IT Path finder | Interview Prep 101 – Tackling The First Bouncer of An Interview
IT Path finder | Interview Prep 101 – Tackling The First Bouncer of An Interview
The first rule of thumb for answering the "Tell me about yourself question" is to discuss who you are professionally, and an overview statement that shows off your strengths and gives a little sense of your ambitions.

Most interviews (if not all) start with a tricky, open-ended question – “Tell me about yourself”, regardless of the company, industry, or job position. Numerous job seekers consider this ambiguous question unnecessary. 

It doesn’t matter what business you work in or where you are in your career—every job interview is nerve-wracking. Don’t squander the moment by reciting your resume in its entirety. Instead, give a succinct, enthusiastic response that emphasizes your overall suitability for the position.

The interviews are designed to start with this question to help the interviewers learn about the candidate. I am going to walk you through different reasons why this most common question is asked in almost every interview and how it benefits the interview process. There are different ways this can be presented to you:

  • Tell me about your professional journey
  • Tell me about yourself that is not there on your resume
  • Walk me through your resume

 Reasons why interviewee asks this question:

  1. Icebreaker

One of the reasons to ask this question is to ease the tension in the room. Both the interviewee and interviewer are nervous at the beginning of an interview process. With this question, the interviewer hopes to gain insights into your priorities, goals, while providing them a better sense of your personality. 

  1. Evaluate Confidence of the Interviewee

This common question often receives throwaway answers that cut the interview short. Most interviewees prepare and deliver an excellent answer, however, with all the tension in an interview, some also give a vague answer. This is a great way to challenge the prospects before they are allowed for a further round.

  1. Identify your soft skills

This helps the recruiter to identify your goals, which helps them decide whether you are eligible for the next round. The way you converse with them gives them an insight into your soft skills as they play a significant role in having a successful career. They are unknown to you, and they only called you based on what you mentioned in your resume. Now, it’s time for a performance. Sharing about yourself allows recruiters to assess you and determine whether you are a good fit or not. 

  1. Set the direction

Your answer to this question decides the tone of the interview. With your answer, the interviewer kicks off with the follow-up questions. So, preparing an adequate answer is critical. 

How to answer this ambiguous question?

Getting to how you can answer your question, different factors are affecting it. Depending on the position you apply for, it varies. Mostly, the interviewer expects you to be professional and straight to the point.

Decide on an opening

You must decide on a relevant opening that catches the employer’s attention. This can help you gain the confidence and interest of the employer. Be crystal clear about what you are trying to convey and speak relevantly to the job. Most candidates share their personal stories which must be avoided.

Read the interviewer

For instance, if you’re midway through your answer and the employer seems distracted, it’s time to wrap up that part and move towards a different aspect of the answer. Similarly, if your employer seems excited or interested in some topic, you can elaborate that portion to help them grasp the details. 

Draft a pitch that stands out

The most assured way to stay confident during an interview is to prepare. Preparing and practicing your pitch improves your chances of excelling in the interview. Write out a pitch that includes information about your past experiences and recent achievements. If you are a fresher, start with your internship experiences and volunteering activities you participated in during your university or college. You may write something like this:

“I’ve been working in customer service for the past five years. My most recent job was in the high-tech industry, where I answered incoming calls. One of the key reasons I enjoy this profession and the challenges are that it brings the opportunity to connect with others. My previous job required me to develop great client relationships, which resulted in a 30 percent boost in revenue in just a few months.”

Next, mention your skills and strengths: 

“My attention to detail is my genuine strength. I take satisfaction in my track record of completing tasks and meeting deadlines. When I commit to something, I make certain it is completed on time.”

Finish with a comment on your current situation:

“Right now, I’m seeking a job where I can join a good team and have a significant impact on customer retention and sales.”

Tailoring your answers as per the job requirements

If you have worked as a customer service representative for the past 2 years, and are applying for a sales executive position, the recruiter would be interested in what you will accomplish in sales with their organization rather than what you achieved as a customer service representative. 

Read about the job description, understand the requirements for the specific role, prepare your answers for the interview relating to how you can benefit their organization. Be succinct, clear, and focus on sharing how you will contribute to their company. 

Timing your answer

Recruiters have experienced candidates going on about their lives. The answer should be concise and insightful. The appropriate length to provide a satisfactory answer should be between 90 seconds to 120 seconds. Anymore, and you are shooting yourself in the foot. 

Answer precisely 

If the interviewer specifically asks about your activities outside of your job schedule, there are several answers you can provide:

  • Quilting, astronomy, chess, choral singing, golf, skiing, tennis, etc., are all examples of hobbies you can mention that you are enthusiastic about.
  • Long-distance running or yoga are examples of activities that represent your healthy, energetic side.
  • Interests such as reading, crossword puzzles, and brain teasers will help to demonstrate your intellectual bent.
  • If you’ll be entertaining clients in your new profession, hobbies like golf, tennis, and gourmet cooking may be useful.
  • Volunteer labor demonstrates your seriousness of character and commitment to your community’s well-being.
  • PTA volunteer, museum tour guide, fundraiser, or social club chair are all examples of interactive roles that demonstrate your comfort with interacting with others


A sudden Interview

In a situation where you did not get the chance to prepare, you can convey your response in a straightforward, easy-to-understand way. We suggest sticking to the tried-and-true “Past-Present-Future” method. In other words, arrange your response as follows:

  • What has been your background and relevant work experience in the past?
  • What is your current position at the moment? What do you do for a living, and what are your greatest achievements?
  • What are your future plans? 

With these suggestions in mind, here are examples of decent “tell me about yourself” answers:

“I graduated with a business degree and interned at an IT firm where I was offered an account management position. I enjoyed dealing with customers and managing accounts, but soon I realized I was not intrigued with this industry. Later, I worked there for a year where I learned how to build and manage accounts. I left that job to pursue a very comparable role in an industry that I’m quite intrigued in—healthcare. I’ve worked with XY company for two years in the healthcare startup field, and I’m eager to push my career to the next level, which is why I’m presently seeking a new opportunity.” 

“I was employed as a business development manager for the past 7 years in an IT organization, where I sharpened my skills and guided a team to excel the sales target every month. I have won several awards and been promoted twice during my tenure in my previous company. I enjoy working with people and driving sales for the company. 

“Well, my name is Sam, and I’m 28 years old.

I’ve worked as a business analyst at Company A for the past 5 years.

With a degree from University ZZ, I have good experience with data analysis. But it was my internship at Company B that truly brought me into the occupation.

I’ve discovered that I’ve always been great with statistics and numbers throughout my profession. For example, at Company X, I oversaw a project to migrate all operations data to a new data warehousing system to save money. The new solution was a far better replacement for our company, resulting in annual savings of up to $200,000.

I intend to diversify my professional experience in the future by working in a variety of industries. I’m really interested in fintech, which is why I’m intrigued by your firm.”

What to avoid while answering

  • Don’t share excessive or insufficient information. The interviewer doesn’t need to know everything about you but withholding too much information may lead him or her to question why you aren’t more forthcoming.
  • Avoid potentially controversial topics like politics or religious beliefs unless you’re confident that your viewpoints will be well-received by the interviewer.
  • Don’t bring up a hobby that appears to be more important to you than your profession. No one wants to hire someone who will miss a lot of work or who will ask for a lot of vacation time to pursue their passions outside of work.
  • Personal information regarding your family should not be shared. There’s no need to talk about wives, partners, kids, or anything else, that’s personal.


Now is a good time to sit down and think about how you’ll respond in your next interview. This practice and methodology will also assist you with writing better cover letters. If you feel nervous about it, relax! You’re not the only one facing challenges here. Continue to practice until you can give a smooth response without forgetting anything crucial. The ability to communicate the organization’s needs and place yourself in that position with a meaningful experience should accomplish more. If you confidently answer what you bring to the table benefits your organization, you a priority for that position.


If you are struggling in finding a relevant jobITPathFinder is here to assist. With our tried-and-tested plans, interactive coaching for interview preparations, and distributed network, we will get you hired within 12 weeks.