It’s difficult to pinpoint what kind of response you should give for this prompt. After all, your concise, well-formatted, grammar-error-free resume is right there.
Let’s pretend you just wrote an autobiography about yourself. Now you’ve gone ahead and lost the book and have to summarize the last couple of chapters in just 4 sentences. What would you say? Now, tack on one sentence at the end that describes why you’re sitting in the interview. Viola! That’s your answer.
Here’s an easy guide to one way to answer the question:
I’m originally from <place> and now I study <major / minors> at <school>. I chose the major because <reason>, and while I’ve really enjoyed studying this, there’s also lots of other things I do when I’m not in class, such as <X, Y and Z>. Because of my passion in <X>, I’ve come to realize that I really want to learn more about the field of <industry>, and that’s why I’m now looking to work at a company like <company name>.
If you really feel comfortable, you can also end with a “personal catchphrase,” which states what you bring to the table. For example, “I’m someone who always tries to think of a solution before worrying about the challenge.” A personal catchphrase like this clearly states what you bring to the table before you dive in deeper, telling your interviewer the story that backs up that phrase.
Once you have your answer nailed down, practice it in the mirror with a timer several times. It will make you feel much more comfortable!
Your response to this question can actually be fun and will impress your interviewer, which will distinguish you from the majority of the candidates fumbling over their answers, so practice your story and your catchphrase to make sure they reflect the thoughtfulness and detail you have put into your response, and then you’ll be ready for any interviewer who wants to know about you!
Here are some examples of people answering the question, “Tell me about yourself”: