How to Answer “Tell Me About Yourself?” in a College Interview

Tell Me About Yourself

Getting admission to a university abroad is a dream of many, but going through the whole application procedure can be quite nerve-wracking. The leading colleges and universities in the world have become highly selective in choosing the right candidate and now one’s exceptional grades are not sufficient rather what stands you apart from the competition matters. Therefore, when applying for your dream university, you must prepare for frequently asked questions like “Tell me about yourself”, whether you are writing a personal statement or appearing for a face-to-face interview. This question is broad, open-ended, and challenging and requires candidates to provide a well-prepared introduction in an interview or the admission essay. Luckily, with careful planning and preparation, answering it can be an exciting and rewarding experience! This blog elaborates on the key essentials you must mention while answering the question “Tell me about yourself” along with helpful tips and examples to make sure you ace your university application!

Things to Consider Before Answering “Tell Me About Yourself”

Whether you are going for an on-campus interview or writing a college essay, it is essential to understand the rationale behind the question of “Tell me about yourself”. Universities want you to contemplate on who you are, what is relevant to you, and what interests you in relation with the course you are applying for. Ultimately, it’s the perfect blend of the interests and skills as well as what sets you apart from the crowd.

Protip Steer clear of typical clichés or descriptions. For example, instead of just saying that you are hardworking, you should explain the importance of being diligent and what made you so hardworking.

How to Write “Tell me about Yourself” College Essay

The personal statement is a crucial part of university applications, so catch the eye of the admission committee by adequately structuring your answer and supporting it with relevant examples.

Start with a brief about yourself, highlight your accomplishments, and finally list the differentiators. Overall, make sure to highlight the following factors:

  • Educational background along with positions held, and awards or commendations received in your previous school or college. 
  • Your motivation behind choosing the course/subject. It would be best if you wrote about why you want to study your chosen course, your interest in the subject, and how you will be a good fit.
  • Supplement your essay with relevant skills and knowledge. Make it more impactful by listing your hobbies/passions and life goals.

Protip Try employing the remarkable ‘necklace approach,’ i.e., linking your opening sentence and closing paragraph to reinforce and add an extra dimension at the end.

For example, if you started your essay on “tell me about yourself” with the motivation behind choosing a specific degree course, you could link it back to it in your closing paragraph by concluding that you would love to study this subject at the University.

How to Answer “Tell me about yourself” in an Interview

The interviewer will ask this question as an icebreaker to understand how you are the right “fit” for the course and university and what makes you unique. Here are the major pointers you must keep in mind regarding the interview question “tell me about yourself” in order to set the right pace of your interview.

  • Your aim when answering this question should be a concise and brief walkthrough of your educational background, interests, passions, and future goals.
  • Tailor your answer to the University and course you hope to study there. For example, if you want to study Bioinformatics, include your passion for creating computation drug discovery models and your goal of building a career in research. 
  • The answer should be structured in a simple, easy to follow, and tested format of “Past-Present-Future.”

Apart from basic guidelines and strategies on approaching “tell me about yourself” interview question, here are some samples which can put you on the right track to respond to this question.

Example 1

Keeping all the above-stated tips in mind, here’s what a good tell me about yourself sample answer for freshers would look like:

My name is ______, and I am interested in biology and human physiology. I have always been curious towards studying biology as both my parents are doctors, and discussions with them have expanded my knowledge of the healthcare industry.

I was the co-Leader of the medical club and volunteered at my parent’s hospital during high school. All this hands-on experience taught me how to interact with patients and hospital administrators. My strengths are excellent leadership skills, problem-solving, and taking the initiative to work.

My goal is to complete my major in human physiology and contribute to cancer studies. After completing graduation, I would like to work in research. 

Example 2

If you’re a fresh graduate applying for a job, you should start with a fact that you just graduated and explain why you chose this area of study. Here is an example of “tell me about yourself” answer for fresh graduates:

My name is ______, and I recently graduated from University _____ with a B.Tech in Biotechnology. During my course, I was involved in multiple internships with different firms, and I am intimately familiar with critical competencies in the biotechnology sector. I was also part of the various student bodies and maintained a GPA of 3.8.

Now, I’m looking to leverage my learnings and get some hands-on work experience. I would bring value to an organization like yours through my understanding of this field, and my positive ‘can do’ attitude.

Thus, talking or writing about yourself might seem like an easy win, but responding to this question in the context of application interviews often stumps the students. Not only the question of “Tell me about yourself” is one of the most common ones, but it is also predictably the first. Your answer should highlight a balance of your knowledge, skills, and passions. For any further assistance in preparing and drafting a Statement of Purpose (SOP) and Letters of Recommendation (LORs), reach out to our Leverage Edu experts and we will help you craft an impressive university application to ensure that you get successfully shortlisted into your dream university! Sign up for an e-meeting today!

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