One of the most typical interview questions, and in some extreme cases, it can be the only question you will get (they will either hire you, or send you home after your answer). But more often than not, it goes about a starting question. They ask it to break the ice, and get a basic understanding of your communication skills, motivation. It also helps them to see if you feel stress in your interview.
Nevertheless, it is an important question. If you answer well, it will help you to relax a bit, and you will build a good starting position for the rest of the interview. Remember that many recruiters decide in the first three minutes of talking to you whether they hire you or not (an emotional decision, not a rational one). The tell me about yourself questions can be the only one you manage to answer in the first three minutes….
What to remember when answering
First rule: Keep it simple and short. Do not go too much into details of your experience, education, or anything else. We will ask other questions that relate to your experience or education. Just briefly introduce yourself, ideally in less than one minute.
Second rule: Talk about things that interest us. It is nice to hear that you have two brothers and live in a small city. But it has absolutely no significance for our decision in an interview with you. Try to speak about things that matter to us: why you are a good adept for the job, what you seek in your career right now, the most essential skills and abilities you have, the value you can bring to our team.
Third rule: Answer the question. If we ask about YOU, you should not talk about your past jobs, former colleagues, or about our company. We are interested in you, your dreams, skills, and values, the reason why you apply for a job with us. Many people actually talk about everything else, just not about them, when we ask this question.
I am Mario, 25 years old, and I have just finished my Masters in Economy. I enjoy team work, and I am looking for my first job, ideally in a big company. I want to learn, and meet like-minded people in work. In my free time I like to run, read, and meet with friends. I try to have positive outlook of life, and take everything that comes my way as an opportunity to become a better person.