How To Answer “Tell Me About Yourself” During College Interview

College interviews might look scary from a distance, but it is nothing to lose your sleep-over. As ready as some students might feel, they often don’t know how to answer the tell me about yourself question.

This will most likely get them discouraged as they don’t have any idea how they would answer. And for some, they go on to add very personal information that isn’t required.

Gaining admission into that prestigious university might not be enough, because most universities are very selective when it comes to selecting the best candidate. Your GPA and SAT are not the only things considered when universities are looking for students.

College interviews are essential for a student’s acceptance into the institution, it is a physical meeting between a college admission officer and the student seeking admission/acceptance into the university.

These college meetings are created to assess the applicant. There is nothing to be worried about with college interviews as they might not affect your application since they are not the only factor that will be used for your assessment.

Nonetheless, learning how to answer the tell me about yourself question will give you an edge.

College interviews are evidence that you’re interested in attending, and also to display your ability to engage in conversations and answer questions, and your personality.

The “Tell Me About Yourself” question should not be seen as a taunting idea but a golden opportunity to prove and show the college interview officer that you are sound and also to showcase your relevant actualities and how well you’ve contributed to your community and the school.

You must prepare for the questions that will be asked during the interview or even when you’re writing a statement of purpose. With a face-to-face interview, you might not be able to predict the questions that will be asked during the meeting.

You can answer a ‘tell me about yourself’ question easily with this overview on How to answer “tell me about yourself” during a college interview.

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Why Do College Interviewers Ask, “Tell Me about Yourself”

Understanding why college interviewers ask the “tell me about yourself” will put you more at ease and also enable you to answer correctly.

Developing a logical and sincere answer will make the admission officer understand why attending the institution is important to you. This will also help him/she get to know what you are offering to the student body of the school and understand your personality.

This is why you should understand the question properly before you answer.

The meeting usually starts from easy talks to the important ones, but do not mistake the causal talks for something less. Every aspect of the meeting is important and relevant to the interviewer.

The importance of causal talks is to make you feel at ease during the interview, you are not to get carried away. You must remain focused and listen attentively to the questions that will be asked.

Mostly from your replies, more questions are likely to come up, so you must be confident about your response and its honesty, you won’t want to be cut up in a lie as this will greatly affect your performance.

Admission officers will give you the room to express yourself and your interest, while they discover things about you that will be relevant to the growth of the institution. It’s also in this process that they will decide if you can fit in the school.

Questions about your hobbies and leisure might be asked. Do not trivialize this period as it’s important to the interviewer.

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What You Should Know

This face-to-face interview with the admission officer is not only beneficial to the admission officer or the school. It also benefits you. It’s an opportunity for you also ask a question that helps you know the school better.

It is also in this interview that you’d likely find out if the institution is the right pick for you. The interview is also an opportunity to find out how well you will do in the school.

It is okay to feel anxious before your interview but make sure to avoid the irrelevant anxiety by preparing the right way that will help you greatly for the questions that will be asked.

The reason behind the admission officer’s question, asking you to tell them more about yourself is not different from meeting someone new, and there is a need to describe yourself to them and that point you know you have to sincerely tell them you are and what you do that makes you who you are.

Technical questions like that need your 100% confidence (even if you are nervous), this is where your preparation comes in handy.

How to Answer a “Tell Me about Yourself” Question During Interviews

A college interview is a way of getting to know the institution, and the institution gets to know you better.

So your answer should be about your background and your view of your future in the school, to do this, your response should be realistic and be clear enough to describe yourself as a good fit and a productive member of the school. Irrelevant details and stories that don’t add up should not be included in your answers.

Being prepared enough for your interview with the admission officer will go a long way for any of your important interviews, the first set of questions that will be asked are always important even if they sounded casual to you, questions like describe yourself or tell me about yourself, will be asked and this question does require your attention.

During the interview, you should avoid getting too familiar with the admission officer as this will help you keep focus, and note that, the questions that will be asked of you do not necessarily require you to over-share your personal information. Additionally, it is crucial to understand the question properly before you answer.

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What to Be Added When Answering a Tell Me About Yourself Question

The main idea of this question is for the interviewer to get familiar with you, and when this question is asked, the interviewer is expecting some particular answers that are relevant to why you want to be a part of the school or why you want to major in a course.

Usually, anything that makes sense as to why you are eager to be a student.

Here are a few lists of what you should include when answering a “tell me about yourself question”:

Give Details on Where You’re From And Where You Grew Up

A college interview is a way colleges get to assess new students, planning to study in the school through an interview, transcripts, test scores, and other relevant ways.

It is very important to start by making a few references to where you grew up and how much impact it brought to you, and if you are the type that moves around a lot, you can also include some of the places.

But be conscious of what you say during this part, and avoid dwelling on this part for long, make your discussion brief, interesting and intelligent.

What You Would Like To Major In and Why

Most students don’t decide early on what they want to major in, but if you already have one in mind, it is okay to tell your interviewer about your choice of major.

Most students have beautiful stories and reasons behind why they are going for a major and why it is important to them. This is the best time to explain why you want to study a particular major.

Explain What Your Character Traits Are

Explaining what your character traits are, will help you move smoothly to your extracurricular activities and your interest and the reasons behind your choice of major and institution.

We all have our personality traits and if you don’t know some of yours, you can find time to know them, as they will help you build your confidence through the interview.

Academic interests and your extracurricular activities

When you move to your academic interest, you should try and connect your background to your passion, inspiration, and your interest in the school.

Highlighting your interest in a particular major will help the interviewer understand you more.

Consider providing relevant information that is not listed on your resume, extracurricular activities are a way of telling your interviewer that you’re a great fit and also productive towards your community, and how impact will be relevant to the school.

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Briefly Explain Why You Want To Study in the College

By now you would have made your research on the college and why you believe it is a good fit for you, why the interviewer asks ‘why you want to study in the college’, you can bring up a real story relating to why you want to be a part of the school without wasting much time. Your background can be linked together with why you want to study in college, and your honest reason is relevant in this aspect.

Your Unique Passions or Interests

Provide a few of your passion, interest, and how your personality traits will help you create a positive impact on the college during your study in the school. Note that, the admission officer is interested in your answers because they also need students that will make their school proud. You need to be confident in what you’re bringing to the table, and also try connecting your extracurricular interest, personality, and academics, to help you create a good impression.

How to Structure Your Response

The way you answer a question and your response are very important. Your confidence level might be high and your structure is wrong. Preparations are quite essential in everything we do, and that is why you need to be prepared properly for your interview. Providing accurate answers with good words structure will help lower the errors of omission and also help you stay focused on what the questions are.

During your interview section, you can share a brief past life experience or events that brought you to your decision of going to that college of your choice, how you decided to be part of the school, and how you are prepared to face any challenges you are faced with. You can also discuss a few of your relevant successes and how they will help you to become a better student. Talk more about what you can bring to the college and how you intend to be a productive part of the university.

What to Avoid During College Interview

A college interview might require you you talk about yourself, and this can be sometimes relaxing but it is important to note things that are not relevant to the interviewer. Although some aspects of your life might be relevant to the questions thrown at you, not all.

Here are a few lists of what you should avoid during a college interview:

Over-Sharing Personal Informant

Questions about tell me about yourself can be tricky and at the time you might get carried away. In all, you need to be confident and focused, avoid over-sharing personal information, especially the ones that are irrelevant to your study. Your admission officer does not need to know every single detail about you. Pointless details that are not important to your interviewer should be generally avoided but instead, you should link your past experiences with your future achievements.

Sharing Irrelevant Information

One of the things to avoid in a college interview is sharing answers that are not relevant to the purpose of the interview, like sharing details about silly hobbies like walking a dog, watching t.v or how you like spending time with your boyfriend and other hobbies that are not important to the interviewer. The interview is mostly about you, avoid giving lots of information about your families, friends, or reviews on a religion or political views.

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Sharing Negative Reviews about the School

At times, we don’t always get what we wanted. Maybe the institution offering you an interview is not your top or first choice, you should avoid making it obvious or admitting that you don’t like the school, as this might come off as being rude or showcase you as someone that isn’t interested in attending the college. If you don’t know much about the school, do your homework about the school and make it your deal to show interest.

Not asking Any Questions

Your interviewer might ask if you have questions or you can ask directly if you have something you are curious about. Asking questions will enable you to understand more about the choice of your institution, and also interviewers are often excited when students ask relevant questions about the school.

Avoid Being Repetitive

Avoid mumbling and Talking for too long when you’re asked a question. Not being prepared enough might result in being repetitive, especially when you do not plan/thinks well before speaking, you can end up getting your interviewer bored. Avoid taking too long to answer each question, and try looking your best by being on a positive attitude.

Avoid Being Too General

Keeping your answers not too long doesn’t mean you should speak at all. Keep your answers accurate, concise, and avoid being too general when you’re asked a question about yourself. Also, avoid making grammatical errors and speak very informally to your interviewer.


Yes, college interviews are important.

College interviews can be missed but it is important to call or email the school about why you won’t be present.

Preparing ahead will help you perform well for an interview.

Being rude to your interviewer will probably get you disqualified.

Formal dressing is ideal for important meetings such as college interviews.


Practicing properly for an interview will help you in the long run, whether you want to get accepted into college, or you are seeking a job, practicing several times will help you structure your answer. During a “tell me about yourself” college interview, it is crucial to practice often to help your interview skills.



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