Tell Me About Yourself: How to Answer the Trickiest Interview Question

Sometimes, the hardest questions to answer are the ones about ourselves.

We’ve all sat across from an interviewer and been asked the infamous question, “tell me about yourself?”

Despite your years of living life with yourself, this question has the power to make you forget it all.

To save you during your next interview, here are some tips on how to shine at telling your story.

The present

There’s no better place to start than right now! You don’t have time to tell your life story, so it’s best to start with what you’re doing in the present.

Talk about your current involvements, work experiences, volunteer work and passions that relate to the job.

These will give them a good foundation to figure out what you’re about and, as you discuss what you’re passionate about, your personality will shine. 

The past

Now that they know where you are, tell them where you came from!

How did you find yourself where you are right now? What drove you to choose your career path/major? What drives your passions?

Tell them a little about how you’ve found yourself where you are and what you’ve done to get there.

The future

Everyone loves to hear about a person’s dreams! You’ve told your interviewer where you are and where you’ve been, and now it’s time to tell them what you’ve done it all for.

What is your dream? What are you biggest goals that you think this job or internship will help you achieve?

Hearing about someone’s dreams can tell you a lot about them, and it’s always a memorable piece to help you stick out in an interviewer’s mind.

Points to focus on

When telling your story, it’s easy to think that all your interviewer wants to hear about is professional experience.

Yes, it’s what you’re there for, but how is that going to set you apart from anyone else? It’s all about finding the perfect balance between professionalism and passion.

You can write pages and pages of your experience on your portfolio website, LinkedIn, cover letter and resume, but you don’t have as much of an opportunity to showcase your passions.

Passion and interest are two different things. You’re not going to spend their precious time talking about your favorite TV shows and Starbucks order, but you are going to talk about the things that excite you and drive your purpose!