Planning Your Response to “Tell me about yourself.” Brainstorm ideas for your response using these prompts.

  1. Past: What experiences have you had that have prepared you for this position? What skills do you want to highlight?

Tell me about yourself… Pick which details from above you want to include in your introduction, and outline how you want to piece them together.

Needs Improvement Acceptable Excellent
Highlights important experiences and qualifications Mentions experiences but they are not relevant to the employer Demonstrates important background Demonstrates your best qualifications and what makes you a unique candidate; sets up opportunities for follow-up questions
Why you are interested in this field, industry, organization, and role  Includes details unimportant to the position or not understood by interviewer Includes some detail relevant to the position Tailors to that specific industry, organization, and role
Why are you changing from your current field into this new field? (if applicable) Mentions changing fields and your inexperience in this new field is evident Acknowledges changing fields Explains why you are changing fields and why this opportunity is better aligned to your skills, interests, and values
Organization Answer is difficult to follow Follows a clear storyline, perhaps with a detail clarified or out of place Follows a clear storyline, is organized to emphasize the task/conflict and your action/skills
Concise >120 second response with many non-essential details included ~90-120 second response with a couple non-essential details included ~60-90 second response focused on essential details
Concerns Response raises major concerns about candidate’s ability to handle the position A minor concern is raised and only partially resolved No concerns raised or minor concern raised and quickly resolved