step: opting for the job of head chef, fulfilling one of my great desires.

The other candidates may not know how to answer this question. It’s your time to stand out as a strong candidate to win the position.



How to prepare for this phrase

Improvisation does not always deliver the desired results, much less in a job interview. If you don’t want the recruiter to take you by surprise, be prepared before you go to the appointment. You have advanced in the process as to leave it to chance.

Preparing to answer all questions positively will make a big difference in the outcome in the following stages.

These tips will help you successfully answer all questions:

  • Meet the company. Its values, philosophy, products, services… You have to know which company you want to enter.
  • Rehearse the answer. Stand in front of the mirror and imagine yourself in front of the coach just at the moment he says “tell me about yourself”. Mention your career, your training, languages, your skills… Practice answering the question, make a video, and then analyze it to assess even your body language.
  • Visualize yourself inside the position. This will give you more confidence and increase your motivation to respond favorably to your presentation.

For many candidates, imagining themselves in the “tell me about yourself” part of a job interview is a moment of terror and paralysis because they do not know how to respond. In your case it may be different, this is an opportunity to take advantage.

What you shouldn’t say

Sincerity is well valued, but with moderation. There is information that is not relevant to either the position or the recruiter. This could hurt you as a candidate.

Some topics you shouldn’t mention:

  • Personal Information. Avoid commenting on data about your home, family… Unless it serves to reinforce your qualities and skills in relation to work.
  • Negative details of your previous work. No company wants to work with someone who speaks ill of their previous jobs.
  • “I don’t know.” Not even a good resume will move you forward if you utter this phrase.
  • Other offers. Don’t try to put pressure on the interviewer by telling them that you have other projects waiting for your answer. This could work against you.

Answering the question tell me about yourself doesn’t have to be a challenge

The best way to respond to recruiters’ needs in a single conversation is by mentioning relevant facts about your experience and training. There are many aspects that are best discarded in your speech.

Remember that the main idea is to score points with your answer. So avoid saying the characteristics of your previous jobs or commenting only on the functions you had. Turn the question around and focus it, in the end, on your outstanding achievements.

Don’t try to cover too much. Few people know how to correctly answer the “tell me about yourself” in an interview because they believe that they should make a summary of their life and it is not like that. Recruiters want professional, not personal, information.

As you understand it you will see that it is not a challenge, but the moment that can lead you to make a big difference with respect to the rest of the candidates.

To finish

Let’s recap:

  • Don’t show fear, distrust, or insecurity. Stand firm with the interviewer and respond concisely when he or she says, “Tell me about yourself.”
  • The first words are important. You can first break the ice by telling a short story as long as it has a connection to your career or position.
  • Don’t repeat exactly what’s on your CV.
  • Don’t mention information or topics outside of employment.

When looking for a job and going to a job interview, be prepared. This increases your chances of succeeding in the selection process, dispelling doubts, highlighting your strengths, and, in the best case, getting the desired “you are hired”.

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