5 years ago
August 6, 2019

5 Tips to Create a Strategic Answer to “Tell Me About Yourself” In a Sales Interview

“Tell me about yourself.” Expect these words to be spoken by the interviewer during your next sales job interview. This question (or some version of it) is common. It’s a…

Rhys Metler

“Tell me about yourself.” Expect these words to be spoken by the interviewer during your next sales job interview. This question (or some version of it) is common. It’s a great ice-breaker question and an effective way for interviewers to get the ball rolling and learn about you.

As with all job interview questions, there are good and even better ways to answer these simple, yet complex interview questions. Here Toronto sales recruiters will provide you with an effective strategy to plan out your answer. But, first, let’s provide you with some more context for this question by discussing why it’s so popular.

Why Do Interviewers Often Lead With “Tell Me About Yourself”?

Knowing yourself, your skills, areas of expertise, and why you are a good candidate for a sales job is important to differentiate yourself from other candidates.

Open-ended questions such as “Tell me about yourself” are often asked at the beginning stages of the job interview as a conversation starter. The interviewer’s goal is to find out as much as they can about you to identify if you are a good fit. This question requires candidates to expand upon what is on their resume, provide some insights into their personality, understand their career focus, and motives. It also gives the interviewer the first impression of you.

Answer this question well and you can quickly build rapport and put yourself at the front of the pack. Answer this question poorly and it could set a negative tone for the rest of the interview.

3 Important Questions to Answer With Your Response

As part of answering the question, there are three important things you need to communicate with your answer:

1. Who Are You Professionally?

Start by introducing who you are professionally. Provide a brief overview statement that communicates your strengths and skills.

Toronto sales recruiters help answer the question tell me about yourself

2. What Is Your Area of Expertise/Differentiators?

Once you’ve introduced who you are professionally, you need to dive into your key areas of expertise. Never assume the interviewer has thoroughly read your resume. Highlight your top 3 areas of expertise and key differentiators. Explain why you are qualified and how you are unique.

3. Why Are You Interested in the Job?

Finish your answer by telling the interviewer why you want the job. Explain why you applied, how you are a great fit for the role, and that you think you can make a difference.

5 Tips to Craft an Answer to “Tell Me About Yourself”

Here are 5 tips from Toronto sales headhunters to help you craft your answer:

1. Treat it like an elevator pitch:

As with most interview questions, you have limited time to answer the question. Avoid being long-winded or rambling. Treat the answer like an elevator pitch. Carefully craft a concise response. Remember, if the interviewer wants to learn more, they will ask.

2. Make everything relevant to the job:

While it may be tempting to include some personal information, avoid doing so. Rather, use your personality to answer the question. Focus on your professional self when answering the question.

3. Focus on your top selling points:

It’s impossible to get across all your skills, expertise and qualities in one answer. So, don’t try. Focus on your top selling points, what you are best at, what makes you qualified for the role, what you can bring to the table. You’ll have an opportunity to highlight other skills later on in the interview.

4. Start with the most important first:

Always lead with the most important points about yourself. You never know if you may get cut off or the interviewer may interject with follow-up questions. Plus, if your answer starts to run long and you need to cut it short, you’ve at least covered the most important points.

5. Use quick anecdotes and examples, if possible:

Provide as much context for your response as possible. Reference key successes, offer examples, and even use statistics if possible.

What Not to Do When Answering the Question

Now that you have a good strategy to answer the question, it’s also good to remind you of things to avoid. Keep the following in mind when planning your answer. Don’t:

  • Recite your resume
  • Be too modest
  • Say everything that is on your cover letter
  • Tell your life story
  • Ramble on
  • Provide irrelevant personal information

Be concise and cover the important points in detail. If the interviewer wants to know more, they will ask follow-up questions.


Get More Sales Interview Insights From Toronto Sales Headhunters

Preparation is key to having a successful sales job interview. If you have an interview coming up or even if you are just starting your job search, here are some additional blogs from Toronto sales recruiters packed with tips and advice:

7 Words to Avoid During a Sales Job Interview

Sell Yourself in Your Sales Interview! 8 Helpful Tips

6 Genius Ways to End Your Sales Interview and Leave a Lasting Impression

Sales Interview Not Going as Planned? 4 Ways to Redeem Yourself

Clever Ways to Answer “Give Me an Example of When You Thought Outside the Box to Solve a Problem”

2 Fearless Ways to End Your Sales Interview and Win the Job

4 Ways to Walk Out of Your Sales Interview with Class


SalesForce Search is a Toronto sales recruiting company which specializes in the recruitment and placement of sales professionals. We recruit salespeople in every sector of the economy including, software, manufacturing, financial services and medical devices. Find the right salesperson for your organization, start your search here.

Rhys Metler

Rhys is a tenacious, top performing Senior Sales Recruiter with 15+ years of focused experience in the Digital Media, Mobile, Software, Technology and B2B verticals. He has a successful track record of headhunting top performing sales candidates for some of the most exciting brands in North America. He is a Certified Recruitment Specialist (CRS) and has expert experience in prospecting new business, client retention/renewals and managing top performing sales and recruitment teams. Rhys enjoys spending quality time with his wife, son, and daughters, BBQing on a hot summer day and tropical vacations.