How to answer tell me about yourself

When I worked at Exxon Mobil and conducted job interviews, I usually started off by asking the candidate to “Tell me About Yourself.”

I liked to start off that way because I felt it was a good ice breaker and I wanted to ease into the interview without making the person feel nervous.

Their answer to this question would tell me a lot about their level of confidence and gave me an overall feeling for how I thought they were going to do for the rest of the interview.

It was also important for me to get an idea of what they thought was important about their past accomplishments and what they were looking for at Exxon.

It’s not a difficult question

It seems like many job seekers think this is a real difficult question, probably because they are uncertain of what interviewers are looking for. This is not a difficult question. Tell me about yourself is probably one of the easiest questions there id. There is really no wrong answer as long as you stay within the guidelines for what interviewers are looking for.

Wrong: Example of tell me about yourself – what not to say

Some candidates will say, “what do you want to know?” Though that may seem like a fair response, it’s the kiss of death. Now you are insulting the interviewer and making them rephrase the question for you. All that answer really says is that you are not prepared for the interview – minus 1. You just made your first mistake.

Right:  A good example to tell me about yourself

Center your answer on the interviewer’s interests

Talk about your most important accomplishments as they are related to the job
Focus on key terms that you feel the interviewer might be interested in.

One of the most common mistakes people make is that they think the employer actually wants to know more about their personal life – that could not be further from the truth.

Some job seekers start of by saying I was born in Cleveland, Ohio and I was 10 …. Again, there’s another bad example of tell me about yourself.

The best example of tell me about yourself is to start off by discussing your most recent jobs and then explaining why your past or most recent jobs qualify you for this job. When you can relate your qualifications to the requirements for the position, then it’s a slam dunk and you can almost be certain you in the top running for the job.

A good example of Tell me about yourself is to tell them:

  • What they want to hear.
  • They want to hear that you were successful.
  • They want to hear what led you to this point in your career.
  • They want to hear why you feel you’re a perfect match for the job.

Why do they want to hear all this? Because their search will be over.

Tell them what you do in a single sentence, maybe two. But keep it to less than a minute for an ideal length. If they want to hear more, don’t worry, they will ask you.

Wrapping up tell me about yourself

So in summary, a perfect example to answering tell me about yourself is to talk about your track record of how you completed projects on time and then put a number to it. But make sure you talk about projects that are closely related to the requirements for this position.

Ultimately, when you answer, “tell me about yourself,” you want to stand out from the crowd of hungry job seekers and rise to the top.