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The universal "tell me about yourself" question

The universal "tell me about yourself" question

Nearly 60% of job recruiters report that "tell me about yourself" is their first go-to question for a candidate.

Although this open-ended question can feel overwhelming, it could be the key to ensuring your interviewers remember you as the standout candidate.


151 reads


Be on the lookout for similar questions

Another way to start a job interview is with "Tell me your story." Most candidates seem caught off guard by this question and fall back on reciting their résumés or fall prey to telling the interviewers everything they've done since high school.

The question is meant to be an opportunity fo...


105 reads

Avoid buzzwords

Avoid buzzwords

Employers interview many candidates, and if your answers sound the same as theirs, you won't stick out. 

  • Using generic buzzwords will increase the chance you'll sound like the rest. To avoid this, practice describing your skills and experience with anecdotes that demonstrate the value ...


100 reads

Plan ahead and write it down

Plan ahead and write it down

Without a script to the question "Tell me about yourself", you could be caught flailing in an interview. It's better to be prepared. Good scripts don't come in the moment.  You have to think about how you will tell your story that inspires the interviewer and company.


87 reads

Don't narrate your life story

Don't narrate your life story

You'll leave hiring managers cringing if you admit how you've been unable to get a job or that you're unsure why this position is a good fit for you. 

Instead, "tell me about yourself" is an opportunity to share what you're like beyond your one-page résumé. 


113 reads

Take your time

Managers ask questions like "tell me about yourself" because they are looking to see whether your professional skills align with the role you're interviewing for.  

Hiring managers are looking for more information you can express in one minute. So, if your answer is too short, the recruite...


136 reads

Think like a leader

If you answer this first interview question hesitantly, it'll be harder to show that you're a strong leader.

  • Leadership starts with your physical presence. Be vocal and animated. Act enthusiastically and eager to be there. 
  • Start your interview with the intention of motivating...


138 reads

Don't list what's on your resume

Employers are looking for well-rounded candidates.

Don't discount the last thing you read or watched, as this can be a way to demonstrate your interests beyond the workplace and show that you have opinions you're not afraid to express.


126 reads

Be yourself. This is just a conversation.

During the interview, follow the lead of your interviewer. Do they want to make small talk? Go with it. Are they probing for how much you know about the company? Go for it. 

During the "tell me about yourself", emphasize the skills and strengths you will bring to the job.


89 reads

Frame it as a story, then practice, practice, practice

If you struggle to write out possible responses, build your story chronologically with a past, present and future. 

Go into the interview having already rehearsed what you plan to say. You should sound confident without coming across as a know-it-all. Practice in front of a mirror or with t...


82 reads

Embrace it

Embrace it

Think of how your answer to "tell me about yourself" can be the start of a deeper conversation, leading to a stronger relationship with your interviewer. 

Keep three themes in mind when crafting your response:

  1. Engage your audience
  2. Establish credibility
  3. Tell your i...


123 reads

Don't discount your athletic experience

Don't discount your athletic experience

Your athletic experience could be a factor in showing hiring managers that you're suitable for the job.

Many skills employers are looking for alignment with the characteristics developed on the athletic field. You just need to convince an interviewer that this is the case.

Former athl...


89 reads

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Your purpose to the question

Your purpose to the question "tell me about yourself" is to give just enough details of yourself to spark the interest of the interviewer.

Answering this question gives you a great opportunity to spotlight the skills and experience that make you the ideal candidate for the job.

Interview Question About Integrity Or Moral Code

Tell me about a professional experience where your integrity or moral code was challenged?

This behavioural interview question asks for a quick case study, and the answer depends on the role you are interviewing for. An HR manager, who is judging you for your past behaviour


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