“Tell Me About Yourself” Sample Answers for Fresh Graduates

“Tell Me About Yourself” Sample Answers for Fresh Graduates

Reviewed by: .

You’d think that being asked to describe yourself in a job interview would be a breeze. In reality, however, it’s often “Tell me about yourself” that stumps applicants during a job interview. There just seems to be much to say that it’s hard to even figure out where to begin. So you’re left grappling for words too or rambling in panic. In other words, a complete disaster.

When an interviewer says, “Tell me about yourself,” you can answer by following the past-present-future formula, where you talk about your past experiences, present involvement, and goals. Your answer should be brief, relevant to the job, and able to showcase your strengths and successes.

If you’re a fresh graduate or student, you may find job interviews challenging, especially if you have no experience. However, whether you have five years of work experience or none at all, it’s possible to leave a lasting impression that can land you that job. In this article, I’ll give you a couple of sample answers and tips on how to ace this question on any interview.

Find Your Next Job!

Search through 2,241,685 employment opportunities available on Salarship

Search
Generic filters

Sample Answers for The Annoying “Tell Me About Yourself” Interview Question

Interviewers often begin by asking applicants to talk about themselves. They will say, “Tell me about yourself,” “Describe yourself,” or “Tell me about your background.” They do this to have a better idea of what you’re like–your personality, achievements, goals and even work style. 

Basically, they are asking you to talk about yourself so that they may size you up and figure out what questions to ask next. The better the impression you give, the more questions (and more probing too!) you will be asked after that, which will give you a better opportunity to truly shine during your exploratory interview.

There are two simple formulas that you can follow when preparing to describe yourself during a job interview. Let’s take a look at what these formulas are and how they can be used in actual interview scenarios.

Follow the Past-Present-Future Formula

The first formula is the past-present-future. The idea here is to start with past experience, followed by a brief peek into what you’re currently doing, and then end with what your career plans are. If you have no work experience, fret not. You can still use this format by taking your interviewer back to achievements or extra-curricular activities in college. 

Here are some sample answers that you can follow:

Sample #1: With No Formal Work Experience

My involvement in conservation work began in college when I became a volunteer Forest Ranger with “Non-Profit Organization” during my freshman year, conducting field surveys to monitor wildlife, their population, and the condition of their habitats. 

It was then that I truly understood that conservation work takes not just love for the environment but dedication and commitment.

I am still an active volunteer at “Non-Profit Organization:, where I now focus on monitoring endangered species and conducting IEC campaigns in neighboring communities to help stop poaching and other illegal forest activities.

I am also volunteering in other environmental groups that advocate for converting communities into environmental defenders. Through my work with Non-Profit Organization, I have helped convert ten poachers into active forest wardens who now advocate for the protection of endangered species in their own communities.

I also enjoy going on hikes, camping, and bird-watching and have a deep love for nature. This is why I would love to work with an organization like yours that pursues the protection of our forests and wildlife.

I believe that my extensive volunteer experience and the skills that I have gained will make me a valuable asset to your organization.

Sample #2: With Formal Work Experience

I have been active in conservation work since college when I became a part-time Forest Ranger with “Non-Profit Organization” during my freshman year. At “Non-Profit Organization”, I conducted field surveys to monitor wildlife, their population, and the condition of their habitats. 

It was then that I truly understood that conservation work takes not just love for the environment but dedication and commitment.

Currently, I am a Science Researcher at “Non-Profit Organization”, where I focus on monitoring endangered species and conducting IEC campaigns in neighboring communities to help stop poaching and other illegal forest activities. I am also volunteering in other environmental groups that advocate for converting communities into environmental defenders. 

Through my work with Non-Profit Organization, I have conducted extensive research about two critically endangered species in Place. I have also helped convert ten poachers into active forest wardens who now advocate for the protection of endangered species in their own communities.

I enjoy going on hikes, camping, and bird-watching and have a deep love for nature. This is why I would love to work with an organization like yours that pursues the protection of our forests and wildlife on a much larger scale.

I believe that my experience and the skills that I have gained will make me a valuable asset to your organization.

Follow the Present-Past-Future Formula

Another format that you can use is the present-past-future formula. It’s best to use this format if you want to highlight your present work involvement, such as if you believe that it is the most relevant to the job you’re applying for.

This format is also great if you want to emphasize the applicable skill sets that you have learned in your current job.

Sample #1: With No Formal Work Experience

I have been an intern at ABC Company for three months now. My responsibilities include creating reports and presentations, updating and organizing records, and assisting in ongoing manpower research.

During my senior year in college, I was president of the student council, where I conducted school-wide and external initiatives, such as community outreaches, an anti-bullying program, and sports events. My work with the student council has helped hone my leadership skills and equipped me to be a better team player.

Moving forward, I would love to put my knowledge in human resource management and leadership skills into practice by working at a company like yours that is known to have an excellent HR program. I believe that my experience and background will make me a valuable asset to your organization.

Sample #2: With Formal Work Experience

I am currently working as a Human Resource Assistant at ABC Company. My responsibilities include creating reports and presentations, updating and organizing records, and assisting in ongoing manpower research.

Prior to my job at ABC Company, I was president of the student council during my senior year in college, where I conducted school-wide and external initiatives, such as community outreaches, an anti-bullying program, and sports events. My work with the student council has helped hone my leadership skills and equipped me to be a better team player.

Moving forward, I would love to put my knowledge in human resource management and leadership skills into practice by working at a company like yours that is known to have an excellent HR program. I believe that my experience and background will make me a valuable asset to your organization.

5 Tips to Ace the “Tell Me About Yourself” Question as a Fresh Graduate

With enough preparation and a little bit of confidence, you can make a lasting impression that can land you that dream job–regardless of whether you’re a fresh graduate with no experience or someone with years of experience in their resume. 

Here are some pointers to take with you when you’re preparing to face that inevitable “Tell me about yourself” question .

1. Tailor-Fit Your Answer to the Job You’re Applying For

If you’re struggling to come up with an answer, it may be because you’re not using the role you’re applying for as a guide with which to shape your answer. Sure, there are plenty of interesting things to know about you, but you need to pick only those details that are relevant to the job.

In other words, if it’s not going to boost your chances of getting selected, there is no need to mention it. You will only be wasting both your and your interviewer’s time. 

2. Mention Strengths That Set You Apart 

Expect that you won’t be the only one to be interviewed for the job. For all you know, they are going through hundreds of applications for the same role. So you need to dig deep into your experiences, skills, and background to look for strengths that you know will set your application apart from the rest.

To do this, do not be content with mentioning typical strengths or qualities. In the first sample answer that we mentioned earlier, you will notice that the applicant mentioned that they were able to convert poachers into environmental defenders. 

Notice that they said that their responsibility was conducting educational campaigns and research; they were not there to convert violators. However, they did that too, and they made sure to include that in their answer. 

So without saying it directly, they were able to communicate that they were not only passionate about environmental protection but that they were also someone who goes above and beyond what is asked of them.

3. Back-Up Your Claims With Figures and Specifics

It’s not enough to just say that you will be a good sales representative or that you have good marketing skills. You need to back up your claims with figures and specific details. For example, if you have received recognitions and awards in the past, don’t forget to mention those. Say exactly how much your department’s sales have increased since you got on board. 

This will add credibility to your claims and help convince your interviewer that you indeed possess the strengths that you say you do.

4. Keep Your Answer Short But Complete

Your answer should be complete (past, present, and future) but concise. You don’t want to bore your interviewer or for them to forget what you said because you rambled on about the past two decades of your life.

To help you keep your answer short, plan it ahead of time. Write it down. Read it aloud to yourself, and edit until you’re convinced that you have the best version possible. And when you have your answer down just as you want it, practice, practice, practice. Know it by heart, but don’t memorize it.

Memorizing your answer may make you sound like you’re talking through a script. Also, when the nerves get to you, you may run the risk of forgetting the entire thing and blank out.

5. Allow Your Personality To Shine Through

Lastly, give your interviewer an idea of what you are like as a person and not just details about what you have achieved and can do. Don’t be afraid to add a bit of humor, so long as you remain respectful and keep a professional tone throughout the interview.

Final Thoughts

Answering a “Tell me about yourself” can be nerve-wracking, but it’s also an excellent opportunity to convince your interviewer that you’re the man–or woman–for the job. Hopefully, these tips will set you off to a good start.

Sources