Tell Me About Yourself: Answering the Ultimate Job Interview Question

During a job interview, the recruiter will ask you about the details on your resume… your education, skills and your background. You got that.

There are some questions, however, even though they’re easy to understand, are always deceptively difficult to answer! For me, the toughest interview question is…

Tell me about yourself.”

An interviewer often uses this question as a starter to the interview. In my case, it seemed this was the only question asked during the entire job interview! This immediately prompted some awkward silence, followed by blundering answers, and then usually way too much information spewed.

Learn from my mistakes! Here are some tips on how to answer and ace this ultimate job interview question:

1. Take Your Time

As with any interview question, it’s okay to take your time and think about your answer. This shows you’re being thoughtful in what information you’d like to share with the interviewer. In fact, in the end, it will sound much better than a rushed and unorganized response.

2. Focus on Accomplishments and Work History

It’s easy to feel a little unfocused when answering this interview question. But just remember to focus on your accomplishments and work history. Specifically, focus on your skills and background that show you’re fit for the job to the interviewer. Your life story, which many revert to when answering this question, will wait for the first happy hour.

3. Don’t Let Awkward Silence Get to You

An interviewer will sometimes like to leave the questions hanging to see if you’ll add any more information, or perhaps add too much information. Don’t be tricked! If you’ve answered the question to the best of your ability, let the silence scream… and then kindly ask if the interviewer has any follow-up questions.

4. Rehearse!

Preparing, and practicing, the answer to this tough interview question right now will save you a big headache and sweaty palms later. This interview question is often useful during networking events and informational interviews, too… so having a succinct answer prepared will be helpful to you in many ways.

Practice, practice, practice!

Have you ever had to answer this tough interview question? We’d love for you to share your advice on how you answered, in the Comments, below!





For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at ComeRecommended!



KristenKristen Wishon holds an M.S. and B.S. in journalism with a concentration in public relations and a minor in art history from West Virginia University (WVU). Prior to joining Come Recommended, Kristen gained public relations, editorial and promotional writing, and social media experience through several health & pharmacy-focused internships in West Virginia. Follow Kristen on Twitter!


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