How to Answer "Tell me about yourself" or "Introduce Yourself" in an Interview
Interview Preparation

How to Answer "Tell me about yourself" or "Introduce Yourself" in an Interview

Imagine, you enter the interview room, the interviewer is sitting right in front of you and asks you to have your seat, and then before you can feel comfortable he throws the scariest question at you "Tell me about yourself". It scares the sh*t out of most college students and some experienced professionals too!

"Tell Me About Yourself" is one of the most common FIRST questions in any kind of an interview, be it technical or HR round! The answer to this question plays a very major role in your selection, But since we are not used to introducing ourselves, this question makes most of us nervous and so we need to practice to answer Tell me about yourself properly as this question can help you to make the interviewer ask the questions you want him to ask you as well as to project your strengths.

Before we jump into the answer we need to understand the following 2 points:
  1. "Should our answer be the same in the technical round and the HR round??"
  2. "Why does the interviewer ask this question??"

Let's answer these questions one by one!

1. "Should our answer be the same in the technical round and the HR round??"

Well, Yes and NO!!
Your answer should vary based on the person asking you this question (Tell me about yourself). A technical interviewer wants to know about your technical skills while an HR personnel wants to know about your interpersonal skills, your leadership qualities etc.
But there are certain things too that are common amongst them, both of them want to know about your academic background and your Home Town (Just for curiosity as well as to bias their decision).

2. "Why does the interviewer ask this question?? (Tell me about Yourself or Introduce Yourself)"

The following points answers this question:

  • The interviewer wants to know about your background.
  • He needs a quick overview of your resume by yourself.
  • How you present yourself
  • How confident are you about yourself.
  • How clear are your views and your thought process.
  • Do you stammer and get nervous while presenting yourself?
  • Have you ever demonstrated leadership qualities.
  • How consistent are you?
  • Are you arrogant or too proud of yourself?

HR's decision depends a lot on the above questions.


Technical Interview: Tell me about Yourself

Besides the above points a technical interviewer is interested in:

  • Your educational background
  • What technologies you are comfortable with
  • What programming languages you know
  • Have you presented any technical presentations or not etc.
  • Have you worked on any open source project?
  • Have you ever worked under pressure and still delivered the results on time?
  • If you are a fresher your answer to Tell me about yourself should start in the following way:
  • Tell your full name, your father's name , how many siblings you have and where is your home town.
  • Tell about your 10th Boards Examination with percentage ans Board of Examination.
  • Do the same about your 12th Boards.
  • Tell me about your College and the Percentage / CGPA you got.
  • Tell about Extra-Curricular Activities and Achievements.
  • Any Extra courses/training and certifications that you acquired.
  • About your Hobbies and interests.


A Sample Answer to Tell me about yourself

Interviewer: "Hi Kushal!"
Candidate: "Hello Sir!"
Interviewer: " Tell me about yourself."
"My name is Kushal Singh and I am from Delhi. My Fathers' Name is Shri Sandeep Singh and I have one brother who is currently pursuing his MBBS from Mumbai. I have done my schooling from DAV Public School, Delhi which is a C.B.S.E Board School and have passed 10th Boards with 85.2% in 2004, For 12th I got admission into Delhi Public School, R.K.Puram and scored 82% in the Boards Examination in 2006. After that, I appeared for Engineering Entrance Examination and got Admitted to R.V. College of Engineering, Bangalore, and completed my engineering in 2010 with a CGPA of 8.5. During my Engineering period, I took part in a lot of Extra-Curricular Activities like Paper Presentations, organizing College Festivals, Organizing Technical Camps and was also part of an N.G.O "Dream A Dream" in Bangalore. I also like to play guitar and make Pencil Sketches."
Now, here comes the part where you have to start adding differing your answer for Technical Interviewer and for an HR Interviewer. But Be Careful not to brag a lot and look arrogant. Be very polite and mind your tone.
For Technical Interviewer:

"I have also attended training in Java and developed an interest in Web Development in my final year and have contributed to various technology blogs. I have a sound knowledge of HTML, CSS, Javascript for the Front End Development, and Java for the Back End development."
For HR Interviewer:

"I have participated in Leadership programs and was very active in organizing Cultural College Festivals, Have participated in Mad-AD competitions and Slow Dag competitions, and won many prizes. During all the 4 years of my College, I was the Class Representative of my class and was recognized as one of the best Representatives."

Final Points of How to answer "Tell me about yourself" interview question in an interview?

Go through all the points discussed in this article carefully and try to create your own answer to the question "tell me about yourself" in the pattern given. Practice it properly and try to record it in audio /video format and listen to yourself.
If possible show the video to some of your close friends and ask their opinion.

Keep It brief, especially the Personal Details. An interviewer actually wants to know how good can you do the work. So he is interested in your Academic background in case of a fresher and your professional experience in case you are experienced and not your family history.

Why is it crucial to answer tell me about yourself properly?

A good answer to this question might impress the interviewer in the first 2 minutes itself. Let's say that if you have done something that really differentiates you from others, it will catch the interviewer's eye immediately.
Ex: If you have won an award in your college, or you were the topper of your engineering batch, or you had a state rank in Maths or Science Olympiad, etc.

How can you steer your interview through your answer to "Tell me about yourself"

If you answer the "Tell me about yourself" wisely, you can almost force the interviewer to ask questions to you from a specific domain that you are good at. If you have worked on a certain technology or you are interested in some specific programming language or you are good at managing certain conditions.. mention it!! The interviewer is most likely to start asking you about it in detail, Bingo!