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“Tell Me About Yourself” for Freshers: How To Impress Your Interviewer

So, “Tell Me About Yourself.” Though an easy question, it's difficult to answer. With these tips, you can answer it effectively and improve the outcome.

If an interviewer asked you to "Tell me about yourself," how would you respond? Though it's a seemingly simple question, it often causes people to stumble and stutter.

Typically, this question is posed at the start of the interview, and honestly, it sets the tone for the remainder of the conversation.

While it doesn't require any "special" knowledge, as it pertains to you and your life, you still need to be prepared to establish the tone you want for the interview.

At MentorCruise, our mentors understand the importance of this question. Answering it correctly could be the difference between a good and a not-so-good interview.

Because of its significance, in this blog, we'll discuss the following:

  • Why interviewers ask, "Tell me about yourself."
  • How to answer the question "Tell me about yourself."
  • Examples of answering the question "Tell me about yourself."

Why Interviewers Ask, “Tell Me About Yourself?”

Before learning how to talk about yourself in interviews, you need to know why interviewers ask this question.

As you attend more interviews, you’ll find it is a recurring question. Interviewers repeat it because it serves as an icebreaker. They also get to know you better and gain insight into your career aspirations, background, etc.

More than an ice breaker, when the interviewer asks you, “Tell me about yourself,” they also want to know how the company can benefit from your skills. It’s an opportunity for the hiring manager to learn about your soft and technical skills.

While answering this question, the interviewer will note your honesty, flow of speech, and confidence.

If you’re unable to find the right words when talking about yourself, the hiring manager will conclude you lack confidence. Also, if you stutter while talking, the interviewer may conclude you’re not a good fit for the role.

The hiring manager will focus on every point you make while answering the interview question. Your answer sets the stage for further questions, as they will be based on the skills you specify while answering.

Variations of “Tell Me About Yourself” for Freshers

Most of the time, hiring managers say the exact words, “Tell me about yourself.”

However, your interviewer might have their version, but it means the same thing. This could be something like:

  • Walk me through your resume
  • Tell me something that’s not on your resume
  • I’d love to hear about your journey
  • What do you like most about yourself?
  • What’s your background story?
  • Tell me something unique about you.

Information Freshers Need to Include in Their Answer

There is information your answer to the question “Tell me about yourself” must contain.

Below are some of the details to include in your response:

  • Your name
  • Location
  • Projects/internships undertaken
  • University and additional qualifications
  • Adjectives to describe yourself
  • Passion, hobbies, weaknesses, and strengths
  • How well do you fit into the job

Sample “Tell Me About Yourself” Structure for Freshers

As a fresher, begin with your name and the college or university you attended.

Next, state your specialization and your CGPA. After providing this information, you need to be careful about what you say. When you share irrelevant facts, you might lose the chance to land the job.

After stating your educational background, talk about the skills you learned while studying and how you applied them to develop tasks.

Finally, highlight how these qualities helped you carry out your final year project. However, you should try not to give too much information, just the title and how your skills were helpful.

Also, explain why you’re a good fit for the position. Don’t simply say you’re hardworking or you’re a team player. Instead, provide proof by describing how you’re a part of a club and your activities in it.

Then, end your answer by talking about your passion and your hobbies. This shows the interviewer you have interests beyond your academics.

The Ideal Formula for Answering “Tell Me About Yourself” for Freshers

You can use a simple and effective answer structure that revolves around the present, past, and future.

  • Present: Talk about a recent accomplishment, like your project and its scope.
  • Past: Talk about how you got to that position, your education, achievements, and skills you think are relevant to the job and the company you’re interviewing at.
  • Future: Talk about what you’re looking forward to and why you’re interested in the position. You should also inform the interviewer why you’re an excellent fit.

You can tweak the response order based on your preference. If there’s a unique story that brought you to this field, you can start with that before you get into your present or vice versa.

Whatever order you settle for, ensure you tie it to the position and the company. You want to ensure you leave the interviewer with the impression that you’re the right fit for the job.

Tips for Properly Answering “Tell Me About Yourself” for Freshers

Below are some tips for answering “tell me about yourself” questions for freshers.

1. Shape Your Answer to Fit the Company and Role

To ensure your answer aligns with the company and the role, you must study the role and the company you’re applying to. Research shows that 47% of candidates fail their job interviews because they don’t have enough information about the company they applied to.

When the hiring manager asks you the question, “Tell me about yourself,” they want relevant information about the position you’re applying for and the company. The interviewer allows you to briefly share why you have the ideal qualifications by asking this question.

It is an opportunity, so you need to take advantage of it. To effectively do that, spend time going through the job description and researching the company. Also, try to figure out how you can tell your story in a way that clearly shows your interest and what you bring to the table concerning the job.

Most people have a basic template they use for answering every interview. However, you need to try and change it every time to fit different companies. Doing this shows that you understand what the company wants.

2. Keep it Professional

Try to keep your interview answer as professional as you can.

For example, when freshers answer the question ‘Tell me about yourself,’ they share several unnecessary personal details. Avoid doing this, as it draws attention away from your goal of proving you’re a perfect fit for the role.

This isn’t the appropriate time to go on about every activity you engage in and your family. You should only talk about family if the company prioritizes familial relationships.

3. Add Passion to Your Answer

Although it’s necessary to keep your answer to the interview question professional, shed some light on why you’re passionate about the company and the role.

This is crucial, although it might broach some personal territory. Sometimes, telling your story from an emotional perspective can help engage the interviewer and set you apart.

There’s no need to provide too much detail. However, if your goal is to stand out, add some passion to your answer. Most interviewers are not looking to talk to robots; they want to speak to a human.

4. Be Concise and Steer Clear of Rehashing Your Resume

When answering this interview question, avoid repeating every detail of your career. Most people answer the question like they’re reading a dissertation. Doing this will only bore your interviewer to tears, and that’s far from the goal.

Your answer should be engaging and entertaining. How you answer this question will give the interviewer a hint about how you’ll speak in meetings with clients, co-workers, and bosses.

Although there’s no perfect length or answer to the question of how long interview answers should be, research shows that job interviews last between 45 minutes to 1 hour. It can be even shorter when it’s a Zoom virtual interview.

At MentorCruise, our career mentors advise that you keep your answer to a minute or less. Try not to talk for more than two minutes. Some people prefer to speak for longer, but they lose steam after one to two minutes of uninterrupted talking. If you choose to keep talking after that, there’s a chance you’ll be giving too many details too soon.

5. Practice But Learn to Improvise

Practicing is one of the keys to preparing for an interview. You shouldn’t wait until the process begins before practicing your answer. After researching the question, think about the information you want to convey during the interview and practice saying it aloud.

Sometimes, you can leave a voicemail or record your answer and listen to it later. This allows you to give yourself some perspective and distance so you can objectively decide if your answer sounds solid and credible by listening to the recording.

If possible, do not practice solo. It helps to rehearse with people around; by hearing you say your answer aloud, they can provide you with feedback. It will give you some perspective on how others are interpreting your words.

Also, ask your practice buddy what they would say if they were in the position. Putting yourself in the interviewer’s shoes helps you determine what they might be watching for. However, while practice can strengthen your answer and build confidence, you should avoid reciting and memorizing.

6. Know Your Audience

Like with every other interview question, you must understand who you’re talking to. Sometimes, the interviewer will ask you different variations of the “tell me about yourself" question at various stages of the interview process. However, this doesn’t mean you should give the exact answer each time.

If your interviewer is not interested in the hard skills, focus on the bigger picture instead. Consider getting more technical with your answer. Sometimes, talking about what attracted you to the company’s overall mission is a smart move.

7. Remember This Is Your First Impression – It Matters

You have a few seconds to make your first impression, so make it count.

Most times, interviewers make their hiring decision within the first 90 seconds of an interview. This includes your greeting, eye contact, handshake, and answer to “Tell me about yourself.”

Your first impression can determine the tone and direction of the interview. Ensure your answer doesn’t put you in a position where you have to spend the rest of the interview making up for the poor opening.

Instead, give a confident, concise, and relevant answer to the question. You shouldn’t just prepare for the interview; show the interviewers how prepared you are.

How To Answer ‘Tell Me About Yourself’ for Freshers Using CAR Interview Method

The CAR method is one of the best techniques for answering interview questions. It involves establishing a challenge, action, and result.

By following the steps in this method, you can create a context for your response. It allows the interviewer to understand your skills and abilities.

The CAR method creates a story featuring a beginning, middle, and an impressive end your interviewer will remember.

C – Challenge

This is the context of your answer. It covers your former role, achievements, and why your response is essential.

For example, a challenge can revolve around a project you once carried out, a goal you once tried achieving, and how you learned from the process.

A great setup is crucial for every answer. Unfortunately, most candidates forget it when answering interview questions like ‘Tell me about yourself’ for freshers.

A – Action

At this point, talk about the steps you took in the role or how you completed a project.

Next, discuss how you addressed different challenges and your most significant contribution to the solution.

The ‘Action’ stage is where you demonstrate to the interviewer that you’re a ‘figure it out’ person.

R – Results

This is the final part of your interview answer. It is the payoff in your story. At this point, you’re pulling everything together to impress the interviewer and shine.

Explain how your actions impacted the project or the position and use data to emphasize your contributions. However, stories improve data. Therefore, the CAR method must be employed to ensure full impact.

Sample Answers for “Tell Me About Yourself” Interview Question

Whether you’re looking for “tell me about yourself” university interview sample answers or responses for a job interview, these sample answers for freshers will guide you as you create your response.

Sample Answer 1

Challenge/Context: My recent graduation from XYZ University with a degree in Business Administration marks a significant milestone in my journey. My experiences leading teams in high school sparked an early interest in administration, steering me toward this field of study.

Action: While at university, I interned at a fashion e-commerce startup. My responsibilities ranged from managing social media marketing to assisting with marketing events. I took the initiative to manage the marketing manager's calendar, handle expense reports, and even contribute to email newsletter campaigns.

Results: The dynamic environment of the startup was a rich learning ground where I honed my marketing and administrative skills. My proactive approach led to a 20% reduction in management hours by streamlining email processes. With a blend of academic knowledge and practical internship experience, I am eager to apply my skills in a new role that promises hands-on experience and growth opportunities.

Sample Answer 2

Challenge/Context: My name is Blue Jonas, and I am an Engineering graduate from DEF University. My parents were computer engineers, and growing up, I learned a lot about their work. This got me interested over the years, and I decided to pursue a career in the same field.

Action: I honed my technical skills in Java, SQL, Data structures, and C through online courses and applied them in a final year project, creating a surveillance robot with a Raspberry Pi. My communication and leadership abilities were sharpened through active participation in the technical education society and an internship at a tech startup.

Result: With a strong foundation in engineering from DEF University and a passion for technology, I am eager to apply my technical and interpersonal skills to contribute to this company's success. I am equally committed to continuous learning and professional development.

Nail “Tell Me About Yourself” With MentorCruise

Proper preparation is key to excelling in any interview and securing your ideal job. These insights should assist you in crafting a compelling response to the prompt “Tell me about yourself.” The secret to interview success lies in diligent preparation, and engaging with a career mentor often proves to be the most effective strategy.

A career mentor serves as a mock interviewer, posing a variety of questions you're likely to encounter during the actual interview. Moreover, your mentor will offer valuable feedback, helping you to refine your responses and expand your understanding. 

To kickstart your career growth, book a session today.

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