What is one expected to say when asked "Tell me about yourself" in an interview?


I have heard this question many times but every time I hear the response, I get puzzled. What exactly is the intent?

Interviewing Skills
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Khalid Raza
17 months ago

3 answers


I would stick to discussing your professional background. As Larry Ray pointed out, you are never required to discuss your partner, family, religious activities, etc. in an interview. Providing an answer like "Well, during an internship in college I decided I had a passion for BLANK and went on to pursue a career in BLANK. and started a job with BLANK company... etc." This should be perfectly acceptable to the interviewer.

Cara O'Neal
17 months ago
Or can we use an elevator pitch - why I matter! - Khalid 17 months ago

First, this is not a question, but, instead, an order. Second, this is not an effective order during a job interview. This could open the door to many discriminatory areas. It is much better to ask specific questions that relate to the specific skills needed for the job. Larry Ray, Teacher and Trainer, Interviewing Skills.

Larry Ray
17 months ago
agree. this is a very open question. candidates can go where ever they want but mostly they describe their CVs - Sandra 17 months ago
Yes Larry Ray I agree as well. This question/statement has a vague objective. If it is about opening the conversation, then there are better ways. If it is about saving time as the profile has not been studied before hand, then it shows inadequate preparation on interviewer's behalf - Khalid 17 months ago
Agree Larry Ray and Khalid, in fact, it sounds nowaday as an old fashioned question with a vague objective it is better to cut straight to the point of your interest more than talk without a focus. - María F 17 months ago

The question may sound like a cliche but I think is a valid one. Is a good way to give freedom to the candidate to sell himself/herself the way he/she wants. Is a good way to see their presentation skills.

Daniela Girniceanu
17 months ago
The question is how? - Khalid 17 months ago

Have some input?