When you ask somebody to “tell me a little about yourself,” it’s often because the person is looking for some insight into who they are and what their interests might be. In this article, we’ll provide tips on how best to answer such questions politely and flatteringly so as not to give too much away.
“Tell us about yourself examples” is a question that many people are asked. This article will give you some examples of how to answer this question. Read more in detail here: tell us about yourself examples.
“Tell me a bit about yourself,” says the narrator.
It’s a seemingly benign request — an invitation that’s really a query with no clear answer. But it’s because of this openness that it’s such a tough question to answer. What should you say, how much should you say, and which of the numerous viable replies should you give?
A professor on the first day of class, the leader of a new religious group you’ve joined, a job interviewer, or someone you meet at a party can ask, “Tell me a bit about yourself.” A hesitant or meandering response, whether in a social or professional setting, may significantly set the tone for the contact, stifling the budding dialogue and undermining your initial impression.
Today, we’ll discuss how to respond effectively and persuasively when someone asks you to tell them a bit about yourself. We’ll go through how to respond to this question in a job interview and in social contexts like the first day of class.
In a job interview, how do you respond to the question “Tell me a Little About Yourself?”
One of the most popular ways for an interviewer to start an interview is with a question like “Tell me a bit about yourself.” It helps to break the ice and start a discussion. But don’t be fooled into thinking it’s simply a friendly chit-chat session; the “formal” interview has already started. The majority of interviewers make a choice on a candidate within the first five minutes of the interview, thus how you start matters a lot. Giving a confident, effective response to this common opening question will set the tone for the remainder of the interview.
However, the query’s open-ended nature leads many applicants to fall straight away. How far back in their job history should they go? Is it appropriate for them to discuss their education? Should they give a chronology of all their former employment, or simply highlights from the most recent one? In that moment of uncertainty and doubt, the candidate’s response is often a lot of hemming and hawing.
So, first, let’s go through the most typical varieties of these ineffective reactions, and then we’ll talk about how to come up with a better response.
The Wrong Way to Respond
The reaction to the non-response. “I’m not sure what you want me to say.” Everything is on my resume.”
This reaction will portray you as someone who is extremely literal, obtuse, grumpy, and/or cautious. The hiring manager isn’t asking for a literal recital of your résumé; rather, the inquiry should be interpreted as follows: “Tell me something that will matter to me as I evaluate you for this position,” says career consultant Peggy McKee. The interviewer is looking for you to connect the dots for them, not a list of bullet points.
A monologue on your schooling and employment experience in chronological order. “In college, I majored in accounting and graduated with a 3.7 GPA. After college, my first job was at X Company, where I worked as a… After that, I transferred to Y Company two years later, where my responsibilities included… I was most recently employed at Job Z, where…”
Because the interviewer has your CV in front of them, there’s no need to offer a thorough chronological tour of your qualifications. It’s tiresome, and they’ll eventually tune you out.
A monologue on your own ambitions and enthusiasm for the work. “I’ve always wanted to be a software developer, and this is my absolute dream job,” says the applicant.
You may have high expectations for the work, but the hiring manager is more concerned with what you can accomplish for them.
Oversharing. “I was born in Macon, Georgia, but my family relocated to Pittsburgh when I was twelve years old, and I’ve been here ever since.” For the last fourteen years, I’ve worked in the construction sector. My last employment was great, but when the foreman began having an affair with my wife, he forced me out. And now that I don’t have a job or a wife, all I want to do is start again.”
An interviewer isn’t seeking for a lot of personal information about you; instead, focus on the highlights of your professional experience.
Over-enthusiasm is a vague term that refers to a state of “I’m prepared to help you with anything you need.”
A hiring manager wants to know specifics about what you bring to the table; specifics, not generalities, will elicit follow-up inquiries and get the dialogue flowing.
How to React
Employers may interview a dozen people after sifting through hundreds of applications. After a time, all those suits and pencil skirts merge into one huge swirl of résumé bullet points, and the recruiting manager begins classifying and lumping people together. As a result, your duty is to stand out from the crowd immediately away, as soon as they say, “So tell me a bit about yourself.”
Here’s how to do it:
Keep your reaction to a minimum. Your response should be no more than a minute long. If you go on much longer, the interviewer will lose interest. Don’t say the same thing again. Don’t go off on a tangent.
Remember that you don’t have to tell the interviewer everything you want to know about yourself in this statement; instead, the objective should be to mention things that elicit follow-up questions in areas where you may expound on your abilities.
Begin with a short summary of your professional experience. Summarize the highlights of your resume in a few sentences.
- “I launched my first company when I was 19, graduated from the University of Oklahoma’s College of Business, and have spent the past five years as the sales manager for X Company.”
Give a specific example of the value you may add to the company. What distinguishes you from other applicants in terms of skills and experiences? What aims do you have that are similar to those of the prospective employer? How will you provide value to the firm and assist them in achieving their goals?
What a hiring manager is most interested in is what you’ll bring to the table. You should have previously spent some time thinking about the demands of the possible employer and how/where they fit with your own (here’s how to accomplish it). You should include these “matches” into your answer by providing a specific example of a moment when you utilized your abilities to solve an issue, save money, or enhance quality – one that clearly relates to the company’s goals.
- “At Company X, I assisted with the introduction of three new hit goods to their line-up, resulting in a 5% rise in sales each year I was there.” I am convinced that I can accomplish the same for your firm.”
Mention things that indicate good underlying characteristics. You don’t want to come out as arrogant or arrogant in your answer, but you do want to seem valued and assured. One method to tread this line is to say things that allude to good underlying traits without outright stating them. Consider the following scenario:
- “I earned my bachelor’s degree in three years.” (indicates a strong work ethic)
- “I was the youngest sales manager in the company’s history.” (indicates ability above your years)
Mention any mutual interests you share with the interviewer. If you can do some preliminary research on the individual who will be interviewing you or notice anything about their workplace that you share, include it in your answer. Maybe they attended to the same college as you, were in the same fraternity as you, or used to work for the same firm. Let’s assume you know they’re from Texas, and you’re from Texas as well. While you may not ordinarily specify where you grew up in your answer, you should with that interviewer. Persons prefer people who are similar to them.
Keep everything up to date. A excellent reaction is defined by its relevance. Just because you’re proud of something doesn’t imply it has anything to do with the organization with which you’re interviewing.
Putting Everything Together
The basic principle of a good “Tell me a little about yourself” response is to cover as much ground as possible in as little time as possible; you never know what will pique the interviewer’s interest, so you want to include as many things as possible that might spark a conversation, with a focus on things that demonstrate your strengths and invite follow-up questions that allow you to elaborate on them. It’s essentially a mini-elevator pitch in which you’re pitching yourself.
Here’s an example of how all of the above things may be combined to create an engaging and successful answer to a hiring manager in Texas who is searching for a motivated self-starter to help his firm grow:
“I grew raised in Texas and then went to the University of Tulsa for my undergraduate studies. I completed my accounting degree in three years and began my own company during my sophomore year, which I was able to sell following graduation. During my MBA program at the University of Oklahoma’s business college, I interned at Y Company. I’ve spent the past five years with X Company, where I was the youngest sales manager in the company’s history. Each year I’ve been there, I’ve helped bring three new hit goods to their line-up, increasing sales by 5%. I am convinced that I can accomplish the same for your firm.”
It’s short, but it gets the job done. Consider how many good follow-up questions the interviewer may now ask:
- You’re from Texas, right? What section are you talking about?
- What type of company did you start while you were in college?
- How did you finish college in three years?
- Why did Company Y choose you as a manager at such a tender age?
- At Company Y, what new items did you introduce?
- How did you manage to increase their revenue by 5% per year?
It’s usually a good idea to know what you’re going to say before the interview and practice it a few times. You can start the interview off on the right foot with a little effort.
In a social situation, how do you respond to the question “Tell me a little about yourself?”
At compared to responding to the question “Tell me a bit about yourself” in a job interview, responding to this question in a social setting is very easy and straightforward.
Keep it brief (less than a minute), and include some fascinating details that may elicit follow-up questions, just like you would in an interview. You’re not trying to impress anyone here; instead, you’re just giving people a sense of who you are, whether you have things in common, and fodder for things they might talk to you about — whether the conversation will continue right then, or whether they’ll approach you after class to ask you about something you said.
In different settings, the following items are usually suitable to mention:
The Very First Day of School:
- Where did you come from?
- How did you come to the decision to go to that college (particularly if you’re from out of state)?
- What major you want to pursue, or if you’re still uncertain,
- Why you’re taking the class and what you want to gain from it (professors appreciate hearing this; it’s also a question that might reveal a lot about you to your classmates)
- A quirky, amusing, or unusual fact about yourself (you used to be in the Army and did a tour in Iraq; you drive a PT Cruiser that your aunt gave you and kind of love it; you play a mean harmonica; you once had hair down to your butt; Bill Clinton kissed you as a baby at a 1996 campaign rally; you just got home from serving a two-year mission for your church in Brazil). A unique information might make your students chuckle or just make you stand out in their minds.
A New Church Group/Club/Meet-Up
- If you’re new to the region, tell us where you’re from.
- What led you to your new residence? (again, if you just moved in)
- How did you get interested in or believe in the club?
- Why did you join the organization, and what do you hope to get out of it?
- Any abilities or interests that the organization might employ
- A quirky, amusing, or unusual fact about yourself
At a party or conference, you could meet someone new.
- Where did you come from?
- What do you make a livelihood doing?
- Why are you attending the conference?
- How did you find out about the party’s host?
Small chat isn’t only about coming up with things to say; it’s also about providing material that makes it simple for others to know what to say/ask in return. So simply think of a few things to say that would entice others to learn more about you while making it as simple as possible for them to do so.
The “tell me something interesting about yourself sample answers” is a question that many people have difficulty answering. It can be difficult to know what to say, so I have provided some examples of how others answered the question.
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