How to Answer‌ Tell me About Yourself in an Interview

Interview session between a man and a woman

Almost all interviews start with the phrase “Tell me about yourself” or “Can we meet you?” How do you answer these questions? What should you say?

Although this doesn’t sound like a big deal, you talk about yourself almost every day so this shouldn’t be different. But, on the contrary, though, the question is tricky. Somewhat like an open-ended question. So, in a real sense, you’ll be wondering what you should or shouldn’t say.

Should you talk about your background and to what extent? Or maybe you should talk about your past job experience? If you’re not sure of the best way to approach this question, this article is for you.

In this article, I will share the best answer with an example to guide you. I hope this guides you in your next interview. 

Read Also: How to Nail Interviews Using the STAR Interview Technique

How to answer “Tell me about yourself” interview questions?

To answer this question, you should know the reason behind the question. 

When an interviewer asks this question, they want to have an insightful overview of your career experience. Not necessarily your best meal and favorite game.

More so, the answer you give to this question determines the interview’s outcome. If your answer is short and shallow, you may get an “OK” response from the interviewer. Still, If right, you will naturally experience the enthusiasm of your interview as the interview continues.

So, How do you create the best lasting impression in your interview when answering the question ‘Tell me about yourself?”

The answer is pretty straightforward, An appropriate answer should be tailored to the position you are applying for and directed to specific achievements and experiences. You don’t want to bore your interviewer with unfiltered information. Let’s put this in perspective.

1. Tailor your Answer

If you are applying for a Real Estate agent role, your answers should be centered on the Real Estate niche. Your recruiter is not concerned about your previous experience as a banker. Instead, tailor your answer accordingly.

2. Talk about your top achievements and Experience

This is valuable information. You have to be specific about certain achievements made in your previous roles. But, first, talk about your background; what did you study and what is your major motivation?

Hint: When speaking about your achievements, don’t make it about yourself. Have a “client” first expression.

This means making your achievements about the solution you’ve rendered and how your contribution helped the department you served. In order to achieve this, your answer should be well structured.

3. Have a structure 

You don’t necessarily need to be stereotyped when answering. By structure, I mean having a format to approach answering this question. The best format, as has been tested and tried with high accuracy, is the Past-Present-Future format.

While discussing your past, talk about your background. What have you done and where are you now? You want to be brief though.

More so, Talk about your present. In discussing your present, talk about what you, talk about your present role, and why you’ve done to change the narrative. This is where you brag a bit. 

Lastly, the future. Why are you applying for this role and what are your interests? This is where you talk about your interest in the company. 

But as a general role, keep your answers professional. Also, be concise with your answers so you don’t end up crowding your interview with too much talk. 

This is what it takes to answer the question “Tell us about yourself. ” Now, let’s analyze this example.

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“Tell me about yourself’ Sample Answer:

So let’s have a little practice shall we: Tell me about yourself.

Great, my name is Success and I am 25 years old.

I’ve had a strong passion for writing since I was 15. For the past 8 years, I’ve watched my passion turn into a fruitful career, working both freelance and full-time roles with several media firms.

To sharpen my skills in writing and improve in SEO, I have taken certified courses with LinkedIn Learning, HubSpot, and Google fundamentals. In my early years in the media firm, I volunteered for XYZ company as an SEO content writer. There I groomed my skills and got a retainer job.

Throughout my career, I’ve helped the companies I worked with grow and established loyal followers with an increased traffic of 90% across companies’ websites and social media touch points.

For example, at company xx, I worked as a Content Creator and Blogger. There, I was in charge of researching the market and coming up with essential keywords for blog and social media posts. Initially, the website traffic was below 20%, and followers less than 1000. With my keyword research strategy and SEO techniques, I implemented a campaign that increased website ranking.

By optimizing individual pages with relevant keywords, I grew the website traffic organically from 23% to 90%  and LinkedIn followers from 1000 to 4000+ within three months respectively. This improved the company’s revenue by 99% while saving the company the cost of running paid ads.

With company XYZ, I intend to expand my experience and knowledge across different industries. Partially in Web3, Defi, and Blockchain networks,. This is why I’m interested in your company…”

Let’s examine this sample:

  • Success talks about her experience as a content creator. She does not deviate from discussing other roles that are not related. So you can say that her answer is tailored.
  • Also, she talks about her achievements in various companies she’s worked with. Look how she made it constructive and precise, mentioning specific deliverables. This re-echoes her confidence in her skills
  • Then she followed a well-structured format. She tells of her past, how she started, her present, the courses and contributions she made and the future, and why she is applying for the new role. 

Hint: Depending on what you are applying for, ensure you answer this question with confidence and details that are connected. 


There you have it. This is how you answer the question ‘Tell me about yourself ‘ in an interview. More so, while speaking, mention a level of contact with your interviewer, if you notice they are becoming uninterested, ensure you cut your speech short. 

However,  don’t be the one that will make your interviewer bold. If you can follow these points correctly, be sure you’ll leave your prospective employer proud and happy. 

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