I know there are lot of posts for "Tell me about yourself" question, but I'm looking for the best way to list all of my educational qualifications. Do you prefer chronological or the reverse-chronological order??

I always try to keep my answers short and concise, more specifically things that I want to list are

  1. Areas of interest at schooling, that lead to undergrad study
  2. Things that I did during UG, projects, papers etc.,
  3. Current experiences as a Grad student ( Research Assistant )

Are there any things to add? Any suggestions??

What are the things to remember if I go with Chronological and if I go with reverse-chronological??

  • 1
    Does your educational record have direct relevance to the positions that you are applying for? If not, you are probably overthinking it. Remember, your resume should be designed so that a prospective employer can plow through it in 15 seconds. Mar 16, 2015 at 19:25
  • Yes, I'm applying for the positions that fit for my resume. I'm done with my resume stuff. My questions is about "Tell me about yourself" type of interview question.
    – gimibarak
    Mar 16, 2015 at 19:32
  • Are you asking about how to respond during the interview or to a written question?
    – KenB
    Mar 17, 2015 at 17:19
  • during the interview
    – gimibarak
    Mar 17, 2015 at 17:33

4 Answers 4


I think you are overthinking your response and you risk coming off sounding rehearsed. The other questions on here under the same topic give some good input and I recommend you review them again.

When I'm interviewing someone and ask this question it has a couple purposes. One is an ice breaker and it gets the candidate talking about themselves. I'm looking for how they carry the conversation as well as get some insight into what they feel is important in their background. The other thing I'm looking for is to get a sense of the main passion and interests as they relate to the position.

For example, if someone says their favorite language is Java and they give some background on why it tells me something about them and I can start to assess if their passion aligns with the role and responsibilities of the position. If I start to get a blow by blow of what they learned in each class from start of college, my eyes are likely to glaze over as it may not be relevant to what I'm looking for. We will get into the concepts learned from classes as my interview team starts to dig into those areas in the body of the interview. Treat this question as your opportunity to give an executive summary of who you are and what drives you in the context of the available position.

I see zero benefit to trying to arrange your answer in some chronological manner. It feels too rigid and it could cause you to trip yourself up if you start going in order and realize you forgot something. I'm also concerned that you are trying to launch into a retelling of your resume in verbal form. Highlight the key things about you that qualify you for the position. Think contextually and make your answer relevant to this interview.

RELAX! There isn't a right answer to this question, but there are certainly wrong ones that don't put the answer in the context of the available position.


Easy... This is the time to brag about yourself and to explain why you are better then any other candidate in the pool of candidates for whatever specific job you are interviewing for. This is a time for the interviewers to see how proud a person is of what he has done in the past that makes him the BEST candidate for the job today.


Your educational qualifications and achievements are relevant only to the positions that you are applying for, and only if your educational qualifications make you a standout in comparison to other candidates. Otherwise, your educational qualifications act as a time filler during the interview. And interview time is too valuable for the inclusion of filler materials when you need to make a convincing case that you are a strong candidate and the kind of employee that they'd love to have.

In discussing your professional quailications e.g. work experience, skills set and education, it's usually best to start from the present and go back in time. The reason is that usually, the experience that motivated the prospective employer to reach out to you is the most recent experience, be it - work experience, education or skills set.

If your most relevant experience was not the latest experience, then discuss your most relevant experience firt, and then make a short discussiuon as to how your most relevant experience carried over into your current position.


If it's not 100% relevant to the position then don't bring it up. For software jobs, the Research Assistant portion is as long as you keep it focused on the problems you were solving.

Things that led to your undergrad study aren't relevant. If you worked on a project in college that deals with challenges you might face at this new job, then bring those up. However if all you want to say is "I decided to take Intro to Comp Sci because my cousin said that Java coding is fun" - then leave it out as that has zero bearing on whether you are qualified for the job or not.

From that perspective, it doesn't matter if you go forwards or backwards. What matters is whether you are giving the relevant information to the reviewer so that they can make an informed decision.

  • Do you really think, experiences as RA aren't relevant?
    – gimibarak
    Mar 16, 2015 at 21:15
  • If RA means Resident Assistant and you are applying for a programming job, then no, it isn't relevant. If you are applying for a job as a hotel manager then .. maybe. You tagged this software-industry which, for a new person, means either programming or tech support. Making sure people are quiet in the dorm or helping them stumble back to their bunks when arriving drunk isn't material.
    – NotMe
    Mar 16, 2015 at 21:18
  • in my post RA is Research Assistant. You drive me crazyy..
    – gimibarak
    Mar 16, 2015 at 21:20
  • @Giri: I'll update my post to reflect that.
    – NotMe
    Mar 16, 2015 at 21:21
  • Please go through my edit.
    – gimibarak
    Mar 16, 2015 at 21:37

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