How to answer "Tell me about yourself" [in 2022] (2023)

All interviews start with the same question:

Talk about you

The question looks simple on paper, sure. After all, we're talking about ourselvesthe whole time.

But if you think about it, it's really an open question.

Do you start with your background? Do you analyze everything on your resume? Or do you present yourself more as a person than as a professional?

Concerned and unsure how to respond?

Don't worry, you're not the only one!

Most people struggle with this question.

Here's some good news: there's a really easy way to answer that dreaded interview question.

Would you like to learn how?

Read on to find out:

  • Why do interviewers ask this question?
  • Here's how to answer "Tell me about yourself" with a simple formula
  • 4 important tips to keep in mind when answering
  • 3 sample answers for experienced professionals, students and prospective students

Let's take it step by step

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

In order to better answer the question, you must first understandwhythey ask first.

Top:The interviewer is not looking for your life story or what you had for dinner last night.

Rather, the question is a way for them to step into the actual interview and get a general picture of who you are.

It serves as an introduction and helps the interviewer decide what to ask next depending on how you answer.

This is your chance to make a lasting first impression.

Give a good answer and the interviewer will enthusiastically bombard you with more questions.

However, if you get it wrong, you will immediately be called an “OK candidate”.

So what is a "good answer"?

Well, it's actually pretty simple. A good answer should be

under fairs-Are you applying for an accounting job? The recruiter doesn't care about your real estate experience. Your answer must be tailored to the position you are applying for.

Based on experiences and successes- Your answer must be very specific. Don't just say, "Well, my name is Mike and I'm a Sales Manager." Your answer should consist ofbackground(What did you study?),major achievements(how you stand out from other candidates) andInterests(Why are you applying for this position?).


structured- Your answer should follow a simple and easy to understand format. We recommend sticking to the tried and tested “past-present-future” formula. That is, structure your answer like this:

  • The past- What is your education and relevant work experience? How did you get to where you are now?
  • The gift- What is your current role? What do you do and what are your most important achievements?
  • The future- what are you going to do next? Why are you interested in the position?

With these tips in mind, here's what a good "tell me about yourself" response would look like:

Correct answer:

"Of course my name is Joe and I'm 27 years old.

For the last 5 years I have worked as a business analyst at companies X and Y.

I have some experience in data analysis with a degree from XY University. However, what really got me into the field was the internship I did at Company Z.

In the course of my career I have found that I have always been good with numbers and data.

For example, when I worked at Company X, I led a project to migrate all operational data to a new data storage system to reduce costs. The new solution was a much better fit for our business and ultimately resulted in savings of up to $200,000 per year.

In the future I hope to expand my experience in different industries. Especially fintech, that's why I'm interested in your company.”

Here's the correct one:

  • The answer is individual. Joe doesn't shy away from the topic, he talks about his background as a business analyst and his past achievements in handling data.
  • The answer is based on experience and success. Joe discusses his work experience as a business analyst and highlights some of his key accomplishments.
  • The answer is structured correctly - past, present, future.

Sounds easy enough, right?


Now that we've covered the basics of the reaction"talk about you"We will cover some important tips that can help you stand out even more.

So let's start.

4 important tips for the answer "Tell me something about yourself"

1) Keep it professional and short

When replying, try to limit it to 1-2 minutes maximum.

No, the recruiter doesn't want to know your entire life story.

They don't care what daycare you went to, how your first internship went, or what you studied in high school.

You want to keep your key selling points relevant to the job.

Pro Tip:If you notice the interviewer getting distracted, take that as a sign that it might be time to stop.

This is NOT how you would answer this interview question...

Wrong answer:

I've always been interested in technology.

But it all probably started when I was a kid and got my first computer at the age of 9.

I've always loved playing with code and learning new things. But it wasn't until high school, where I took my first class on the subject, that I really fell in love with the subject.

Since then I started learning more about it and decided to major in IT at University X where I studied it.

2) Practice, but don't memorize

"Tell me about yourself" is something you will surely hear in almost every job interview.

Then all you have to do is practice your answer a bit!

Grab a friend and do a short mock interview.

However, remember that you shouldn't memorize your answer. Sure, it might seem like the safest option, but if you end up forgetting something in the interview, it could ruin your entire answer.

Instead, have a general idea of ​​what you're going to be talking about, memorize the structure, and just resonate with it for the rest of the interview.

3) Know your audience

Or meet your conversation partner.

It's important to keep in mind who you're talking to.

Is it HR? Chief Executive Officer? The hiring manager? The CTO? CMO? CHAIRMAN?

You must be wondering why is this important?

The fact is that each of these people expects a different answer.

Suppose you are a software developer and are being interviewed by your HR manager. When you start talking over and over about how much you love coding in assembly language, you've pretty much lost her.

You see, the HR manager has no idea about coding or assembly.

They expect a more general answer about you, your background and your reasons for applying to the company.

On the other hand, if you are being interviewed by the CTO or the hiring manager, you can provide as much as you like.

4) Remember W.A.P. (Work, Academic, Personal)

Any good "tell me about yourself" response should consist of the following:

  • Is working- This should make up about 80% of your answer. Concentrate here on your previous experiences and successes.
  • academic- 10-15% of your answer should be related to your academic background (university, academic achievements etc.).
  • people- Finally, the last 5-10% should be about you as a person to keep you relevant to the company.

However, remember that the W.A.P. rule is not immutable.

For example, if you are a student, your entire answer could relate to your academic history and personal interests.

3 Tell me about yourself sample answers

Need inspiration? Here are 3 sample responses to:

  • experienced professionals
  • New grads and college students
  • university entrance

Prepare? Let's start with:

Example answer for an experienced professional:

Of course I would be happy. I've been a technology driven project manager for 8 years.

I graduated from University X, where I made the Dean's List, with a minor in Business Administration and a minor in Computer Science. After that I started as a clerk at company X. There I provided administrative support for cross-departmental communication, helped with appointment management and maintained the digital file.

After that, I worked as a project manager for Company Y, which provided cloud computing solutions for about 6 years. There I personally managed 5+ software project teams and made sure everything ran smoothly in terms of business goals, deadlines, budget and more.

In my free time I enjoy reading about AI, technology and robotics. Since you are all doing 3, I thought I would apply.

Sample answer for grads and college students

Sample answer for new graduates:

My name is Jane Doe, I am 22 years old and recently graduated from X University with a B.A. in international business. There I learned a lot of theory on topics such as corporate communications, international economics, corporate governance and much more. I was also part of student government and maintained a 3.6 GPA.

I have worked hard on my education and now I am ready to put my knowledge into practice.

Although I have no real work experience, I have had a lot of exposure to the business environment. Many of my courses have involved working with real companies to solve real problems.

Now I want to use everything I learned at university and gain practical work experience.

Sample answer for university entrance:

So my name is John and I'm a senior at XYZ School.

This year I've managed to maintain a 3.7 GPA while working on a few different school projects. I have started an "Ernest Hemingway Book Club" which has up to 15 active members so far. And I also started a campus recycling program through which we raised awareness and invited an outside guest speaker to speak on the topic.

I am generally reliable and team oriented as I have never missed a deadline. I also pride myself on my ability to persevere and overcome any challenges as they arise. For example, last year I had some trouble with trigonometry. I realized that I needed to devote more time to the course, so I found a teacher outside of the classroom and scheduled an extra two hours a day for the course. At some point I ended up with a one in the subject.

At University X I plan to study English or Journalism. I love reading and writing so I think both programs will be interesting and relevant to my interests.

Main Conclusions

To recap, here are the top tips for the “Tell me about yourself…” response.

  • Structure your answer sensibly. Stick to the past-present-future format and you're good to go!
  • Keep it relevant and short (1-2 minutes max). Nobody wants to hear your whole life story.
  • Mention all of your major achievements and relevant work experience.

Now that this is just the beginning of the interview, expect them to go ahead and ask a series of other questions.

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