How To Answer the Interview Question: "Who Are You?"

By Indeed Editorial Team

January 21, 2022

During an interview, an employer may ask you to share information about yourself. While these types of questions can feel vague, understanding what employers want to hear might make it easier to compose an effective answer. In this article, we explain why interviewers ask "Who are you?" and how to answer this question, with included examples.

Why employers ask "Who are you?"

Employers often begin job interviews by asking you to tell them about yourself. When asking who you are, an employer is trying to discover how your experiences relate to the open position and whether your traits and characteristics are a good fit for the job and the team.

Related: Interview Question: "Tell Me Something Interesting About Yourself" (With Examples)

How to answer "Who are you?"

Here are some steps to take when answering this interview question:

1. Reflect on your experiences

When trying to determine how best to answer general questions about yourself, consider achievements from relevant past positions and the skills you acquired in each role. This can help you develop a clear story to tell employers when they ask questions about you and it will also make it easier to personally connect with interviewers.

Related: How To Introduce Yourself Professionally

2. Identify your values

Consider which values are most important to you when composing your answer. Once you understand your values, determine whether they align with the interviewing company's values and mission. For example, if you enjoy working in team settings with collaborative atmospheres, you can try to find companies that offer that type of environment.

3. Research the company

Review the job description and the company where you’ll be interviewing to look for related skills and experiences to share. This allows you to offer relevant information that highlights your qualifications and helps an employer determine whether you would succeed in the open role.

4. Include your skills

Make sure your answer includes your strongest soft and technical skills. Describe what kind of worker you are and the types of skills you have employed in other similar roles. 

5. Be cautious about what you share

When answering questions about who you are, try to remain professional. Avoid sharing information that employers might consider too personal or could alter their employment decision. For instance, if your spouse has the type of career where the family is required to relocate occasionally, you might want to avoid sharing this piece of information as it could make an employer wary of your potential longevity with their company. You can remain honest while also choosing which pieces of information you share.

6. Write a script

To prepare for your interview, consider creating a script that outlines your answer. This can help you maintain focus and clarity. You can start your answer by stating your past experiences and successes, followed by your professional abilities. Consider finishing your answer by summarizing your current employment and what you’re looking for in a future job.

Related: How to Answer "Tell Me About Yourself" (Tips and Example Answers)

7. Practice your answer

In order to become comfortable and familiar with your answer, consider rehearsing your script. Practicing can help you build confidence and make it easier to remember important information during the interview. You can practice answering this common interview question in front of a mirror or with family or friends.

Related: Practicing for a Job Interview

Example answers

Here are some sample answers to the interview question "Who are you?" to help you craft your own answer:

Example 1

"I am a dedicated and hardworking person, and I demonstrated these traits while taking night classes for a master's program last year and working full time as a business executive simultaneously. During that time, I managed multiple commitments but delivered and performed above the expectations set for me. Now that I've completed my degree, I'm seeking a job with more responsibilities and plan to use my strong work ethic to complete projects with a larger company."

Example 2

"I have a bachelor's degree in journalism from Truly University and am a creative individual who consistently meets deadlines and is always looking for a way to tell stories from a new perspective. In college, I loved to work on challenging assignments that others avoided, even if it meant interviewing hard-to-reach subjects or writing about difficult subject matters. I won an award for an article I wrote about my experiences as a minority owning a small business in Detroit. Now that I have graduated, I'm looking for a job as a reporter where I can continue storytelling and covering important topics."

Example 3

"I'm a curious individual who asks questions to understand how processes work and find more effective solutions. When I was 10, I disassembled and reassembled my family's old computer to see how it worked. This level of curiosity has transitioned into my professional work and motivated me to create apps that help people perform daily tasks more efficiently. For instance, I recently created an app that gathers information from past grocery lists to determine when you will need another item based on your average purchases. Like your organization, I want to help make the lives of consumers easier through new applications."

Example 4

"I am an experienced cook who loves to create new recipes but also respects the importance of a company’s time-honored traditional dishes. I have exceptional attention to detail and learn recipes very quickly. At home in my own kitchen, I enjoy experimenting with new ingredients and creating innovative dishes. I seek inspiration from my favorite creations and, when appropriate, offer new ideas and recipes to my employers. My coworkers are always eager to taste what I create. I believe these characteristics make me the best candidate for your kitchen."

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