Main image of article How to Answer "Tell Me About Yourself" in a Tech Interview

Of all the questions a tech professional could face during a job interview, “Tell me about yourself” is potentially the one to cause the most worry. Although it’s a very common interview question, it’s also broad enough to spark confusion. What should you say? How can you use your answer to assure the interviewer that you’re the right person for the position?

The ideal answer showcases your journey through the tech industry, puts your existing skills in the best light, and demonstrates why you’re the best person for that job. No pressure!

Know Your Audience

Before any job interview, you should sit down and do a bit of pre-work. You’ll want to frame out the answers to potential questions, so you’re not caught flat-footed on the day of the interview. You’ll also want to prepare stories that effectively frame out your skills and experience. In essence, you should focus on two things:

  • Research the Company: Before the interview, delve into the company's mission, values, and recent projects. Now think about your professional history—how does it align with those values and mission?
  • Put Yourself in the Best Light: Why did you originally get into tech? Why did you pursue certain skills? And how will this job enable you to take the next step forward in that journey?

Once you answer those questions, you’ll have a solid foundation for the next part:

Structure Your Story

Structure is key when answering interview questions; you don't want to ramble.

  • Start with a Hook: You always want to draw your interviewer in. In that spirit, open your answer with an engaging anecdote, a fascinating project you tackled, or a problem you solved that showcases a relevant skill.

  • From There, Connect the Dots: Briefly trace your career path, highlighting experiences that demonstrate the skills listed in the job description.
  • Where Do You Want to Go? End by explaining how your skills can contribute to the company's success, and how you’re passionate about the company’s mission, given your history and values.

And Keep in Mind…

  • Quantify Your Achievements: Did your work improve efficiency? Mention specific metrics or results to demonstrate your impact.

  • Practice Makes Perfect: Rehearse your story until you can tell it in a conversational, easy way. Enthusiasm is also great!
  • Tailor Your Narrative: Adapt your story to each interview and position. Hiring managers and recruiters can tell when you’re offering a boilerplate response. Authenticity is key!

By crafting a compelling story about your tech career, you’ll hopefully convince the interviewer that your skills and experience make you the perfect fit for the job. The key is tailoring the details of your professional life to the role on offer.