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How to Answer: Tell Me About Yourself (+Examples, Templates, and Tips)

Updated on Sep 03, 2020 51468 views
How to Answer: Tell Me About Yourself (+Examples, Templates, and Tips)

Your hard work has finally paid off, and now you have been invited for a job interview.

So now what next?

You have to prove to the interviewer that you are the best person for the job.

How can you do that?

Practicing common job interview questions will help you respond to the interviewer's questions smartly.

In this article, we are going to help you practice how to answer the most important and common interview question; "Tell me about yourself".

Many job seekers find it difficult to answer this question because they don’t know:

  • Why do the interviewers' ask this question?
  • What the interviewer is looking for in the answer?
  • The strategies for giving a good answer.

Which you are going to know by the time you finish reading this article. You would also learn:

  • How to answer the “tell me about yourself” question
  • Common mistakes to avoid when answering the question
  • Format for answering this question
  • Answers examples for fresher’s and professionals sample answers for all job fields
  • Answer structure/template
  • Variants of this question (other questions like this)

Ready?

Let get into it.

 

 

 

Why Do Interviewers Ask; Tell Me About Yourself?

Many job seekers don’t know why the interviewer asks this question. While some may think that the interviewer is just being nosy, others may think that the interviewer wants to start a friendship with them.

All of these are the wrong reasons.

The interviewer asks these questions for the following reasons:

  • Most interviewers ask this question as a way to start a conversation with you on a seemingly lighter note.

           An Interviewer will likely start a conversation with you like this; “I have your CV in front of me, but I would like to know more about you. Can you tell me about yourself?...”

  • The recruiters’ ultimate reason for asking this question is to find out enough about you to determine if you are the best person for the job. 

 

What the Interviewers Look for in Your Answer

When interviewers ask you this question, they want to discover the following:

  • What qualities make you a great fit for the job?
  • Why you are interested in the role?
  • Why you are interested in the company or the industry?
  • What unique feature do you possess that makes you stand out from other candidates?

Since you know what the interviewer is looking for in your answers, let us see how you can answer this question keeping all these things in mind.

 

Strategies for Answering Tell Me About Yourself

Answering this question is more than talking about your personal history or listing your job qualifications on your CV.

To answer this question correctly, your answer has to respond to the questions that the interviewer has in mind. This simply means that your answer has to show what the interviewer wants to see.

This question may not be the easiest question to answer, but with these guides, you can give an excellent answer.

  • Talk about qualities that make you the best person for the job

Think about qualities that make you stand out as a job candidate for the role. If your experience or skills make you stand out, then you should review the job description for the role that you are applying for.

Review the job description carefully and see how your experience and skills match what the employer wants to see.

 

  • Talk about why you are interested in the role

Employers look forward to hiring people that are passionate about the job that they are applying for.

You have to research and think about why you are excited about this position, how it fits into your career goals and why you feel it is the next thing for you to do.

 

  • Talk about why you are interested in the company and position

You need to know that regardless of the skills and abilities that you have, you will have to work in a company and play in a particular industry.

Research the company to find out if the company’s mission and vision are aligned with yours.

While you are trying to answer the question, don’t forget to tie the similarities between your professional goals, the vision of the company and the industry trends that you feel are important.

 

  • Talk about unique traits and abilities that you possess that makes you a good person for the job

Remember that this question is an opportunity for you to sell yourself to your employer. So you should sell yourself.

Talk about the unique traits and abilities and you possess. This will give the interviewer an idea about your uniqueness.

 

How to Answer: Tell me About Yourself

Just like we said earlier, interviewers ask this question to determine if you are the best person for the job.

So when answering this question, you have to make sure you are emphasizing yourself as the best person for the job. To do this, you have to:

  • Start answering the question with important strength the hiring manager is looking out for.
  • Talk about the skills and abilities that have helped you perform in your current job.
  • Give figures and metrics to show how you succeeded in your current job.
  • Talk about how the new job opportunity will help you grow your talents even more.

 

What Not to Say When You are Answering this Question

Job seekers often make mistakes when answering this question. This is mostly because they misunderstand why the interviewer is asking the question.

If you look forward to giving a great response to this question, then you should avoid:

  • Reciting what is on your resume.
  • Discussing personal information with the interviewer that has nothing to do with the job that you are applying for.
  • Using clichés that don’t explain anything. Describing yourself like “ I am a great communicator”“I am a peoples’ person”
  • Beating about the bush in your conversation because you failed to prepare for the interview.

 

Tell me About Yourself Examples for Freshers and Professional

The answer that an entry-level job candidate will give will be different from the response of a professional. You know why?

It is simply because a professional has more experience than an entry-level candidate and must have probably had a good amount of achievements.

These examples will guide you on how to answer the question.

 

How to answer tell me about yourself example (entry-level example)

I just graduated from the University of Lagos with first-class honors in Mass Communication. I have had the opportunity to write for the schools' publication. 

I was also selected by the A-Z newspaper for the summer internship three months ago, where I interned as an intern editor. 

I have always been passionate about news writing and news editing. I am applying for this position because I want to grow my career in an established company like this.

I also look forward to adding value to this company with what I do.

 

How to answer tell me about yourself (Experienced example) 

“I have been working as a digital marketer for the last 3 years after graduating from university. I am currently working as a digital marketing team lead at an on-line e-commerce startup.

I am responsible for the company website traffic, and the social media presence. I work closely with the offline marketing team to make sure we integrate offline activities with online activities. 

Before now, I have worked for a creative agency and it was an amazing experience. I had the opportunity to create content calendars for top companies and handled their social media platforms. 

I enjoy the fact that I watch something grow from nothing to something, which is what I achieve through digital marketing. I grew my company’s website traffic from 200 visitors per day to 1500 visitors per day.

I was able to increase the company’s subscribers on youtube from 20, 000 subscribers to 300, 000 subscribers.

I am passionate about digital marketing that is why I learn about it every day. My current job helped me build on my digital marketing skills, but unfortunately, I had to leave.

Even if I liked my job, I would also love to work in a company that I can see a long term career path, and I know that this position will be a great fit for me with my skills.”

 

 

Sample Tell about Yourself Answer for All Job Fields

1. How to answer tell me about yourself for a banking position

"I am currently an account executive at ABC Group of Companies where I handle top clients. A few years ago before I joined ABC Group of Companies, I worked with an accounting agency, I worked with top clients as their accountant.

I enjoyed my job as an accountant because I am passionate about numbers and accounting practices. I also loved the fact that I always did what I loved to do.

As much as I love my job, I would love the opportunity to work in an organization with a clear career path growth.

Which is why I am excited about this position."

 

2. How to answer tell me about yourself for an Engineering position

“I am a civil engineer with 5 years of experience in building and construction. Building and construction to me are not about erecting a building, it is more about growing my strength as I watch the building process grow.

Ever since I was a child, I have been fascinated about how one can become two when it comes to building. At age 14, I built my first structure, I built a closet in my father's compound for my tools, books, and toys. 

So going to university, I knew what I wanted to study. After graduation, I got a job with a construction company where I was promoted 3 times in Year.

In my current job, I have been promoted to the position of a senior construction officer and clients are always excited for me to work on their projects.

One of the things I love about my current job is the fact that I have the opportunity to add value to people and organizations that I would not have imagined.

As much as I love and appreciate my job, I would love to work with an organization that would enhance my growth. This is why I am excited about my job.”

 

3. How to answer tell me about yourself for a Customer service position

"My 4 years of experience in hospitality has helped me acquire more on the job customer service experiences dealing with customers every day.

Working in the hospitality industry for a long time has helped me develop strong problem-solving skills, honed my ability to manage conflict and dealing with individuals.

My communication skills have greatly improved over the years, and it is something that has helped me perform my job even better.

I look forward to working in a bigger organization that would expose me to challenges that would build me up.

I am excited about this position because I know that it would help push my career to the next level."

 

4. How to answer tell me about yourself for Education and teaching positions

"I have been working as a marketer for over five years. Over the years, I have worked as a marketer in different companies both startups and big companies where I create marketing strategies and campaigns.

I currently work as a senior marketer for a large tech company. The strategies I developed helped the company grow its client base by 30% in 1 year.

I was excited to be a part of the growth process of the company. And now I am looking forward to expanding my experience across different industries, particularly Fintech, which is why I am so interested in this position."

 

5. How to answer tell me about yourself for Human resources positions

“I am a recent graduate with a degree in Human Resources Management. I have been in the Human Resources industry for close to 2 years now.

I have worked as a Human Resources Executive during my industrial training and that was like my first practical experience in the Human Resources field. 

Last year, I interned in ABC company where I acted as an assistant to the HR officer. During my time as a Human Resources assistant; I supported employee recruitment and exit processes and procedures.

I enjoy the Human Resources profession because it is flexible and dynamic. Humans are dynamic beings which is what makes the career even more interesting.

I look forward to growing my Human Resources career, that is why I am excited about this position.”

 

6. How to answer tell me about yourself for IT positions

“I have been in the IT industry for 4 years now. In my current position as an assistant IT officer at ABC group of companies. I assisted in installation, maintenance, updating of various software, and attending to technical complaints from staff.

My love for problem-solving has been one thing that has helped me move up in my career and also helped me stand out as the best employee of the year in my current job.

The fact that I never had to give up on finding a solution to a challenge has been something that has helped improve my skills.

I love the fact that I can handle different projects and deliver on time.

I am now seeking an opportunity in a company that values the impact of modern technologies. A place that can help me leverage my skills to impact the organization.

This is why I am excited about this role.”

 

7. How to answer tell me about yourself for Medical and health positions

"I am an energetic healthcare professional with 5 years of experience. I am always looking for new ways to improve my medical, technical, and interpersonal skills.

Over 3 years of providing compassionate care as a personal nurse. Practicing as a personal nurse made me developed skills like; empathy, interpersonal skills, and even technical skills.

Over the last 4 years, I have developed my communication and time management skills working with people personally.

I love the skills that my current job has helped me build, but I am looking forward to working in a hospital as a resident nurse. This is why I am happy about this job opening."

 

8. How to answer tell me about yourself for Media and branding positions

“I have been working as a digital marketer for the last 3 years after graduating from university. I am currently working as a digital marketing team lead at an on-line e-commerce startup.

I am responsible for the company website traffic, and the social media presence. I work closely with the offline marketing team to make sure we integrate offline activities with online activities. 

Before now, I have worked for a creative agency and it was an amazing experience. I had the opportunity to create content calendars for top companies and handled their social media platforms. 

I enjoy the fact that I watch something grow from nothing to something, which is what I achieve through digital marketing. I grew my company’s website traffic from 200 visitors per day to 1500 visitors per day.

I was able to increase the company’s subscribers on youtube from 20, 000 subscribers to 300, 000 subscribers.

I am passionate about digital marketing that is why I learn about it every day. My current job helped me build on my digital marketing skills, but unfortunately, I had to leave.

Even if I liked my job, I would also love to work in a company where I can see a long term career path, and I know that this position will be a great fit for me with my skills.”

 

9. How to answer tell me about yourself for Sales and marketing positions

"I have been in sales/marketing for 5 years. I have always felt good customer service is a critical part of any successful sales/marketing strategies and the reputation that a company has for maintaining long satisfaction is something that has always fascinated me. 

I have always loved meeting new people, and solving problems. And this is what sales is all about.

Over the years, I have developed myself to balance creating new leads and maintaining client retention.

Using my strategies, I have been able to grow the company sales from 10% to 50% in 1 year, and our client retention from 5% to 35% in one year too.

I have spear-headed a lot of successful campaigns. Now I am looking to work in a more established company where I can practice my skills."

 

10. How to answer tell me about yourself for Administrative/Secretarial position

"I have been working as an administrative assistant for 3 years. At my current job in ABC Group of Companies, I handle scheduling, meeting and travel planning for staff. I also help prepare correspondence, presentations, and reports.

I am a detailed oriented person that hardly miss deadlines and I have been able to grow my communication skills. In my performance review, my supervisor always noted that my enthusiasm for the job.

With my 3 years of experience as an administrative assistant, I am now looking forward to growing my career in an established organization. Seeing this vacancy has been exciting for me. I am passionate about a clean environment, knowing that this company focuses on this is exciting for me also."

 

Templates for Answering Tell Me About Yourself

Answering this question may not be an easy thing to do for you to do, so we decided to create these templates for you.

Template for students seeking jobs

My name is ……………… (your name).

I am currently a student at/ ……………… (your school/college/university) where I am very active in ……………… (mention any club/activity/sports that you are involved in).

As a representative for my class, I have helped organize various ……………… (mention any events).

This has helped me learn ……………… (the skills you learned while organizing the events).

I am also interested in ……………… (mention any specific hobbies/interests that are relevant to the job). Currently, I am learning/practicing ……………… (stuff that will help you in the job).

 

 

Template for job seekers with no experience

My name is ……………… (your name).

I am currently a graduate of ……………… (your school/college/university) where I studied …………….. I just completed my 6 months internship program with ………………… company.

As a ………….. intern, I ………………which helped me developed skills like …………… to boost my career. I have also helped with ……………… for the company.

This has helped me learn ……………… (the skills you learned while organizing the events).

I am also interested in ……………… (mention any specific hobbies/interests that are relevant to the job). Currently, I am learning/practicing ……………… (stuff that will help you in the job).

 

Template for experienced job seekers

My name is....... and I have ....... years of experience as a ......... I currently work as a........for ........ company. I work hard to manage a small team of 5 people where I developed my leadership skills.

Over the years, I have been able to .......... which resulted in .......(you can put figures).

I am applying for this job because I saw ..... on the job description and I think I would be able to help you ..... and ...... One of my key accomplishments in my current role was helping the company ....., and I’m confident I can help your team get similar results here.”

 

 

Variants of Tell me About Yourself Question 

Some times, interviewers may not ask you this question the way you expect them to. Many interviewers will not ask you: “Can you tell me about yourself?”

They may decide to construct their sentences differently. So now we will be looking at variants of this question.

The essence of this is to help you not to get confused.

  • What makes you unique?
  • Why should we hire you?
  • Describe what you do in your current position
  • Why did you leave your last job?
  • What is your greatest strength?
  • What is your greatest weakness?
  • Why do you want this job?
  • Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
  • What is your management style?
  • Do you have any questions for me?
  • What motivates you?
  • What are your salary expectations and requirements?
  • What are you passionate about?
  • How to explain gaps in employment

 

Interviewers don’t have all the time in the world to figure out if you are the right person for the job. So you don’t have to waste time reciting your CV to the interviewer. Rather use this opportunity to tell the interviewer something unique about yourself.

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