“Tell me about yourself” is a question you can count on being asked in your graduate interview but not one that should be given a throw-away answer. Instead, this is a chance to give a short general introduction about yourself and what you’re all about.
When this question is asked they aren’t expecting a page turning account of your life experiences but instead for you, in your own words, to describe why you’re best for this position. This is both from the perspective of your past experiences and future goals. When you’re practising your answer consider structuring your answer in three parts to create a strong foundation for your interview.
1. Start with the Basics
While all the facts may be on paper, this is your opportunity to do some worldbuilding about what they have on your resume! While the interviewer will already have your name, you should still start by introducing yourself and covering the basics - what you’re studying and where, plus your current role/job title if you have one.
2. Include Any Relevant Work Experience
Next, you want to discuss any relevant work history or qualifications you’ve gained from previous roles. When deciding what’s relevant consider what was described in the job description and think back on what experiences you’ve had that prepare you for those expectations. As a recent graduate you may not have much experience in this industry, but that’s okay! Instead draw upon relevant skills elsewhere in your life that might help you in the position. It might be taking initiative during your internship, balancing responsibilities between your studies and part time work, or team building and interpersonal skills in your community sports club.
3. Incorporate Your Future Career Goals
Now you’ve built a strong start to your interview, it's time to tie up your answer. Consider what your future career goals are and then how this position is relevant to it, as well as what you can bring to the company.
✏️ Example Answers
“My name is Maria, I’m in my final year of studying business management and currently work in retail. I’ve previously done internships at various large companies that have helped strengthen my skills in this sort of environment, particularly the tight deadlines that are expected within a business. I haven’t formally been in a management position in the past, but I’ve had to take up those responsibilities in my current job and it’s something I want to pursue further. The job description for this position described a collaborative environment which I can see myself flourishing and learning more in.”
“I’m Muhammad, I’ve just finished studying a Bachelor of Laws and have previously completed a Paralegal Internship at a nearby firm. My experience working across multiple cases at that firm, gave me the foundational skills to set me up well for this role as a Graduate Lawyer at [Company Name], which I’m keen to develop further. Through both my internship, and my law degree I’ve also developed a passion for contracts and property law in particular, which I’m excited to explore through the rotations in this graduate program."
See more common graduate interview questions and how to answer them here.