about yourself questions

‘Tell me about yourself.”

Why are recruiters asking this?

This question takes some form of “So, what makes you special?” or “Walk me through your resume”.  This is usually the first question asked by recruiters during any round of interviews.    

This needs to be well prepared and practicing is key. This will be the interviewer’s first impression of your personality and skills. Your answer should last around 2 to 3 minutes – enough time to tell a complete story, but not too long that the interviewer starts to tune out.  The idea is not to repeat everything that is on your CV, but rather tell the story of how you ended up sitting in the chair across from the interviewer. Make sure you explain why you moved from one job to another (or didn’t), and the learnings that came with those decisions. Ideally, those learnings coincide with the qualifications detailed in the job description, and also show that your career has followed a clear path.  

Finish by explaining why you are applying to this particular job, and why it makes sense now. The goal is to put all of the pieces together in a way that the interviewer can easily understand. This answer will lay the foundation for the rest of your interview as you move into more specific questions.

Checklist for a great answer

  • 2 to 3 minutes long
  • Clear story line
  • Lessons learned coincide with job description
  • Do not repeat your CV directly
  • Explain why you are applying now


My first job was at Construtech, a company in complex cables manufacturing. I was part of the team managing its largest accounts in the construction industry. Although I learned a lot on the production side during this time, I was never in love with the manufacturing industry. When my wife got a great job opportunity in Barcelona, we decided that we both needed a change. We decided to make the move to Spain where I found a job as account manager for a software company. The biggest challenge for me was to switch from a very physical product to a purely digital one. It was not easy at the start, but I loved the product and the impact it had on our customers. After my successful experience securing more than 500 new clients at my former firm, I’m now looking for a new challenge by working in a larger tech enterprise.

Other similar questions

  • Tell me about your work experience.
  • Guide me through your resume.
  • How would you describe yourself?
  • What were your responsibilities in your previous jobs?

How do I get better at these questions?


The illustrious economist and statistician EF Schumacher once said: “An ounce of practice is generally worth more than a ton of theory.” We at Mockmate strongly believe in exactly this, which is why we created our AI-powered job interview simulator.  Now is the time to stop reading blog posts and watching YouTube videos, and begin to perfect your interview skills by actually doing it! Get started here!

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