‘Tell me about yourself’: fielding the ultimate interview question

Published on: 9 Jun 2022

When preparing for an interview for that job you’ve set your heart on, there’s one question that crops up time and again: “Tell me a bit about yourself”. Although this question seems straightforward, it catches out candidates time and again. We will discuss how you can tackle this question to impress your interviewer.

Tell me about yourself

It might be tempting to speak about your life history, but what the interviewer is looking for is how your skills and experience relate to the job in question. So think of three examples from your past employment or education (for graduates) such as communication, teamwork or accomplishments, and jot these down.

Try not to recite your CV, but instead summarise the key points from it that are your career highlights.

W.A.P

Use Work, Academic, Personal to structure your answer.

  • You should speak about work in 80 per cent of your answer
  • Around 15 per cent on your academic achievements
  • Around 10 per cent on yourself (in relation to the job).

Example answer

My name is Karen and I am 30 years old. I have been working as a planning professional at company X for the past three years. I have a strong experience with a degree in X from university Y. 

I have led my team and have increased efficiency by X% each year. The role at your company aligns with my career goals of working for a multinational company with a strong reputation in the planning sector.  

Tips

  • Time your answers to last a maximum of two minutes
  • Practice in front of friends or family
  • Maintain eye contact while speaking. 

This interview question will almost always be asked, so preparing well for it will ensure that you remain on track to securing that job you always wanted.