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Tell me about yourself: Interview Best Answers + Samples

Tell me about yourself: Interview Best Answers

As a job seeker, you know that answering the question “Tell me about yourself” can make or break an interview. 

It’s one of the most common interview questions, and it’s often the first question asked. 

Your answer to this question sets the tone for the rest of the interview, and it can determine whether or not you get the job. 

Here, I’ll share my tips for how to answer the interview question “Tell me about yourself” and make a lasting impression.


Understanding the question “Tell me about yourself”

Before we dive into how to answer the question, let’s take a step back and understand why interviewers ask this question. 

The purpose of this question is to give the interviewer an overview of your background, experience, and qualifications. It’s a way for them to assess whether or not you’re a good fit for the job.

When answering this question, keep in mind that the interviewer is not looking for a chronological retelling of your life story. 

Instead, they want to hear about your professional background and how it relates to the job you’re applying for. 

They want to know why you’re the best candidate for the job.

How to answer the question “Tell me about yourself”

Now that you understand the purpose of the question, let’s dive into the steps for how to answer it.

Start with a brief introduction

When you’re asked the question “Tell me about yourself,” start with a brief introduction. 

This should be a sentence or two about who you are and what you do. 

For example, “My name is John, and I’m a marketing professional with 5 years of experience.”

Highlight your relevant experience

Next, highlight your relevant experience. This is where you talk about your professional background and the experience you have that makes you qualified for the job. 

Keep in mind that you don’t need to go into great detail about every job you’ve had. Instead, focus on the experience that’s most relevant to the job you’re applying for.

For example, if you’re applying for a marketing job, talk about your experience in marketing. 

Highlight your accomplishments and the results you’ve achieved. This is also a good time to mention any certifications or awards you’ve received.

Discuss your skills and achievements

After you’ve talked about your experience, discuss your skills and achievements. 

This is where you highlight your strengths and what sets you apart from other candidates. 

Talk about the skills you have that are most relevant to the job, and provide examples of how you’ve used those skills to achieve success in your career.

Connect your experience and skills to the job you’re applying for

Now that you’ve talked about your experience and skills, it’s time to connect them to the job you’re applying for. 

This is where you show the interviewer why you’re the best candidate for the job. 

Talk about how your experience and skills make you uniquely qualified for the position, and why you’re excited about the opportunity to work for the company.

End with a statement that demonstrates your interest in the job

Finally, end your answer with a statement that demonstrates your interest in the job. 

This is where you show the interviewer that you’re passionate about the position and eager to contribute to the company’s success. 

For example, you could say something like, “I’m excited about this opportunity, and I’m looking forward to using my skills and experience to help the company achieve its goals.”


Tips for a successful answer to the question “Tell me about yourself”

Now that you know the steps for how to answer the question “Tell me about yourself,” let’s go over some tips to help you give a successful answer.

Keep your answer concise

When answering this question, it’s important to keep your answer concise. 

You don’t want to ramble on for too long, as this can make you appear unfocused or unprepared. 

Aim to keep your answer to no more than two or three minutes.

Practice your answer beforehand

To ensure you give a polished and confident answer, practice your response beforehand. 

This will help you to articulate your thoughts clearly and avoid any awkward pauses or stumbling over your words during the interview.

Use keywords and phrases relevant to the job

Incorporating keywords and phrases that are relevant to the job can help you to stand out and show that you’re knowledgeable about the position. 

Take a look at the job description and company website to identify any key skills or qualities that they’re looking for, and try to weave them into your response.


Be positive and enthusiastic

Employers are looking for candidates who are positive, enthusiastic, and passionate about the job. 

Show your enthusiasm by speaking with energy and using positive language. 

This can help to create a positive first impression and set the tone for a successful interview.

Avoid discussing personal information

When answering the question “Tell me about yourself,” it’s important to keep the focus on your professional experience and qualifications. 

Avoid discussing personal information such as your family, hobbies, or interests, as this can distract from your professional accomplishments and make you appear unprofessional.

Examples of “Tell me about yourself” answers

Here are some examples of “Tell me about yourself” answers:

Example 1: Entry-level job seeker with little experience

“I’m a recent college graduate with a degree in marketing. While I don’t have a lot of experience in the field, I’ve completed several internships where I’ve gained hands-on experience in digital marketing, content creation, and social media management. I’m passionate about using my creativity and analytical skills to help companies achieve their marketing goals, and I’m excited to start my career in this field.”

Example 2: Experienced professional with a varied background

“I have over a decade of experience in the tech industry, having worked in roles ranging from software engineer to product manager. Most recently, I’ve been leading a team of developers at a startup focused on developing innovative solutions for the healthcare industry. Throughout my career, I’ve developed strong project management and leadership skills, and I thrive in fast-paced, collaborative environments. I’m excited to explore new opportunities where I can continue to use my skills to make an impact.”

Example 3: Recent graduate with relevant internship experience

“I recently graduated from XYZ University with a degree in accounting. During my time at school, I completed two internships at accounting firms where I gained valuable experience in tax preparation, financial statement analysis, and client communication. I’m a detail-oriented and analytical person who enjoys working with numbers, and I’m excited to start my career in this field. I’m also working towards obtaining my CPA license and am eager to continue learning and growing in my career.”


Final Thoughts

By following the tips and examples provided in this article, you can confidently deliver a response that showcases your professional accomplishments and aligns with the job requirements. 

So, if you’re preparing for an upcoming interview, invest the time and effort needed to prepare and practice your response. 

Remember to keep your answer concise, and demonstrate enthusiasm for the job. 

The more you practice, the more confident and polished your answer will become. 

Good luck!


Here are some frequently asked questions about answering the interview question “Tell me about yourself”:

What is the best way to answer the “Tell me about yourself” question?

The best way to answer this question is to provide a concise overview of your professional background, highlighting your relevant skills and experiences that align with the job requirements. You should also be sure to demonstrate your enthusiasm for the role and company.

How long should my answer be?

Your answer should be no longer than 2-3 minutes or about 3-5 sentences. It’s important to keep your response concise and focused, as you don’t want to overwhelm the interviewer with unnecessary details.

Should I include personal information in my response?

It’s generally not recommended to include personal information in your response, as this question is focused on your professional background and qualifications. Instead, focus on providing relevant information about your education, work experience, and career goals.

Can I use the same answer for every interview?

While you can certainly use the same overall structure for your response, it’s important to tailor your answer to each specific job and company. Be sure to research the company and job requirements beforehand, and highlight the skills and experiences that are most relevant to the position.

What if I don’t have a lot of work experience?

If you’re a recent graduate or have limited work experience, focus on highlighting your relevant education, internships, and any volunteer or extracurricular activities that demonstrate your skills and abilities. You can also discuss your career goals and how this job fits into your long-term plans.