How to Answer The Tell Me a Little About Yourself Interview Question

Gain Confidence by Preparing for this Question

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Many of you are in the final stages of your summer internship interviews. One common question that stumps students is the good ole ‘tell me about yourself question. Employers ask students and entry-level candidates the ‘tell me about yourself’ question for one of two reasons.

  1. They didn’t do their homework and prepare for the interview so this is their way to dive into the conversation.
  2. They want to hear you speak about yourself off-the-cuff. How are you when put on the spot? Can you form a proper answer to this seemingly endless question?

    When thinking about how to answer this question, keep the following tips in mind:

    Prepare As Much as Possible. 

    Go to your career center and ask for a mock interview. They should also have a list of practice interview questions for you to review. Have the career center specifically ask you the ‘tell me about yourself’ question so you can get some practice in with that as well.

    Keep It Short.

    You want to give a short, tight answer that doesn’t trail or tangent. The second your thoughts start to wander, the employee’s mind starts to wander as well. The interviewer wants to see first-hand how you communicate.

    Start With Your School and Major. 

    Give the basics first. For example, “I’m Lauren, I go to the University of Central Florida and I’m majoring in communications.” I’d actually avoid stating your year in school. If the company really wants to hire seniors and you are a freshman, they might be turned off from the beginning.

    I’d rather you tell them you are a freshman (if they don’t already know) after the interview once you’ve impressed them.

    Briefly Describe Your Interest in the Company. 

    In the interview (and especially at the beginning) you always want to tie your answers back to the company. You want to hold the employer’s attention.

    Give a short explanation of why you are interested in the company. For example, “I read about this company while researching PR internships online and after browsing your clients and executive bios, I knew this was the company I wanted to intern for.”

    Give An Overview of Your Qualifications.

    Why are you the person to work at the company? Give an overview of some of the qualifications that you plan to discuss during the interview. You could also use this as an opportunity to mention any awards you’re proud of or recognition you’ve received.

    Watch Your Tone and Articulate. 

    You are an expert in yourself, try not to let your nerves get to you. Watch the tone of your voice, you want to make sure you are speaking at the appropriate volume. Make sure you speak slowly and clearly.

    Be Yourself. 

    Remember to be yourself since the interviewer is also assessing you on how well they feel you will fit in the overall company environment. In other words, you want to remember to smile and appear human because a robotic response may cost you the interview.

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