Job Interview Question And Answer: Tell Me About Yourself

Posted October 13, 2011, by Zahra Campbell-Avenell

This is probably the first question you'll be asked in any interview – and while you may not think you need to prepare for it, your answer is actually an excellent opportunity to create a great first impression, build rapport with the interviewer and demonstrate that you are a great fit for the job at hand. 

Sell yourself by providing a good overview of what you can do in relation to the position for which you are applying. It helps if you have a strong personal brand and an understanding of the strengths you bring to the table. 

Summarise your work experience and the professional skills you have acquired, concentrating on the aspects of your experience that relate to the job. For instance, if marketing is a prerequisite for the role and you have experience in marketing, make sure that you focus on your accomplishments in this area.

You could also refer to your education and tell the interviewer where and what you studied – include notable snippets like your majors, significant awards or a distinction average, but only if the subjects you studied are relevant to the job. You may want to briefly describe why you chose your subject area and career path; a well-told story or anecdote can help to break the ice and connect with the interviewer. 

Don't ramble on: keep to the point (no more than four points in total) and don't waste time on irrelevant information like 'My name is' – trust me, they know what your name is if you've been invited for an interview. Make sure that each point hits the mark for the job. The hiring manager already has your resume, too, but it's your job to help them connect the dots between what they know about you and what you can do for them.

Finish off by briefly outlining your career plans, how the job on offer fits into those plans, and your enthusiasm for the role.

Here is an example:

'I've been a tax agent at H&R Block for the last 3 years, where I have been responsible for our corporate clients. I have exceeded my personal targets for the last three quarters, and trained two new team members. I completed a Bachelor of Commerce with a double major in accounting and taxation from Curtin University in 2012, where I maintained a high distinction average. While I've really enjoyed my work thus far, I am ready for the next step in my career, and would love the opportunity to manage a team. The Senior Tax Accountant role looks like a great fit for me because it provides an excellent opportunity to use my skills in client retention and team building, which is why I'm really excited about the opportunity to interview at CT Robbins.'

See our full list of interview questions and answers to help you in your next interview!

Zahra Campbell Avenell
Zahra Campbell-Avenell

Zahra started writing at the age of 6, and hasn't stopped since. When she's not creating content about careers, learning and personal development, you can find her researching her next travel adventure, bingeing on Netflix or shopping online.

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