What do they want to know? Are they looking for a complete history of you? Is this supposed to be a 30-second overview or a more involved rundown? Here's how to answer "Tell me about yourself" in a job interview.
"Tell me about yourself" doesn’t mean “give me your complete history from birth until today.” It doesn’t even mean “walk me through your work history.” It means “give me a brief overview of who you are as a professional.”
Interviewers who ask this question are generally looking to get a broad overview of how you see yourself, as a sort of introduction or an icebreaker before starting to dive into the specifics.
Interviewers will sometimes start an interview with an open-ended question like, "Tell me about yourself." This question is a way to break the ice and make you feel more comfortable during the interview process. However, some people might find this - and other interview questions about you - slightly stressful.
It might be a good idea to share something about yourself that is doesn't relate directly to your career.
For example, interests like running might represent that you are healthy and energetic. Pursuits like being an avid reader might showcase your intellectual leaning. Volunteer work will demonstrate your commitment to the welfare of your community.
When it comes to first-round job interviews, you'll probably answer some version of the question, "So, tell me about yourself." Experienced hiring managers love asking this question. After all, it allows them to assess your communication skills, hear your narrative about the highlights of your career, and lay the foundation for follow-up questions.
The conventional expert opinion is to provide a crisp, 30 second to 1-minute answer to the question "Tell me about yourself", but one minute isn’t enough time to deliver a meaningful response that benefits you as a candidate.
Experts prefer a short answer, as it has less chance of leading the candidate to drift or ramble.