When Potential Employers Ask You to Tell Something About Yourself

9 min read

It has been a year since we locked ourselves and started adapting to remote work setups. Although many people have lost their jobs, they have not given up. In fact, they continue their job hunt in the virtual world. What might have seemed like a novel idea of applying for a job and getting interviewed at home has now become the new norm. Companies have even joined in on the fun of looking for potential candidates online. They have been considerate enough to conduct interviews via video calls. Despite the difference in the environment, potential employers still ask the same questions like “tell me about yourself”—hence, the need for about me examples to answer these queries.

“Tell me about yourself” might be a simple statement that looks easy to answer at first glance. But, in an interview, you may get stuck with choosing which aspect of your life is worth sharing—hobbies, interests, health condition, past jobs, and other personal stuff. It is tempting to share many stories about yourself or many about me examples.

The Don’ts—What You Should Not Say

Job seekers often share about personal stuff. They talk about life stories, hobbies, civil status, hometown, or health conditions, mainly because of the current pandemic. They also share problems related to their past/current jobs and even fall prey into badmouthing their past employers. By doing so, they raise a red flag. They show signs that they may be escaping a poor workplace. Others tend to present a summary of their resume, but this proves redundant, given that these hiring managers likely already read their resumes before the interview.

As a job seeker, you should know how to answer “tell me about yourself.” You should prepare before your interview so that you can use this chance to highlight the skills and experiences that give you an edge to snag your desired position. Your answer will then set the tone of your interview and likely give a good or bad impression about you.

The Dos—What You Should Say

What should you say when your interviewer asks the question “tell me about yourself?” You may follow this simple formula when you prepare your answer: present + past + future.

  • Present: You can talk about your current role, its scope, and major accomplishments.
  • Past: You can share how you reached your current role. This includes a past experience that might be relevant to the job and company you are applying for.
  • Future: You can transition into your target position. Then, you can describe why you are interested in that position and present how you are a great fit.

Here is an example:

I’m currently a retail salesperson at MNO, where I handle some of our major clients. Before that, I worked at a retail company where I successfully helped boost our sales. Though I enjoyed my previous work, I would love to expand my experience and take on a new role. That’s why I’m so excited about this opportunity with ABC.

You may also tweak this formula. For example, if you have a major accomplishment or responsibility relevant to the target job, you may start with the “past” job and then proceed with the “present.” You just have to make sure that you connect it to the job you’re applying for in your target company. Thus, you leave the impression that you are the right fit for the job.

Job Seeker Engaging In Online Interview
When Potential Employers Ask You to Tell Something About Yourself 1

Additional Tips on “Tell Me About Yourself”—and About Me Examples

Here are more ways on how to describe yourself during an interview:

Focus and align your answer with your target role and company

When interviewers want you to tell something about yourself, they are actually asking for details relevant to their company and your target position. They want you to explain briefly that you have the right skill set. To achieve this, you need to review the job description and research about the company. You also need to draft your answer to explain your reasons for applying and describe your skills. You may also think about three to five previous experiences that are relevant to your target job. List three to five strengths, experiences, traits, skills, and other stuff pertinent to this job.

For example, your current job is a retail salesperson and your target position is a pharmaceutical sales representative. You can say that in your present job, you have developed your confidence and conversive skills when dealing with customers. It also requires you to recommend products and explain how they can benefit your customers. You can tell your potential employer that you can apply these skills to your new role.

Practice your answer, but don’t memorize it

After making a draft, you read it as if you are already talking to your interviewer. You may record your answer and wait for at least an hour before you listen to it. Then, play it back and check if your answer is credible and convincing. You may also practice with other people and ask them for feedback.

Practice helps strengthen your answer and makes you become more confident. However, avoid memorizing it so that you still sound authentic and not overly rehearsed when you talk to your potential employer. Thus, you will be able to have a relaxed conversation.

Show that you can be passionate about your work

If you feel comfortable answering the question passionately, you may engage your interviewer. Doing so likely sets you apart from the other candidates. You may say, “I love doing x and y that’s why I am drawn to your company.”

Answer as briefly as possible

There is no ideal length for answering any interview question. However, the way you speak in an interview likely shows how you will talk in meetings with colleagues, managers, and clients. You should read your interviewer’s body language or facial expression to see if he or she is bored or still interested in your story. Don’t ramble, and avoid talking about yourself nonstop for five minutes or so. Give him or her a chance to ask follow-up questions. Provide short yet interesting answers.

Hiring Manager Conducting Online Interview
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Know your specific interviewer

You need to know your interviewer so that you can tailor your answer as needed. For example, if your interviewer is from human resources, you may focus on the bigger picture. You may share your general goal or reasons that make you interested in your target position. If you are talking to your potential department manager, you may discuss technical details. If you are speaking with a chief executive as part of the final round, you may align your answer with the company’s overall mission.

You may also include details that you have learned as you proceed with your interview. You may say, “My skills as a retail salesperson are in line with your company values, which I fully understood after my interview with Mr. HR Head.”

Prepare additional answers

You should also prepare answers for questions other than “tell me about yourself.” Some other questions may include “Why should we hire you?” or “Why do you want to leave your current job?” In this way, you can minimize your anxiety and boost your confidence. Your well-crafted answers will help you move forward in your career.

End the interview on a high note

Show that you are eager to take on the job. You may say, “I look forward to working with the team,” or “I believe that my skills make me the right fit for the job here in your company.” You may also ask them about the next step, indicating that you are keen on taking the role. Before you leave, give a handshake or a smile to end the interview with a positive vibe.

Sample answers for “tell me about yourself”

Here are some examples of solid answers to this interview question:

About Me Examples 1

I enjoy writing and public speaking, which started back in high school. Since then, I have pursued writing-related passions. These included working as social media manager at ABZ, where I wrote copy and social content for the company blog. I also helped plan a product launch wherein I discovered my interest in product marketing. After taking on a product marketing role and managing successful new product launches last year, I realized I’m excited to pursue a new role. I’ve learned that I work best on products that I personally love and use. Given that I’m a user of your products, I grabbed the opportunity to apply for this position.

About Me Example 2

I’ve been working as an executive assistant for three years. Currently, I’m responsible for scheduling, meeting, and travel planning for four executives in the finance department of a midsize company. I also assist in preparing correspondence, presentations, and reports.

About Me Example 3

I’m a detail-oriented and well-organized team player. I always meet deadlines and efficiently complete multiple tasks at once. I’m also a good communicator. In my performance reviews, my supervisor noted that he acknowledges my professionalism and enthusiasm.

Job Seeker Engaging In Online Panel Interview
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About Me Example 4

With my five years of experience in environmental protection, I’m looking for a new role as an environmental engineer. I’m passionate about solving environmental problems. I’m hoping to do so in your organization, which has remarkably contributed to environmental protection and conservation. 

About Me Example 5

I’ve been passionate about design since I was a child, so I pursued a career in interior design. I successfully built my portfolio through designing residential and commercial spaces. The most rewarding part of my job was my work at historical buildings. This experience has made me become familiar with building preservation. Moving forward, I would like to work at your design firm that focuses on the design and preservation of historical buildings. I believe that my experience and passion will make me a great asset to your team.

Your answer to “tell me about yourself” should be directed to what you want your potential employer to remember about you. When you answer this question seamlessly, you leave a good first impression. You also probably stand out from the rest of the interviewees.

How to tell something about yourself on your “About Me” page

You can post your answer to “tell me about yourself” on the “About Me” page of your personal website if you have one. This page is one of the most important parts of your portfolio, website, or blog. Potential employers, clients, website users, and other professional and personal connections visit this page to know who you are and what you do. It serves as an ideal resource to promote your brand.

Making an “About Me” page seems challenging. Here are some tips on how you can create an engaging statement about yourself.

  • Show your name and a picture of yourself.
  • Describe what you are currently doing in your career and how you got there. Indicate how your background makes you unique.
  • Specify the aspects that you are passionate about and explain why. Share the most interesting part of your work. Include links as appropriate.
  • Provide your major professional and personal achievements. Describe how your attributes contribute to those accomplishments. Be as specific as possible.
  • Indicate your current goals. Specify if you are looking for a job, thinking of changing your career, or planning to take on projects. Provide your email address at the end so your potential clients can reach you.

Thus, your “About Me” page should present who you are, what you are doing, how you got there, what your accomplishments are, and where you are headed. Your answer should have a good flow of thoughts to make your story about yourself coherent and interesting.

Some About Me Examples

Below are some About Me examples. They have all the components and other creative parts essential for this page.

About Me Examples Jordan Belfort's About Page
When Potential Employers Ask You to Tell Something About Yourself 4

This photo is from the page of Jordan Belfort. In his page, there is a video that describes his goals for his clients.

About Me Examples: Mary Kay Ash's About Page
When Potential Employers Ask You to Tell Something About Yourself 5

This image is from the page of Mary Kay Ash. In her page, the lady is walking, which is a creative touch to make the page more interesting. The page also presents a history of her accomplishments through the years.

About Me Examples: Joe Girard's About Page
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This next example is from the page of Joe Girard. As you browse his page, you can see that it is filled with statements proving his expertise in the sales field, highlighting his achievements, and inviting potential clients to contact him or make a purchase through his page.

Showcase your skill set with a well-designed “About Me” page

With the current trend set off by the global pandemic, your online presence has become more important than ever. By now, you’re probably preparing for your job interview. Or you might be mulling over making your own “About Me” page for your portfolio. Whatever the case, you need to show your skill set to your potential clients or employers.

If you need further helpful about me examples or a persuasive “About Me” page but don’t know where to start, you can ask help from career experts at Resume Professional Writers. They offer a wide range of services. For instance including how to answering job interview questions, preparing opening statements for job interviews, and writing annotated portfolio. Feel free to contact us today!

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