Interviews

How to Prepare For The “Tell Me About Yourself” Interview Question

We all know the question is coming: So tell me a little about yourself.

Here’s the funny thing: even though we’re expecting it, most of us don’t feel fully prepared to respond. How can this question seem like a no-brainer, but then end up being so tricky? Well, for one, it’s easy to get mired down by all the possibilities of just how to answer it. The key is to approach the question strategically, making sure it has a clear story and distinct purpose. Here are 4 ways to help you prepare to ace the prompt: “Tell me about yourself.”

Craft your story

The biggest mistake people make when approaching this question is not having a well-crafted story. We’re not talking about your life story, but instead, a succinct handful of sentences that summarize who you are, where you’ve been, and where you want to go next. And remember, this is all in a professional context, so details about your childhood memories are not necessary.

[Related: 8 Interview Lines That Make You Sound Like a Robot]

Highlight specific points relevant to the job at hand

How you answer the “Tell me about yourself” question is an important way for employers to evaluate whether they think you’re a good fit for the job. It’s important to remember that although the question is definitely about you, it’s also about why you’re a good fit for the position. Incorporate a few details about yourself that highlight certain attributes that show you’d be a positive addition to the team.

[Related: Looking for what’s next? Check out Glassdoor Jobs]

Have a natural starting and ending point

Rehearse how you’re going to begin and end this question. A good way to prevent yourself from veering off point, or getting too consumed with unnecessary details, is to bookend your answer with two key points you’ll make sure you’ll want to hit. Not only will this help you stay on track, but it will help your interviewer keep track of your story.

Keep it short and sweet

A.k.a. no rambling. This is a topic you could be talking about for an hour, but that doesn’t mean should. Keep your answer to a couple minutes, maximum. The key here is quality of sentiment, not quantity of words.

DISCOVER: The Ultimate Guide to Interview Prep