Responding To “Tell Me About Yourself” in a Job Interview

Responding To “Tell Me About Yourself” in a Job Interview

Job interviews are tough for everyone, but they can be particularly difficult for veterans. It is possible that many veterans have never been on a job interview if they joined the service right out of high school.

One of the most difficult questions asked during a job interview is the most simple…”tell me about yourself.”

The dreaded question seems easy-it is open-ended, there is no token answer, or requests for examples. Any open question provides no

framework for a response and the answers are limitless and not concrete which is why the question is so difficult.

You might be wondering if you should tell your life story, talk about your job history, your hobbies, your last job?

Here are a few tips on finding the perfect response.

Discuss More Than Your Biography

Retelling your entire work history when asked this question is pointless as the interviewer already has your resume. Interviews are about showing your personality and reiterating your qualifications for the job. There is a reason you were called in for an interview to begin with.

It is best not to reveal anything too personal such as your family life. You can discuss that later as the interview is winding down, or not at all. Stick to neutral topics and how things about you can contribute to the job.

Find The Company’s Need

Identify the company’s needs when it comes to the job you are interviewing for. Make sure to talk about the skills you have that caught the eye of the interviewer and use those when telling the interviewer about yourself.

Take the tone of the job posting into consideration. If the posting mentioned that the company is relaxed and mentioned something about “sense of humor preferred”, show that you fit into those descriptions. Educate yourself on the company’s mission and values as well and mention your qualities that relate to those values.

When answering the question, use wording like “I am someone who…” or “I enjoy…”


Find what you want to convey about yourself during the interview and practice. Try writing it down and saying it out loud as this is both a physical and mental exercise. Make sure to remember your answer for the interview!

Here is an example response using the tactics mentioned above:

“I’ve always been a people person. Even in school, I was happiest talking to and listening to people — even strangers — especially if I could support them in some way. That’s why I was a Resident Advisor, why I worked for years in the service industry, and why I chose a career in customer service. It’s also one of the reasons I really admire how CableAble treats its customers with respect, compassion, and open ears. Lately, my professional goal has been to help others learn and develop strong customer service skills. It brings together my lifelong interest in helping others with my passion for customer relations.”

By using this advice, you both answer the question and tell the company why you are a good fit for the position.

Source: Harvard Business Review

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