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

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How to Answer "Tell Me About Yourself" in a College Interview

Getting admission to a university abroad is a dream of many, but going through the whole application procedure can be quite nerve-wracking. Universities abroad have become highly selective in choosing the right candidates. One’s exceptional grades are not sufficient, rather what stands you apart from the competition matters more. Therefore, when applying for your dream university, you must prepare for frequently asked questions like “tell me about yourself”, whether you are writing a statement of purpose or appearing for a face-to-face interview. 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!

Also know How to Ace Your Self Introduction in an Interview?

Why Do College Interviewers Ask This Question?

Before you answer the question “tell me about yourself” in a college interview, try to put yourself in the shoes of the interviewer. Understanding why an interviewer asks this question enables you to focus on the intent of the inquiry and develop a logical response. This question is asked by interviewers because it corresponds with the main aim of the college interview—getting to know you. An interviewer wants to know who you are and what you would bring to the student body. Allowing you to speak allows an interviewer to discover something about you that they would not have known otherwise.

The “tell me about yourself” question facilitates the transition from casual conversation to the main topic of the interview. An interviewer prefers to set the framework before diving into difficult topics. Starting with a conversational, open-ended question can put you at ease and allow for a more natural flow of the interview.

Finally, an interviewer may utilise details from your response to influence the next part of the interview. Remember that a good college interview should feel like a constructive discussion. Something you mention in your response might be a fantastic transition into the following topic or offer the interviewer an idea for something to bring up later.

Also Read: Introduce Yourself in English for University Interview

Source: English Lessons with Kate

A Simple Formula to Answer “Tell me about yourself”

Talk about the present. For example, you can talk about what your current education is, or what are you currently doing. You can also talk about its scope, and maybe about a big recent accomplishment. You can also talk about your past where you can tell the interviewer how you got there. You can also talk about your previous experience that’s relevant to the job. Lastly, you can talk about what you’re looking to do next and where you see yourself in the future!

Also Read: 9 Important University Interview Questions and Answers

Things to Include While Answering “Tell Me About Yourself”

Now that you know what the interviewer is thinking, it’s time to prepare your response to the question “tell me about yourself” in a college interview. The inquiry “Tell me about yourself” may be both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, you can portray yourself in a flattering manner to the interviewer. On the other hand, there is the risk of becoming sidetracked and sharing irrelevant information. You can add the following to provide a full answer that remains on track:

  • Details about your life that show how you’d be a good match at the college
  • Details that reflect your individuality and help you stand out
  • A brief explanation of what prompted you to apply to college or select your major
  • Your one-of-a-kind passions or interests (connect them to the college if possible)
  • Strengths and successes that may be demonstrated via tales and stories

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.

Tell Me About Yourself Answer

The personal statement is a crucial part of university applications, so catches 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 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.

Tell Me About Yourself 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 the “tell me about yourself” interview question, here are some samples that can put you on the right track to respond to this question.3ws

Tell Me About Yourself Best Answer

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 about 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.”

Tell Me About Yourself For Fresher

If you’re a fresh graduate applying for a job, you should start with the 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 learning 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.

Tell Me About Yourself Example

Here is another example of a well-structured answer that includes your past, present and future strategy.

“I was born in Pune but migrated to New Delhi while I was in elementary school. During my childhood, I used to visit my relatives in Pune on a regular basis. My aunt would take me to museums, libraries, and the theatre on my visits to the city, which started my interest in reading, drama, and theatre arts. I’ve performed in over 30 musicals at my school and local theatre since then. I intend to specialise in musical theatre since I am a brilliant singer and performer who is comfortable in her own skin both on and off the stage.

Despite my love of the theatre, I was quite timid as a child. It took me years to have the confidence to even audition for a play. I am thankful for how my engagement in theatre has helped me develop as a well-rounded individual and excellent communicator. Aside from theatre, I am a huge fan of reading and literature. I believe I am the ideal candidate for (University Name), and I would love to go since it has such a high concentration of academics that specialise in the performing arts and literature. In a nutshell, it’s a fantastic chance for me to learn from such great professors.

Moreover, after spending 14 years of my life landlocked in New Delhi, I am thrilled to have the opportunity to live near the shore once again!”

Additional Interview Questions Students Can Prepare

In addition to expressing about yourself to the interviewer. Apart from academics and things mentioned in the resume candidate should also prepare for some additional questions. Some are mentioned below.

  • Have you ever done SWOT (Strength Weakness Opportunity Threat) analysis?
  • Who is your role model?
  • Where do you want to be in next 5 years?
  • What approach and skills make you different from others?
  • Which historical personality from past you don’t like and why?

Also Read: Top 100 Interview Questions and Answers PDF, Sample

Things to Avoid

Although the question “tell me about yourself” may appear general, there are certain things the interviewer wants to learn about you as a candidate, while other elements of your life may be unnecessary or even improper to share.

  • Your interviewer does not need to know everything about you. Don’t inform the interviewer about personal activities that aren’t related to the school or university,
  • Don’t talk about your friends, family, or other elements of your life that don’t illustrate how you may contribute as a student.
  • You should also avoid expressing anything bad about the school or implying that you are uninterested in attending there.

Also Read: 10 Things You Should Never Say in a Job Interview

Explore More

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FAQ

Q. What should strictly avoid while telling about yourself in an interview?

During an interview or meeting when asked to shared about oneself. Candidate should never share false information.

Q. What is the basic formula for structuring the conversation in an interview when sharing information about yourself?

Candidate should draft his/her communication on the simple structure formula of Present Past and Future. Candidate should share the details in the same manner.

Q. Do candidate’s dressing and body language matter in an interview?

Yes, dressing, physical appearance and body expression also equally matter in an interview. It is always advised to appear in formal dressing and look confident and real in an interview.

So this was all about how to answer “tell me about yourself” in your college interview. You can reach out to our Leverage Edu experts and our experts will help you craft an impressive foreign university application to ensure that you get successfully shortlisted for your dream university! Also, you can follow our career counselling page for effective interview preparation tips.

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3 comments
  1. whoah this blog is excellent i love reading your posts.
    Keep up the great work! You understand, a lot of people are looking around for this information, you could aid them greatly.

  1. whoah this blog is excellent i love reading your posts.
    Keep up the great work! You understand, a lot of people are looking around for this information, you could aid them greatly.