What to Say When a Recruiter Asks, “Tell Me About Yourself”

If you are looking for a job and working with a recruiter, he or she may kick off the conversation by asking, “Tell me about yourself.” Well, what should you say?

The Wrong Answer

I was born in Paris, Texas, but I moved to Conway, Arkansas when I was ten. I’ve always been good at computers, and I just earned a two-year degree from the University of Arkansas Community College at Morrilton. Now, I hoping to get my first real job. In my free time, I love going to the movies, watching football and getting together with friends. I also have a cat.

Here’s the problem. The recruiter isn’t trying to find out about your life. They want to know about your knowledge, experiences and skills, so they can help you land the right job.

A Better Answer

I recently graduated with a two-year degree in computer information systems technology. Throughout college, I worked part-time at a local technology store. I received extensive on-the-job training in computer, tablet and cell phone repair, and my boss promoted me to shift manager after one year. My favorite part of the job was connecting with people and helping them solve their technology problems. Now, I’m looking to expand my talents by taking on a technical customer service role with a larger company. 

Tips for Giving the Best Answer

  • Stay Professional – Your primary goal is to land a job. Therefore, focus on your employment credentials, not your personal history.
  • Don’t Read Your Resume – The recruiter most likely has your application in front of them. Tell them something new by expanding on your experiences.
  • Provide Specific Examples – Use data, numbers and stories to support your claims. Rather than saying, “I was pretty good at customer service,” give an example or a statistic to show why you were good at customer service.
  • Brag a Little – You don’t want to be a showoff but being overly humble can hurt you too. If you want to look both confident and sincere, simply stick to the facts. For example, saying “I was the top employee,” sounds like boasting. However, commenting, “I had a 98% customer approval rating,” makes you look impressive.
  • Think of This as Your Elevator Pitch – An elevator pitch is one to two-minute summary used to describe a product and its value. In this case, you are the product. Break your answer into three sections: 1) Who are you professionally? 2) What are two or three of your top qualifications? 3) What type of position are you hoping to find?
  • Plan Your Response – This question is open-ended, so it’s easy to ramble. Think about what you would like to say ahead of time. Then, rehearse your answer in front of a mirror. Or, better yet practice with a friend so they can give you feedback.

Are You Job Hunting in Central Arkansas?

The recruiters at FirstStaff would be happy to assist you with your search. We’ll schedule an interview, review your skills and goals, and match you with only the best-fit positions. If you’re ready to find a job, submit your resume today!


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