Welcome to Internwise UK

Grabbing Interview Opportunities

Answering the Age-Old Interview Question

To kick off an interview, it is common practise to offer an open-ended question such as "Tell me about yourself." This is true of both in-person and video-based interviews. It's normal to feel flustered in the face of such inquiries. They are vague, making it difficult to decipher the interviewer's true intent. However, you can take advantage of that grey area. The interviewer is giving you some leeway in how you answer their questions. This article provides advice on what to include and what to leave out of your answer, as well as how to organise your thoughts and get started.

 Answering the Age-Old Interview Question
It's normal to feel uneasy when faced with the "Tell me about yourself" question during an interview. For a fantastic reply, consider these suggestions. If you aren't ready, the interview question "tell me about yourself" might be a real challenge. Trying to find work in a down economy is difficult enough without having to respond to a question that is so subjective and open-ended.

Why do interview panelists always want to know about you?

The purpose of an interview is to know more about you as a prospective intern. The "tell me about yourself" question is used to move the interview from casual talk to the more substantive technical and behavioural topics.
The interviewer is looking for signs that you can convey information in a polished and effective manner. If you freeze up the first time you're put on the spot, that will reflect poorly on you.

The ideal response to an interview question is a natural one. That says the candidate has done their homework and is enthusiastic about the opportunity. Having a fantastic response ready can set you apart from other job applicants.
Video or phone interviews provide you the opportunity to prepare in advance for questions like this. In-person interviews require you to be confident enough to respond without consulting your notes.
The interviewer could also ask this question in a variety of other ways.

The interview question "tell me about yourself" can be phrased in a variety of ways. Some similar question(s) that can be asked could be as follows:
  • Please elaborate about your background.
  • Please tell me some more interesting facts about you.
  • Provide some background about your time spent working for "x" firm or on "x" project(if any).
  • Enlighten about you that's not mentioned on your CV.

You should have a well-rehearsed, structured response ready for any variation of this question.

Interview preparation: How to respond to the "tell me about yourself" question?

The standard "tell me about yourself" question at job interviews can be answered in a variety of ways. Your answer's structure may be influenced by your level of expertise. The response of a new graduate will vary greatly from that of an experienced candidate. Make sure to put in some practise time once you've settled on a form that works well for you.
Get your response down on paper, so you may reorganise it. Specially when you are about to intern, check its logic, and remember its most important points. Make sure that whichever approach you use, you always bring it back to the role and the firm you're interviewing with. The interviewer should see your interest in the position as natural after hearing your response.

Structure of your response
When responding to the "tell me about yourself" question, it's important to include details about your
  • present circumstances,
  • relevant work experience,
  • why you're a good fit for the position, and
  • how your values coincide with those of the organisation.
Present circumstance
Describe your present role(if any). Highlight a recent achievement or piece of constructive criticism you received from your employer/University head to the interviewer. Don't complain about your work environment at the moment.

A Look Back at the Past
Provide a detailed account of your experience history, either in reverse-chronological or chronological sequence.  
Share a brief narrative from your own life that displays your enthusiasm for the new field if you've recently changed career path. And above all, be truthful.

Share your Reasons
Please explain why you are interested in applying for this specific position. Just what makes you the ideal person for this position? Make the most of this opportunity to market yourself and explain your motivations to the interviewer. This should be simple if you've adapted the rest of your answer to the position for which you're interviewing.
Give an example of how this position can help you reach your long-term professional goals.
Integrating your personal values, interests, and skills into your work at the organisation

Examine the company's ethos. Discuss whether you and the employer place more value on individual effort or teamwork. Don't forget to bring up any side projects you've been working on or any interests you have that could make you an even more valuable employee.

How long is an appropriate response?
Keep in mind that the interviewers' goals are to gain insight into your job history and character. If you answer this question in just a few words, you risk looking unprepared. If you cite long essays, people could worry about your lack of concise communication.
Please limit your response time to no more than three minutes. Keep an eye on the interviewer's expressions to see if there's anything you can build on.

Absolute essentials for answering 'tell me about yourself' - Summary
When asked "tell me about yourself" at an interview, there are some guidelines to follow. The interviewer probably has some preconceived notions about how you should respond to this question. It's best not to go too far from the script.
Maintaining your professionalism throughout the interview process is crucial. This opportunity could be lost if you are too negative or share too much personal information.  

Found it useful? Share with your friends and other job seekers

Share your feedback on this article, and recommend suggestions to improve it. If you'd like Internwise assistance to find you a guaranteed internship, please do contact us:


Employment Journey

(select your stage)

Let Internwise be your helping hand through your Employment Journey

See all

The fastest, simplest and safest way to create your digital CV

See all

Increase your profile visibility and connect with the prospective Employers

See all

Seize the best interview opportunities - be it in-person, on the phone or a video call

See all

Landed in your new job? Consider this

See all

What does working for each sector entails?

See all
Vacancy Sector Location Job Type Date Published
DRUM ADVISORY LIMITED internships in Central London, Horsham

Business Development & Marketing Intern


Business Management / Development, Marketing / Advertising / Social Media, Market Research / Analysis, Financial Services / Banking

London, Central London Full-time Dec 05, 2023
DJFAN LIMITED internships in Greater London, London

Social Media Intern


Media / New Media, Marketing / Advertising / Social Media, Internet Business / Online / Mobile

London, Greater London Part-time Nov 20, 2023
L BOISSEL LTD internships in Central London,

Social Media & Events Assistant


Public Relations (PR) & Communications, Marketing / Advertising / Social Media, Events

London, Central London Full-time Nov 15, 2023
LUXEMORE LONDON LTD internships in Greater London,

Client Lead Generation Specialist


Business Management / Development, Travel & Leisure

Remote, Greater London Part-time/Full-time Nov 08, 2023
SPROOT BABY LTD internships in Greater London, London

Marketing & Social Media Internship (Startup)


Marketing / Advertising / Social Media, Industrial / Manufacturing, Fashion & Luxury

London, Greater London Part-time/Full-time Nov 01, 2023
SPROOT BABY LTD internships in Greater London, London

Sustainability Internship (startup)


Agriculture & Environment, Industrial / Manufacturing, Fashion & Luxury

London, Greater London Part-time/Full-time Nov 01, 2023
Pelham Communications Ltd internships in Central London,

Digital and Social Media Intern

Pelham Communications Ltd

Marketing / Advertising / Social Media, Arts / Dance / Theater / Entertainment

London, Central London Full-time Oct 29, 2023
ANAKINA LTD internships in Central London, London

Client Manager Assistant/Admin


Administration & PA

London, Mayfair, Central London Part-time/Full-time Oct 18, 2023
POSH SHOWROOM LTD internships in Central London, London

Fashion Wholesale Showroom Internship


Fashion & Luxury

London, Central London Part-time Oct 10, 2023
BETTER BUILDINGS PARTNERSHIP internships in Greater London,

Stakeholder Engagement & Communications Coordinator


Public Relations (PR) & Communications, Property Management / Real Estate, Marketing / Advertising / Social Media

London, Greater London Full-time Oct 04, 2023

Similar articles

Employers - Post your vacancies and review your applications received

Candidates - Start applying for Internships and review Employers feedback

Lacoste internship
Manutd internship
Nike internship
Oracle internship
O2 internship
Penguin internship
Events internship

Employers - Post your vacancies and review your applications received

Candidates - Start applying for Internships and review Employers feedback

Lacoste internship
Manutd internship
Nike internship
Oracle internship
O2 internship
Penguin internship
Events internship