Interview Essentials: Can you tell me about yourself?

It can be intimating preparing for an interview when you don’t know what questions will be asked. Different fields are going to ask different questions, but you can almost always count on being asked some variation of “tell me about yourself.” This question may seem simple, but many people struggle with how much information to include. It is ideal to keep your answer around 1-2 minutes because the interviewer doesn’t want your whole life story and you don’t want to run out of steam early in the interview.

So what should you actually say when you are asked this?

Depending on where you are in your career the content of this question can vary, but try to touch a bit on past, present, and future in whatever order makes the most sense for you. If you are currently in school or a recent graduate you might start with a recap of what you did during your school years. You might then talk about some previous or current experiences, but focus more on why you enjoyed these and what you gained from them instead of giving the same recap that was on your resume. Finally, wrap it up with what you are hoping to accomplish. Why have you chosen this job and this career path and how is it going to help you get to where you want to be?

This question can be overwhelming, but we are here to help! If you want help crafting an answer to this question or want a safe space to practice it and get feedback, swing by the Career and Advising Center or schedule a practice interview through our Mock interview from!

By Delaney Sage
Delaney Sage Career Mentor