Mastering the Art of Self-Promotion

Tips for Answering “Tell Me About Yourself” with Confidence (and Ease)

By: Renata Constable, Job Search Workshop Facilitator – Passionate about guiding individuals to embrace their stories, fulfill their purpose and excel in life. 

You have finally received a phone call with an invitation to an interview. You feel pretty confident about your technical skills, you know your work history (obviously!) but the nerves won’t let you sleep! The date is approaching, and you feel both ready and anxious. You know one of the most dreaded questions “Tell me about yourself” is coming. 


While it might seem like a simple and harmless question, many job seekers struggle with it, either providing too much or too little information about themselves. It is important to keep in mind that this question is often used by interviewers as an icebreaker, allowing them to get to know you and assess your communication skills. By preparing a well-crafted and concise response, you can leave a positive and lasting impression on your interviewer.


Here are some tips to help you give a great answer: 


Focus on your professional background:
Start by summarizing your career path and highlighting your most relevant experiences, skills, and accomplishments. This will demonstrate how you are a good fit for the job and how you can contribute to the company’s success.


Keep it concise:
It might be tempting to provide a lengthy and detailed response, but remember your interviewer is likely to have other questions. Aim to have a 1-to-2-minute answer! Trust me it is plenty of time to give an overview of your background and qualifications.

Practice your response:
You can start by WRITING down a few key points about yourself, and then rehearsing your response OUT LOUD. You can practice with your friend, or family member, or by recording yourself on your smartphone.

Don’t try to be someone you’re not or exaggerate your experiences and qualifications. Your interviewer is looking for someone who is honest and trustworthy. They are also looking if you’re a good fit for the team and company’s culture. By being authentic, you can demonstrate these qualities and make a positive impression on your interviewer.

Tie it back to the job:
Often, we forget this final, but crucial step. Tie your response to the job you’re applying for. You can do this by highlighting specific skills and experiences that are relevant to the job and by explaining how you can use them to add value to the company.

To summarize, answering the “Tell me about yourself” question effectively requires preparation, focus, and authenticity. By keeping your response professional and relevant to the job, you can leave a lasting impression on your interviewer and increase your chances of landing the dream job.

Good luck!


Click to Read the Job Seeker Magazine – Summer 2023 “Planning for the Future”.

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