Tell me about yourself…

Sounds like the perfect interview question, right? Open ended? You can talk about your life, your dog, your favorite color and who makes the best pizza in Columbus, right?


This is one of the hardest and most common interview questions. With some simple preparation, you can avoid this feeling after the interview:

Think about this question as a movie trailer. It’s a 2-3 minute preview of what’s to come in the interview. It gets the recruiter excited to “watch the movie” a.k.a. sit through the rest of the interview with their metaphorical popcorn on the edge of their seat.

Here are some tips to make your trailer successful:

1. Think chronologically. Start from the “beginning” (which is usually the end of high school) and work your way up to today. Recruiters want a brief timeline of your significant experiences over the last few years that leads up to why you’re sitting in a chair across from them.

2. Give an overview of your background, don’t tell them your life story. Think big picture – an overview of the greatness that is you. You will walk them through your resume, highlighting things that are unique or significant but if you find yourself telling them what you’ve had for breakfast today, you’ve gone too far.

3. Tell them why you chose OSU. Recruiters love hearing about your decision-making process for choosing this university and your major. Pro tip: Don’t say discounted football tickets as your one and only reason. Trust me.

4. Connect your activities and experience to relevant skills. Don’t just say “I played soccer.” Instead, discuss how playing soccer for 4 years gave you a strong sense of teamwork and work ethic, and how being captain of the team your senior year gave you superior leadership and motivational skills. Mention things that you’re proud of and skills you possess that you know the recruiter is looking for.

5. Be confident and genuine. Your introduction should not be scripted or forced. For all you sports fans, it should be a “highlight reel” of what you’ve done or are doing that shows you in the best light. And it should be natural and fluid.

6. PRACTICE. For some people, the only way to balance having appropriate content with perfect execution is to practice saying it out loud a few times. Then you’ll see what stands out and what sounds fake or forced.

Remember, if you need help making your movie trailer sound like a Hollywood blockbuster, stop in the Office of Career Management and set up an appointment with a career consultant. We’re here to help!