Interview Questions like “Tell me about yourself” are one of the first questions asked during a job interview. Your response to this request will set the tone for the rest of the interview. It’s a great opportunity to take control of the interview and position yourself as the perfect candidate for the job. This article will show you the common mistakes made by most job seekers when the recruiter says “Tell me about yourself”. More importantly how to answer in an effective way.

Why do Recruiters Ask This Question?

Mostly the recruiter wants information that is relevant to the job you’re interviewing for. He also wants to see how you react to a question asked casually and without structure.

Common Mistakes

Many candidates respond by launching into a recitation of their CV.

Example: I am Paul Dickson, married with 3 children. I started my career in 2000 as a technical assistant at company x,  I did this and this, in 2004 I did this … in 2007 …etc.

The Trick with this kind of presentation is that you dive into a long recitation of your resume from the very beginning. Actually, you start with the least impressive part of your career. Additionally, with this monolog speech full of details, you’ll confuse the interviewer. Sometimes he is lost and unable to extract relevant information that he needs.

Interview Questions: How To Answer

The first impression is critical in a job interview situation, as it will affect the rest of the interview. Keep in mind that you have to market yourself. It’s important to prepare a brief summary of the high pointsDon’t waste this opportunity by diving into a long recitation of your resume and cover letter. Instead, try a concise and structured answer that will lead to your top-selling points.

Recruiters meet hundreds of candidates who have all worked equally hard, so you have to distinguish yourself.

Example of someone who markets herself in 2 min during a job interview questions

Position: Personal Assistant

I am Julie Nyambura, I am a secretary bilingual and my core competencies lie on the 3 points:

The 1st point is my educational background as a PA. I have a bachelor’s in secretarial studies and a certificate in the French language from “Alliance Francaise”.  I also have 9 years of working experience with different companies in the logistics sector for both SMEs and multinationals. The last company that I worked for had almost 1,900 employees. I am very familiar with all typical tasks required as PA like maintaining diaries, arranging appointments, taking messages, booking, typing…etc. I have a good knowledge of the responsibilities involved in that job. (Education and experience)

My 2nd core competencies include my ability to successfully plan events like conventions, meetings, or forums. I strongly believe that to fail to plan is to plan to fail. And that is something I have developed in my previous work. I used to plan some events for almost 1200 attendees. I feel very comfortable when it comes to event planning and management.  I like looking at the big picture and also take into account details to make an event successful. (Strength and achievement)

The last point of my profile is something a bit different. I have a tendency for sales. As a PA it’s not something I always have the opportunity to express but I really like give to help when it comes to sales. (Personality)

So those are the core competencies that make me feel that I can perfectly fit that position.


Differentiate yourself from other candidates. Focus on 3 strong points related to the job description. If you are a new graduate, talk about your academic achievements, group activities, or any volunteer work. You can use them as experiences during the job interview questions process. The hiring managers saw your resume and called you for an interview. That means you have at least the potential to do the job. Practice your script until you feel confident. It will help you stay on track, but you shouldn’t memorize it. You have to sound natural and conversational. Good luck with your next interview.

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Written by Famio Services Team