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How Do You Answer ‘Introduce Yourself’ in a Job Interview?

how to answer tell me about yourself
how to answer tell me about yourself

“Tell me about yourself” is a timeless classic when it comes to the job interview – candidates have been answering it for over 100 years. In many situations, this open-ended question is often one of the first in an interview, setting the tone for the rest of the conversation. Here’s how to answer Introduce Yourself in a Job Interview,including some do’s and don’ts and sample answers that can help you shine in 2024.

Understanding the Purpose

Before diving into how to answer, it’s crucial to understand why interviewers ask, “Tell me about yourself.” This question gives them a snapshot of your background and helps them gauge how well you’ll fit into their company culture. It also serves as an icebreaker, allowing you to showcase your communication skills and set a positive tone for the interview.

This is just some friendly advice to candidates in all industries and at all levels – it doesn’t matter if you are entry level or high up on the corporate chain, you need to be ready with your personal “elevator pitch” when the moment hits. Never waste an opportunity to shine when your interviewer says, “Why don’t you tell me a little about yourself.”

Crafting a Compelling Answer

Your response should be a concise, engaging summary of your professional journey, highlighting your relevant skills and experiences. Here are some key elements to include:

  1. Current Position: Briefly describe your current role and responsibilities.
  2. Professional Background: Outline your career path, emphasizing relevant experiences.
  3. Key Achievements: Highlight significant accomplishments that demonstrate your value.
  4. Future Goals: Connect your past experiences to the position you’re applying for and explain why you’re excited about this opportunity.

Your interviewer could be a recruiter, the hiring manager, or the President of the company. Regardless, they are looking for confidence and a sense of how you’ll be perceived by peers, subordinates, customers, etc. They are interested in how you handle yourself on the fly. Are you articulate? Are you enthusiastic? Or overly nervous and avoiding eye contact.

Be prepared to answer this question and you’ll have an opportunity to set the tone of the entire interview. An engaged interviewer will ask follow-up questions soon after you begin. Make good use of your time. And whatever you do, don’t ask, “What do you want to know?”

how to answer tell me about yourself
how to answer tell me about yourself


Do’s and Don’ts


  • Keep It Professional: Focus on your career-related experiences and skills.
  • Be Concise: Aim for a response that’s no longer than two minutes tops.
  • Tailor Your Answer: Customize your response to align with the job you’re applying for.
  • Show Enthusiasm: Convey genuine interest in the role and the company.
  • Practice: Rehearse your answer to ensure you deliver it smoothly.


  • Don’t Ramble: Stay focused and avoid going off on tangents.
  • Avoid Personal Details: Keep your answer professional and relevant.
  • Don’t Recite Your Resume: Offer a narrative that complements, rather than repeats, your resume.
  • Steer Clear of Negative Remarks: Avoid criticizing previous employers or colleagues.
  • Don’t Be Vague: Provide specific examples and achievements to support your claims.
    how to answer tell me about yourself
    how to answer tell me about yourself

    Sample Answers

    Example 1: For an Experienced Professional

    “Sure! I’m currently a project manager at XYZ Corporation, where I’ve been for the past five years. In my role, I’ve led several successful projects, including the implementation of a new project management software that increased our team’s productivity by 30%. Prior to this, I worked at ABC Company as a project coordinator, where I honed my skills in resource allocation and team collaboration. I’m particularly proud of a project where I managed to reduce costs by 15% without compromising quality. I’m excited about the opportunity to bring my experience in project management and my passion for efficiency to your team at [Company Name].”

    Example 2: For a Recent Graduate

    “Absolutely! I recently graduated from State University with a degree in marketing. During my time at university, I completed several internships, including one at a digital marketing agency where I helped develop social media strategies for small businesses. This experience allowed me to apply my coursework in a real-world setting and gain valuable insights into digital marketing trends. I also led a campus campaign that increased student engagement by 40%. I’m enthusiastic about the opportunity to bring my fresh perspective and creative skills to the marketing team at [Company Name].”

    Example 3: For a Career Changer

    “Certainly! My background is in finance, where I spent the last seven years as an analyst at DEF Corporation. In this role, I developed a keen eye for detail and a strong understanding of data analytics. Recently, I discovered a passion for data science and have completed several courses in Python and machine learning. I even worked on a project where I used data analysis to predict market trends, which improved our investment strategies. I’m eager to transition into a data science role and believe that my analytical skills and newfound expertise will be valuable to your team at [Company Name].”

    Putting a Contemporary Spin on the Answer

    To modernize your response to the “Tell me about yourself” interview question, consider these tips:

    1. Incorporate Technology: Mention any relevant technological skills or experiences. For example, if you’ve used specific software or tools that are pertinent to the job, highlight these.  For example – AI is a hot commodity; if you know it, say so! 71% of leaders say they would rather hire a less experienced candidate with AI skills than a more experienced candidate without them, according to the 2024 Work Trend Index Annual Report from Microsoft and LinkedIn.
    2. Emphasize Adaptability: Being being adaptable is crucial. Showcase instances where you’ve successfully adapted to new roles, technologies, or challenges.
    3. Highlight Remote Work Experience: If applicable, discuss your successful experience with remote work or virtual collaboration, as these are increasingly valuable skills.
    4. Showcase Continuous Learning: Mention any recent courses, certifications, or learning experiences that demonstrate your commitment to staying current in your field.
    5. Focus on Soft Skills: Communication, teamwork, and problem-solving are always in demand. Provide examples that illustrate your proficiency in these areas.

    Tips for a Successful Delivery

    Delivering your answer confidently is as important as crafting it. Here are some additional interview tips to ensure you make a great impression and they hold true whether you are interviewing in person or doing so virtually:

    1. Maintain Eye Contact. Show confidence and helps build a connection with your interviewer.
    2. Use Positive Body Language. Sit up straight, smile, and use natural hand gestures.
    3. Speak Clearly and at a Moderate Pace. Avoid rushing through your answer.
    4. Be Authentic. Let your personality shine through. Authenticity can be very appealing to employers.
    5. Pause and Breathe. If you feel nervous, take a moment to breathe and collect your thoughts before answering.

    Your response should last only two minutes, only longer if the interviewer stops you to ask clarifying questions. You want to keep the attention of your interviewer. Being succinct will translate into confidence and competence. Rambling on will have the opposite effect. I’d recommend testing your response with a friend. Choose someone that you think is an effective communicator.

    Your story should convey that you’re the right candidate for the position because you understand the challenge before you and have demonstrated success in similar positions. And your interviewer should know that you are interested!


how to answer tell me about yourself
how to answer tell me about yourself

Employment expert, Jason Banks, CSP, says
“Tell me about yourself”
is a dangerous question.

He says that it is a WE question and not an I question!
Watch this short clip to hear Jason explain in his own words about the best response you can offer.

The Role of Lloyd Staffing in Interview Preparation

Partnering with a staffing firm like Lloyd Staffing can provide you with invaluable interview tips and personalized coaching. With their deep industry knowledge and extensive experience in preparing candidates, Lloyd Staffing can help you refine your “Tell me about yourself” answer to ensure it resonates with potential employers. Their experts understand the nuances of various industries and can offer tailored advice to help you stand out.  Test out your “Tell Me About Yourself” pitch with your Lloyd recruiter. Listen to their feedback and adjust your answer accordingly. 

Get the Offer!

Answering the “Tell me about yourself” question effectively requires a blend of preparation, relevance, and authenticity. By understanding the purpose of the question, structuring your answer thoughtfully, and delivering it with confidence, you can make a strong first impression. Remember to keep your response professional, concise, and tailored to the job at hand. With these interview tips and the support of a firm like Lloyd Staffing, you’ll be well-equipped to navigate this common interview question and set the stage for a successful interview.
Good luck!

Resources to Help You be Interview Ready

how to answer tell me about yourself
how to answer tell me about yourself
how to answer tell me about yourself
how to answer tell me about yourself

Lloyd’s former Chief Communication Officer, Nancy Schuman, CSP, spent considerable time collaborating with recruiters and hiring executives alike for her books:
If you need to craft and practice your interviewing skills, you might want to look them up at your local library or on Amazon.


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