How to Answer the Interview Question, “Tell Me About Yourself”


“Tell me about yourself” is the classic way most interviewers begin interviews with candidates.  It’s an open ended and vague question that often leads the person being interviewed confused as to how they are supposed to answer.  You can easily shoot yourself in the foot by saying too much…for example, “well I’m a father of five who dropped out of high school, made a few mistakes and spent some time in jail…but I’ve learned from my mistakes and take life seriously now.”  Though it’s inspirational that you have turned your life around it’s just not appropriate to discuss this during a job interview.  You want to give a good, professional first impression…so the question is how do you tell the interviewer about yourself?

J.T. O’Donnell, a professional career advisor and CEO of gives some pretty succinct and sound advice on how to answer this question.  And I quote:

I have found over the years that the best way to answer this question is by sharing the following:

#1 – Problem – I explain what problem I love to solve for customers and/or employers.

#2 – Process – I highlight the methodology I use to consistently solve the problem.

#3 – Passion – I explain what I am hoping to do next to further my skill set in this area.

As a residential service technician, how would you use Problem, Process, Passion to answer the question?  Here’s an example of how you could answer the question:

I enjoy helping people by listening to them describe the problem then using my training and experience to diagnose and fix the problem.  My goal is to learn and grow further in my career.

In those two simple lines you have described the Problem, Process and Passion.  You have told them about yourself from a professional perspective and given the interviewer a great first impression.  I challenge you to create your own statement and use it during your interviews.

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