Acing the interview with your two minute personal profile

When it comes to first impressions, nothing is more valuable than having the ability to distinguish yourself from others, especially during an interview. Preparing and rehearsing a response to the frequently asked question, "Tell me about yourself" proves useful for interview preparation and you can conveniently lift out portions of your response to use in other situations as well. How you want to be remembered? 

A memorable and compelling response should: 

  • Be about 2-3 minutes.
  • Start with a "headline."
  • Demonstrate what you have done up to this point that makes you the perfect candidate for the job.
  • Tell your story just enough so the interviewer wants to hear more.
  • Leave no doubt about why you are a good fit, why you are interested in the opportunity, and how your goals and background can benefit the organization.
  • Not be a chronology of your life.

The optimum answer to interview questions is seldom more than two minutes, so practicing your personal profile will help you judge the length of any response. Practicing is good, but avoid being overly rehearsed in your answers by adjusting to the specific context you are in on the fly.

To get you started, we’ve outlined an example of a structure you can adjust to fit your situation. 


  • What have you done?
  • A Unique fact or description that connects back (even by inference) to your value and character.
  • What are your goals?
  • What unique combination of skills and experience differentiates you from the competition?
  • How did your interests lead you in this direction?

Resume tour 

  • How have you progressed?
  • What skills and expertise have you developed? 
  • What impact have you made?
  • What motivated you or influenced your career decisions?

Relevant Transferable Skills 

  • Key accomplishments described using Actions & Results.
  • Brief description of projects which you were enthusiastic and/or proudest about. 
  • What you learned from your experiences.
  • Significant leadership or community activities that highlight skills not utilized professionally.


  • Link your past to the future. 
  • Description of cultures/environments you thrive in.
  • Enthusiasm for the organization and opportunity.

With preparation, your "tell me about yourself" answer will sound smooth, concise, compelling, enthusiastic and memorable.