I am a software professional. I have attended many interviews, in 99.99 % of them started with a question like "Tell me about yourself"

I start with my name, where I'm from, what I've studied (personal info) etc., then talk about my hobbies, interests and sometimes about my current working environment.

As everybody knows the first impression is the best impression?
Which is the best way to impress an interviewer by telling "about oneself"?

  • 1
    One thing I try to figure out about myself is where I am a little bit different to everyone else I know. This is always a good starting point. Jul 29, 2014 at 23:55

4 Answers 4


The "tell me about yourself" question is usually just used by interviewers to gauge your social/conversational skills. There really isn't a right or wrong answer for it, but since you are seeking a job at the company, use that question to your advantage. You can tell them about about what you studied in school, what skills you have, give them a brief summary of all of your previous jobs, and then tell them how your skills and experience are a good fit for the position. Remember what skills and other requirements they mentioned in the job ad, and if you have those skills, be sure to mention that.

I wouldn't bother with mentioning any personal hobbies or interests, unless they are relevant to the job. For example if you like to work on open-source software projects in your free time, then definitely mention that. But don't waste the interviewer's time by mentioning that you like to go horseback riding or anything that's not related to the job.

"Tell me about yourself" is such an open-ended question that it's a great opportunity to tell them your skills and experience and to sell yourself for the job. It's the best question you could ask for in an interview. I've interviewed many people and asked that question, and a few people seemed intimidated by the question and didn't know what to say. They really blew a golden opportunity to tell me why we should hire them.

  • seems good answer for me.Thanks a lot for sharing your experience Jul 29, 2014 at 7:11
  • Note that 'gauging your social/conversational skills' also tests if you can be 'to the point': prepare to talk a few minutes, not a quarter of an hour.
    – user8036
    Jul 29, 2014 at 7:46
  • Yes, your answer to this question shouldn't be more than a few minutes.
    – user20925
    Jul 29, 2014 at 7:50
  • 7
    I disagree about not telling them anything personal. If you have an unusual hobby, that can help them remember you. After interviewing a handful of applicants, if they can say "oh, the juggler" and remember which applicant you were, that can only help your case, IMO. Jul 29, 2014 at 14:59

I usually resolve this for the candidate by saying "tell me about your self ,more on the technical side".

What i expect him is to provide me with information which might be of interest to me. Name qualification experience and projects.

According to me good approach is to start with your name, qualifications, experience and gradually move towards the information which will help the interviewer in evaluating you.Guide him towards the projects which you are most comfortable explaining.

Tell me about your self is the opportunity which should be used to take control of the flow of interview.

Note : I take care of the technical part only.


Before you answer a question in the interview, it may be good to think why it is being posed to you or what the interview might be expecting as an answer. Here are a few things they would want to hear for a "tell me about yourself" question.

  1. Your accomplishments which would be suitable to the current position

  2. Your work in the past that is relevant to the current position

  3. Your passion or interest: Is your interest aligned to this job?. If you say your interested in philately. It may not what the interviewer would be interested to hear in a tech interview.

  4. If you could you get things done?

  5. Your work values. What do you value most in your work environment. Does it align with the positional requirements?

  6. Culture fit

    Try to chip and blend in these aspects in your answers. So it would be a good answer for these kind of open ended questions. I hope this helps you. Good luck for your interviews.


"Tell me about yourself" is one of the questions that show that you don't have 30 minutes to make an impression to the interviewer, or ten minutes or even five minutes but 30 seconds. In fact, you have to be credible the moment you open your mouth. They say you don't get a second chance to make an impression but often enough, the first impression you make could be the last impression you make. A question just as this one will allow you to set the tone of the interview going forward.

How does "I am an Infosec specialist. I do third level sys engineering in Linux and Windows Server. I know my way around routing and switching. And I am a full stack javascript demon and python fiend" sound? Four sentences. Fifteen seconds. Shock and awe :) You'll have to find your own formula.

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