In a quest to better ourselves as individuals and as men, it is completely normal to go searching for a job. It provides financial security as well as a sense of purpose. However, to get the job, we have to scale through a few hurdles, like the “tell me about yourself” interview question.

While the interview might seem easy, this part can be a bit daunting. This is because the interviewer usually is looking for more than just basic information about how you like bread and beans. You don’t necessarily need to have an existential crisis of “who am I?” However, you do need to be careful. In this article, we’ll be walking you through how best to tackle this behemoth of a question.

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How do you answer the “tell me about yourself” question?

As with most things in life that require relating with people, there is no sure way to answer this. Different interviewers are looking for different things in you. Regardless, instead of going off like Eminem in a quest to break his speed record, you can start small. These three segments provide a template for an excellent response.

1. Your Past

You can open your answer with this. Bear in mind that it is a professional setting. Your potential employer does not want to know about the one time you went swimming and saw someone pee in the pool. They’re not quite interested in your teenage online gaming record either.

Instead, you’ll want to give them an insight into notable things you have done in the past. If you are still an undergraduate or you recently crossed that bar, you can tell them about notable things you did/have done in school. This would be a great time to mention that volunteer work.

2. Your Present

From the things you have done, you can slowly steer the conversation into the now. If you are looking for a new job, the chances are that you don’t have one at the time of answering the “tell me about yourself” question. Besides, a potential employer might not be too pleased to know that you are working for someone else. So, tell them about your current endeavours. Explain how you are in the process of taking a new course that will make you an absolute gem to their company. By the way, there’s no need to use “absolute gem” unless you want to sound self-aggrandizing.

3. Your future

While you might want to think of it as your personal life, many companies are quite interested in your goals. This would be a great time to tell them. Again, no need for the personal stuff. They don’t need to know that you want to get married and settle down before 30. This, of course, is subject to the disposition of your interviewer. However, we’ll advice that you tell them your goals as it aligns with the current role. “I’m hoping that in the next three to four years, I’ll be able to _____.” Find that which matters to the company and align it with yourself. However, remain honest.

In conclusion

“Tell me about yourself” isn’t the most difficult question but it can cause you to break a few beads of sweat. By following the three steps in this guide and practicing, you won’t necessarily need to stress the next time you’re asked.