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Tell me about yourself: Answer this tricky interview question with ease

What is the first question you are likely to be asked in any interview?

You guessed it, “Tell me about yourself”

Why is this such a standard question?

What is the interviewer expecting?

1. It is a nice ice-breaker to help the candidate start talking 2. It will force the candidate to talk for a couple of minutes

What is the interviewer evaluating or assessing here?

Do they want to know the entire life history of the person?


What they often assess here are some key skills and qualities of the candidates such as: 1. Their confidence 2. Their attitude and personality 3. Their communication skills

While the candidate is talking, the interviewer is likely to be visualizing in their mind the candidate’s suitability for the role/post they have applied for.

Often I have heard candidates responding to this initial statement with their name and the name of the school they attended.

Well, the interviewer may not be interested in that.

The fact is that this opening statement can create a partial decision/impression in the interviewer’s mind of the candidate’s suitability for the role

Hence it is a perfect opportunity for the candidate to highlight some key accomplishments and strengths.

You should restrict this introduction to a maximum of 250-300 words and should cover the following key elements: 1. A brief introduction about your current role and your interest in the new company. 2. Key accomplishments 3. Highlight some of your recent big accomplishments 4. While saying all this, ensure you cover some of your personal values and strengths 5. You can also mention how your values or strengths can be useful for the organization and the role you are being interviewed for.

Since this question is almost an inevitable part (in some form or another) of any interview, you can script your response and practice it so that it becomes perfect.

I want to emphasize this. Practice, practice and practice even more.

Practice in front of the mirror.

Practice it with a friend or your coach.

Author: Johncey George is an International Coaching Federation accredited Leadership and Life Coach. He is ICF PCC.

Johncey focuses on working with Introvert Professionals, helping them grow as leaders by unleashing their potential. He helps introverts celebrate their strengths and become successful as leaders. Being an introvert himself, he understands their thinking process. He combines this knowledge, his corporate leadership experience and his coaching experience to help create more leaders among the Introverts.

Johncey has 23 years of corporate leadership experience and done his BE and Management Education from IIM Bangalore, Harvard Business School, ISB Hyderabad.

His company, Johncey George Consulting Pvt Ltd, does Leadership Development through Coaching, under the brand Coach Johncey ( Follow Johncey:


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