Interview: “Tell Me About Yourself”

Tell Me About Yourself

First step: Create an outline for your 30-second response

To prepare the 30-second response, I would suggest creating an outline with the following sections:

  1. Year and Major in school
  2. Why you are interested in this company
  3. A project you liked that is related to this company
  4. Your strengths that would benefit this company
  5. How you could contribute to the success of this company.

Second step: Fill out the details in your outline

Then fill out the outline with the details:

  1. Year and Major in school
    1. Junior in Computer Science
  1. Why you are interested in this company
    1. Company has a lot of focus on database software
    1. Company leads in the area of XML databases
  1. A project you liked that is related to this company
    1. In your Advance Database Theory course, studied XML databases and new ideas on XML indices
  1. Your strengths that would benefit this company
    1. Problem solver
    1. Persistent
    1. Team player
    2. organized
  1. How you could contribute to the success of this company.
    1. Like to explore new ideas and solutions
    2. Dedicated to inventing new technologies and solving complex problems


Third step: Write out your 30-second response as a paragraph

From the detailed outline, you can create a paragraph with your 30-second response:

“I am a Junior majoring in Computer Science. I have read about how your company is a leader in database software. I am especially interested in your focus on XML databases. I took the Advanced Database Theory course and we did a project on creating indices for XML databases.  My strengths are in my problem solving skills and my persistence in working through complex issues.  I think your company’s focus on XML databases as the next generation of database technology is very exciting. I would like to contribute to your company’s success in this area.”

Fourth step: Practice your 30-second response out loud

After you write out the paragraph, it is good to practice it several times out loud. The 30-second response must sound smooth and natural to be believable by the interviewer. You can find many other examples by searching online for “tell me about yourself examples engineering”.

How Do You Prepare for the Interview Day?

[…] It is very common for the interviewer to start off the interview with the statement, “please tell me about yourself”. The interviewer is not looking for a response off the top of your head. This 30-second response is sometimes called the “elevator pitch”. You can imagine getting on an empty elevator with the Director of your area and you have 30 seconds to push your idea or why you should be promoted. Your 30-second response needs to be well-thought out, prepared and practiced so that it sounds totally smooth and believable. This response is not easy to prepare and requires some work to get it right. When it is done well, it can provide the interviewer with discussion points for the remainder of the interview. When it is not done well, it can sound like a long rambling response which is usually not very impressive. Here is my example of how you might create and prepare your own 30-second response to “tell me about yourself.” […]

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