Tell Me About Yourself: How Do You Answer This Question (With Examples) - Career in Consulting (2023)

Tell Me About Yourself: How Do You Answer This Question (With Examples) - Career in Consulting (1)

10 comments /appropriate interview/ For the Sebastian Ritter

You don't get a second chance to make a first impression.

And although it sounds a little cliché... it's true.

There are questions that are sure to come up in every job interview – regardless of the company (McKinsey, It isBCG, orBain & Company), the position (associate, senior consultant or project manager) or candidate profile (fresh graduate, MBA, experienced candidate).

At the top of that list is Tell Me About Yourself.

Or a similar question like:

  • Follow me through your resume
  • Tell me more about your past
  • can you guide me through your experiences

As the first question asked in a job interview is often "Tell me about yourself",It's your big chance to make a first impression..

In fact, the "Tell me about yourself" question is an opportunity - an opening to set the tone of the interview andEmphasize the points you want your dream consulting firm to know about you.

Don't waste the opportunity by simply diving into a long recitation of your resume. This is also not the time to mention that you love flamenco dancing and bingo.

In this article I will show you theCareerInConsulting-Formel for crafting your perfect, concise and enthusiastic responseto the question "Tell me something about yourself".

You will also be given some examples to inspire you.


Find out why interviewers ask, "Tell me about yourself"

First, it's asimple and open way to start the conversation.

Your interlocutor hopes that this question will get him talking. This question is almost always asked first, perhaps right after a conversation about traffic and weather.

Therefore, your answer determines the interviewer's first impression of you andwill set the tone for the entire interview, then you lead with your strongest selling points.

The second is the ultimate goal of the interviewerto know you better.Pprofessionally, not personally.

In other words, your caller wants to know the following:

  • What areyour motivationsand what moves you?
  • To dieproblems you had to solveehow did you solve them?
  • How are you?Deal with people?
  • He wasa hityou had in the past

Finally, the interviewer's expectations are well explained in this video about the experiential interview from the McKinsey website (click on the image to start the video):

Begin your answer by providing an overview of your history

Management consultants keep stepping back from the details and looking at them.big photo.

Because they don't want to waste time with useless details.

So when you start to give aOverview (the big picture) of your education and work experience, you'll sound like a counselor and tell your conversation partner who you are in 1x (or 2x) sentence.

A good overview includes, for example:

(Video) How To Introduce Yourself In An Interview! (The BEST ANSWER!)

  • Education: the list of your degrees
  • work experience: Your number of years of service and your area of ​​expertise

Good example:

I am a mechanical engineer by training and I have an MBA from HEC Paris. I have 5 years of professional experience as a project manager in the oil and gas industry. In this role, I manage all aspects of the projects I am responsible for: budget, team members, client communication, and quality of deliverables.

bad example:

I grew up in Paris. When I was a kid, I originally wanted to be a firefighter. In college, I excelled in science and won first prize at my school's science fair. Funny story about it...

Explain why you chose your course (students only)

If you are a recent graduate (with less than 1x year of work experience), tell your interviewer why you chose your course, explain itwhat was your reason.

For example, it could be based on your:

  • interests and passions: what you enjoy doing
  • capabilities: what can you do

Good example (based on your passions):

I decided to study environmental policy because environmental protection has always fascinated me. I am also convinced that only strong government regulations will have an effect. So I decided to combine my degree in environmental policy with my degree in law.

Good example (based on your skills):

I chose economics because I am a very analytical person. So I thought economics represented the perfect combination of my math skills and my deep interest in modeling real business problems.

Describe your work experience in a C-suite and engaging way

You must know that firstthis part is the most important if you want to find a perfect answer to the "tell me about yourself" question and stand out from the competition.

Why consulting firms want to know youprofessionally🇧🇷 Because of this, they want to know about yourachievements and understand yourmotivations.

So for exampleeach of your work experiences(oldest to newest), I recommend using the3x the following componentsto describe what you did.

First component: Your title (as stated on your resume)

Start with thecargoyou have on your resume.

There is no added value here, but forHelp the interviewer review your resume.

Good example:

I was a marketing associate at Samsonite Spain.

Second component: Your responsibilities (but described as a senior executive would)

AgainNO Describe your responsibilities by listing your daily tasks.

Instead, use the CEO's (or strategy consultant's) lens.Describe how your work affected the company's income statement.

In other words, you musthave a high-level perspectivein your position andDescribe what the ultimate goal of your work was: Increase the sales? Reduce costs? Increase customer satisfaction? increase productivity? reduce time to market? improve product quality? etc.

FurthermoreThink about your managerial roles🇧🇷 And after your boss's main duties. Or think about the main tasks of the service/department in which you worked.

Bad example:

As a project manager, my main task was to implement a new CRM system.

Good example:

My role was to build customer loyalty by implementing a new tool that would effectively manage the interaction between our sales team and our top 100 customers.

Bad example:

As a Marketing Associate at Samsonite, I was responsible for customer interviews, market research and competitive benchmarks.

Good example:

As a Marketing Associate at Samsonite, I helped increase sales in the Spanish market by 15% year-on-year by gaining a better understanding of customer needs and what competitors are offering.

Why is this a good example?

Because it clearly shows the problem solved (increased sales) and how the problem was solved (better understanding of the market)

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Tell Me About Yourself: How Do You Answer This Question (With Examples) - Career in Consulting (2)

You need 4 skills to succeed in every case interview: case structuring, case leadership, case analysis and communication. Enroll in our 4 free courses and discover the proven systems 300+ candidates have used to learn these 4 skills and land offers in counseling.

(Video) Tell Me About Yourself - A Good Answer To This Interview Question

Third component: your placement (i.e. your experience highlights)

well this is the only onemost important part ofCareerInConsulting-Formel.

Before we get into it, let me just say that this is your big chance to differentiate yourself from the competition.

EMost Candidates Make Mistake #1this will be discussed later in this article.

On the other hand, if you do this part perfectly, youShow your conversation partners exactly what they're looking forbecause when asked "Tell me about yourself":What are your core competencies and what drives you?.

So how can you find your “placement”?

Asking yourself these 4x WHY questions:

  • 1x: Why did you like this position?
  • 2x: Why did you like this work environment?
  • 3x: why was it challenging?
  • 4x: Why were you good at this job (what makes you different from your peers)?

Good example:

I loved this position because it was very analytical. I had to analyze qualitative and quantitative inputs to define the best marketing strategies.

Good example:

I loved this role because it gave me the opportunity to present my recommendations on potential M&A opportunities to executives.

Two important tips for determining your placement

First,Choose a clear, unique skill per placement: 1x work experience = 1x placement🇧🇷 If you choose more than one skill, it will generate noise.

Second,Choose a different placement for each of your professional experiencesto create a balanced profile.

For example, with 3x different work experiences, you can highlight:

  • Problem solving skills for your first work experience
  • Communication skills for your second stage
  • Leadership skills for your most recent work experience

End your answer by saying that you want to switch to counseling.

Good example:Now I feel ready for new challenges and would like to switch to consulting. Why is this a good way to end your answer?

  • It is concise, positive and clear
  • The next question your interviewer will ask will be: "Why do you want to switch to consulting?" (it is clear,You will have a strong answer to this question.)

Bad example:The problems I worked on as an engineer were very technical and the impact I had was limited. So I want to get closer to the place where decisions are made and move into consulting. Why is this a bad way to end your answer?Because it sounds negative and undermines your past work experiences.

Avoid these 4x mistakes at all costs

(Video) Tell Me About Yourself - A Good Answer to This Interview Question

Mistake #1: Paraphrasing Your Resume

Don't just dive into one long recitation of your resume.

In other words, don't repeat what's easy to read on your resume.

On the other hand, differentiate yourself from the competition by telling your WHY positively and concisely.

To do this, use theCareerInConsulting-Formel.

Mistake #2: Having an answer that is too long

When asked "Tell me about yourself", interviewers don't need your biography, they just needknow if you are capable of doing the job and if your personality suits youFor the team.

As a result you should have a good answer.last between 2x and 3x minutes.

First, less than 2x minutes: You're not using all the time you need to make a strong first impression and share your positioning well.

Second, more than 3x minutes: You probably talk too much and are likely to fall into one of these categories:

  • Your answer is not structured enough and it gets confusing
  • You provide too much detail or irrelevant information; this shows poor prioritization skills which is a very important counseling skill
  • Your caller is bored

In short, a good job interview is a conversation, not a monologue. Therefore,keep it shortand give your interviewer a chance to dive in and ask questions.

Mistake #3: Talking About Hobbies and Personal Preferences

Many graduates misunderstand the question and talk too much about their personal lives and hobbies.

For example, now is not the time to mention that you like to dance flamenco and play poker.

As a result,It makes a poor first impression..

Instead, focus on what matters to consulting firms:

  • How do you deal with problems and people
  • What influence have you had on your past experiences?

Mistake #4: Being Too Humble

Many candidates make the mistake of being too humble. For example, they don't clearly communicate why they qualify for the role.

Why is this an error?

EThey trust the interviewer to see right through their humble appearance.and find out how amazing you are.

Unfortunately it doesn't work like that.

To make sure you don't sound too humble and arrogant, I recommend sharing quick statements.

Bad example (very arrogant):

I'm the best salesman in the world.

Good example:

I've led my sales department for the past three years, and during that time I've built over $18 million in new business.

Tell Me About Yourself: A Complete Example

Here is a complete example of how to answer the question "Tell me about yourself".

[Give an overview of your background]

My name is Sébastien and I am a qualified accountant. I have a master's in accounting from NYU and a bachelor's in finance and have over a year of work experience in 5 internships.

[Explain why you chose your course (new graduates only)

I originally decided to study finance because I wanted something that combined my quantitative skills with something that could help companies succeed.

So, wanting to gain a business overview and the ability to make a personal impact, I joined the HEC Grande Ecole Master in Management with a concentration in Strategy.

[Describe your work experiences in a C-suite and engaging way]

Prior to joining HEC, I had three research experiences, most notably at Nobel economist Robert Engle's Volatility Institute in the summer of 2016.

As a research analyst, my job was to model the relationship between Chinese insider trading and volatility.

(Video) 3 Steps to Answer Tell Me About Yourself - Example included!

This experience was exciting because it was so intellectually challenging. I needed to use my problem solving skills to solve a financial problem that had never been done before.

Additionally, my research is now being used at NYU to train current students.

I then did an internship as a trainee consultant at the Pitié-Salpêtrière University Hospital, the largest hospital in France.

My role was to streamline ER operations by reviewing current processes and identifying potential inefficiencies.

I loved this experience as it gave me the opportunity to use my leadership skills. In fact, I managed a team of 8 other interns to optimize waiting times for emergency calls or organizing the paramedics room.

Finally, in my current role as Group Consolidation Assistant at Sanofi, my role is to ensure key financial statements are accurate by reviewing financial documents with assets of $23 billion.

I really enjoyed this experience because of the teamwork. In fact, I had to work with subsidiary CFOs to ensure an efficient reporting process.

I've also seen the impact I can have working at a big company.

[End by saying you want to switch to counseling]

Now I feel ready for new challenges and would like to move into the consulting sector.”


Now that you know how to approach the "Tell me about yourself" question, I have a feeling you'll be happy to hear this question in a job interview.

What should you do now?

Sit down for a moment and plan how you will answer this question. This exercise and that oneCareerInConsulting-Formelit will even help you write a better resume and cover letter.

So when you have an interview, there's a lot more preparation to do after you introduce yourself and your background. I can help you prepare your resume, cover letter and interviews.Click here to learn how.

for your success,


Get 4 Complete Case Interview Courses for Free

Tell Me About Yourself: How Do You Answer This Question (With Examples) - Career in Consulting (3)

You need 4 skills to succeed in every case interview: case structuring, case leadership, case analysis and communication. Enroll in our 4 free courses and discover the proven systems 300+ candidates have used to learn these 4 skills and land offers in counseling.


(Video) Tell Me About Yourself | Best Answer (from former CEO)


How do you answer tell me about yourself in a consulting interview? ›

KEEP IT SHORT. Keep your response crisp and concise. The employer wants to know the relevant highlights not your life story. Offer up two or three experiences or aspects of your background that are interesting and relate to the important skills, strengths, or experience that you bring to the role.

How do you answer tell me about yourself answer example? ›

A simple formula for answering “Tell me about yourself”

Past: Tell the interviewer how you got there and/or mention previous experience that's relevant to the job and company you're applying for. Future: Segue into what you're looking to do next and why you're interested in this gig (and a great fit for it, too).

Where do you see yourself in 5 years Examples consulting? ›

In 5 years I see myself still in a consulting firm but with a lot of experience. I will be a senior manager after working very hard for 5 years. I will able to make decisions, manage a team, conduct a team project, and sign contracts. In five years I see myself in mentally and physically stable position.

Why should we hire you as a consultant? ›

You can do the work and deliver exceptional results. You will fit in beautifully and be a great addition to the team. You possess a combination of skills and experience that make you stand out from the crowd. Hiring you will make him look smart and make his life easier.

Can I just call myself a consultant? ›

You can always call yourself consultant, because the definition of a consultant is not that strict: A person who provides expert advice professionally.

How do you see yourself working in consulting industry? ›

Consulting is attractive to me because I know that I will be working on a new project every 3 months on average. Thirdly, because of the strong exposure to C-level discussions. My ambition is to become a senior executive one day and I believe that Consulting is the right career path towards that goal. “

Where do you see yourself in future interview question? ›

Well, when interviewers ask, “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” They're really asking, “What are your career goals within this position?” They want to know that the position will satisfy you and that you'll work hard and stay with the company for a long time.

Why would you hire yourself for this position? ›

For starters, I have all the skills and experience listed in the job description, and I'm confident that I can make an immediate impact on your company. It's not just my background in leading successful projects for Fortune 500 companies, but also my passion for the industry that drives me to succeed.

How do you answer an interview question Tell me about yourself McKinsey? ›

Start with a 1 sentence summary of your background, why you are relevant for McKinsey and what's your unique selling point. Talk about 3-4 of your roles (may be professional, education, extracurricular), 3 sentences each. The more experienced you are the more you should speak about professional roles.


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