How to answer the interview question: “Tell me about yourself”?

Do you know how to answer the age old question: “Tell me about yourself”?

This is what interview confidence looks and feels like. 

Imagine an interview where you can boss the first question, get to a fast start, ready and prepared for anything they throw at you.

You feel good, you look your best self, you're calm, your energy field is vibrant, not fearful and you are feeling CONFIDENT.

This is possible for you.

Do this by preparing for one of the most commonly asked interview questions “Tell me about yourself”.

⁣It is probably one of the most predictable interview questions on the planet and yet, I see so many people 'wing it' stumbling over this question because it's almost too obvious. ⁣

A client said to me recently; “but they have seen my CV which lists my skills and experience. What more can I tell them?⁣⁣”

⁣⁣Here is the secret….⁣⁣

 The truth is that interviewers saw your CV at the shortlisting stage in preparation for the interview, and unfortunately, your CV has probably not been reviewed in detail, since then. 

Let’s breakdown 2 commonly held assumptions:⁣⁣

  • ⁣⁣It is quite possible they have NOT read your CV from start to finish.⁣⁣
  • There will likely be one, maybe two reference points at most, they particularly remembered about your application.⁣⁣

Your CV is like a book cover.

 Sure, you read the synopsis and looked at reviews, this is like keyword scanning and checking out your LinkedIn recommendations. If you have ever been on a tinder date you know full well how different it is to actually meet someone in real life compared to their profile. Your CV and interview is no different. This questions is your opportunity to go from being no one to someone they can make a connection with!⁣⁣ So don't get cocky with this question. Answer it fully and with no assumptions they have read your CV at all. 

This doesn't undermine the power of your CV. It still plays a critical role in your search.

So, HOW do you answer that question: “Tell me about yourself?⁣⁣” This is your opportunity to build upon their first impression of you and set the stage for the rest of the interview!⁣⁣ ⁣

  1. Don’t tell them your life story, but make your answer relevant to what they care about. Let's break this down even further: 
    • Keep your story chronological where possible
    • It's not just the facts it's the passion you want to demonstrate here
    • This is a great opportunity to share you WHY 
  2. Leverage the power of story telling. Stating facts isn't as fun as telling a story. People relate more to story telling and you are more memorable when you take this approach. 
  3. Be proud of your experience. There is no arrogance in sharing your skills, achievements or qualifications, as this is evidence based.⁣
  4. Confidence comes with clarity and passion. Make your answer intentional and clear. NO ONE knows you like you do, so own this story like it’s the best one you will ever tell and like you WANT to tell it!⁣⁣
  5. Practice to the extent that your answer has impact, but not so much that it sounds scripted. ⁣⁣
  6. ⁣⁣Don’t ramble. 2 minutes max should be enough to cover the most relevant and interesting points. ⁣⁣If you’re unsure, practice (don't script) and time yourself!

 ⁣⁣So why is it so important to get this question right?

  1. First impressions are everything! Your first interview answer is an opportunity to get the interview set up to a strong start. If you can answer this question with confidence everything you say after this will be built off these foundations.  
  2. It will help the interviewers understand the story and context behind your experience. 
  3. You will feel more confident and prepared for anything that comes next.
  4. By starting confident you will feel more calm and collected. This will equip you to answer anything that comes up more effectively because you will be more present.
  5. Confidence in yourself demonstrates to others how they should view you. This can leave a lasting impression beyond your interview. 

If you are reading this you probably have an interview coming up soon or you are actively job searching. Don't forget to download your free Interview Checklist. Click here to download.  


Photo by Keren Levand on Unsplash  

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