"Tell Me About Yourself." What Do You Want to Know?
by Ashley Taylor | September 24, 2019
The dreaded “Tell me about yourself” question seems simple enough, but it’s the one that trips up many candidates during interviews. It’s such a broad question—what exactly do employers want to know about you? Since this question is usually one of the first asked, having a polished and well thought out response can be the difference between starting with a great impression or getting off on the wrong foot.
While this question seems broad, it is important to remember you are in an interview. Therefore, irrelevant personal information is not necessary to include. An ideal response would offer a brief academic summary and a quick highlight of strengths and relevant experience. Finish out your answer by connecting how your experience and skills support the needs of the position for which you are applying.
If you haven’t already, reflect on why an employer should hire you and why you want to work for a specific company. Remember one of the golden rules of interviewing: do not assume that all interviewers have read your resume. Your response to this question offers a summary of your resume and an overview of you as a candidate.
Follow these steps to craft your own “Tell me about yourself” response.
Introduce yourself: Name and degree
My name is Brutus Buckeye and I’m a senior graduating from Ohio State this May with my degree in Mechanical Engineering and a minor in Environmental Engineering.
Provide a brief academic summary: Include a highlight of relevant coursework and/ or impressive involvement, research, and internships.
During my time at Ohio State I built foundational engineering skills through several specialized courses and hands-on projects. I previously interned with ABC Company for two rotations, where I worked to address manufacturing delays on the gear line. This position required me to be flexible and methodical as I troubleshot both ongoing concerns and immediate needs. I also developed my leadership and collaboration skills as a founding member of Sustainable Buckeyes, where I’m currently leading an initiative with Ohio State facilities to design a greywater recycling system.
Connect to the position.
I gained an appreciation for the consistent pace of manufacturing during my internships, which led me to apply to this position with X Company. In researching more about X Company, I saw the recent announcement on your website about the 2025 initiative. This makes me even more excited to use my environmental engineering skills to incorporate sustainable and waste reduction practices into current manufacturing operations.
“Go for it. The world is waiting for you.” – Marian Croak