I faced this question many times earlier. My friends are going for their interviews now. I used to tell about all my schooling, college and family etc in answer to this question. One of my friends said that when he was answering this question the interviewer interrupted him and told to tell only about professional information.

I want to ask what should be the ideal answer for "Tell me something about yourself" in a technical/HR interviews at a small/large company.

  • This question is a bit too broad. I think it could be reopened if you edited it to focus on one or two possible responses. Maybe you could ask "How should I discuss X?" or "What do I need to consider when discussing Y?". – yoozer8 Dec 13 '13 at 1:45
  • Keep it pro. The question may be testing your ability to identify what a situation's business-related need is, and to stay on topic to address what is required. Briefly mention school so that they know you graduated, which quickly explains what you've done with years of your life, and don't elaborate further unless the school applies to your job. (Ditto for college.) Don't bother mentioning family unless it applies to the job. The more you say unrelated to the job, the more likely you say something that scares them off. Show you can take care of, and focus on, the job they might offer. – TOOGAM Apr 26 '16 at 7:48

I have asked this question in interviews. It means tell me things about yourself that might make me consider hiring you. It is also a chance to give you an easy question to break the ice (After all you should know what is on your resume, right?) So yes concentrate on professional experience and education. Do not talk about your personal life (this may be culturally different in other countries, I am in the US).

The only time I would bring up things like hobbies is if I can see from the interviewer's office that we have something in common and then I might mention, "Oh I see you ski, too" (figured out from his pictures of skiiing) Have you been to Vail? I love it there. But it would be part of casual conversation before or after the interview, not in answer to a question unless someone directly asked me about hobbies (Which has never happened).

Mentioning family is an absolute non-no. It is irrelevant to whether you can do the job. And it could very well take you out of the runnning especially if you are woman with children or planning to have children.


Your friend was dead right, whenever Interviewer ask about yourself tell him about your profession.

Some things you must tell him/her,


Education Qualification(schooling , collages, university ,Degree etc)


Your Age

You can tell these things too, But these are not compulsory.

Your Hobbies , Hobby is a part of your living, Although it might be tempting to share a list of your most compelling qualifications for the job at hand, a more low-key approach will probably help you to develop a personal rapport with your interviewer. Examples might include a hobby which you are passionate about like quilting, astronomy, chess, choral singing, golf, skiing, tennis or antiquing.

Interests like long distance running or yoga which help to represent your healthy, energetic side are worth mentioning. Pursuits like being an avid reader or solving crossword puzzles or brain teasers will help to showcase your intellectual leaning. Interests like golf, tennis and gourmet food might have some value if you would be entertaining clients in your new job.

Siblings Just tell them how many members are in your family and that's it.No more If interviewer ask about it then you should tell them.

Any person you know working presently in that company

Your Address(Not detail one)

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    Hey bangarang, and welcome to The Workplace! Any chance you could focus on how to respond to "Tell us about yourself..."? You say you agree with the friend, but the friend said that talking about hobbies, or families was not well-received by the interviewer who wanted him/her to talk about themselves as a professional. If you explained your logic a bit more in an edit, it would help out! Thanks in advance. – jmac Dec 11 '13 at 8:16
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    Instead of your address, you could tell the general area where you are located in. Mostly if it's far from the workplace (long commute = more likely delays every now and then), or even being cut off in severe weather. This will probably affect distance working options. – Juha Untinen Dec 11 '13 at 14:08
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    Age? Must tell? Yeah, I don't think so. – thursdaysgeek Dec 11 '13 at 19:48

IMO this question is an ice breaker and usually asked in the beginning of the interviews.

In replying to this question, I have mostly heard people talk briefly about their education, work/technology experience along with domain (knowledge) demonstration. Achievements and out of work involvement with technology if any (like a certification or an open source project code commit-ter). All of this is sufficient for me when I am conducting interviews for (IT)developer roles and I would think would be sufficient in most interview scenarios. However, if the interviewer needs to know additional details s/he will ask you to give additional details about your family or probably your nocturnal routine. In case if you are from a region where fudging resumes is common place, an astute interviewer might use your answers to cross reference what you say with what you have written in your resume.

Of course if you are applying for positions which require security clearance and if it is not just the initial interview rounds, then the interviewer will ask for very detailed answers.


How best to answer this question depends on the specifics of the job and company for/at which you are interviewing. But answering it well is really, in my opinion, more about preparation. Here are some things to think about before you go into the interview:

  1. Do your research on the company. What is the culture like there? Who would be a good fit in terms of personality and work style?
  2. Do your research on the position. Same sorts of things from 1. apply here as well.

Rehearse an honest answer (i.e. a truthful one that you can back up with examples) prior to the interview; but cater the content of your answer to what you know about the position. Taking this approach will let the interviewer know that you have done your homework and give him/her an opportunity to dig deeper into what is most important to them. This isn't just a matter of telling them what they want to hear, but it is a matter of telling them what they need to hear about you.

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