Tell me about yourself - is the most favorite question asked during IT interview. Should this open-ended question catch Unix System Administrator, Java Software Developer or manual QA Tester unprepared? Definitely not. I bet that this will be the first question asked during any interview and if software professional is unprepared and starts by describing his or her ancestor arrived on the Mayflower and, half an hour later approaches the relative involved in D-Day landing, it could be the last interview question.
Come prepared to the interview and build logically sequenced summary of your experience, technical skills, people skills, and leadership or management talents. Most likely the interviewer would like to hear about the brief introduction, major accomplishments, strengths demonstrated by these accomplishments, importance of these strengths and accomplishments for prospective job position. Keep in mind that some unprepared interviewers may use the time you are talking about yourself to review applicant's resume. In general the presentation should take not more than two or three minutes, but the applicant should not try to memorize the introduction word for word. It would be much better to sound natural, and ideally the introduction should be company and position specific. For example, you may want to emphasize your expose Microsoft .NET Framework while being interview for Java developer position, because the hiring company looks for somebody with Microsoft .NET experience. If the experience in Agile software development is clearly stated in the job requirement, adjust you answer on tell me about yourself question accordingly, but never lie about your experience. Occasionally as result of poorly written job description IT specialist has to make changes to the speech during an interview, so be prepared to unequivocally and succinctly tie existing experience into the changed requirement and try to ask as early as possible for a more complete description of what the position entails.
In two of three minutes the IT job applicant has to modestly introduce himself or herself, demonstrate related experience, show interest and enthusiasm for the future work, demonstrate an ability to learn what the applicant does not know while focusing only on the positive aspects of resume. At the end it would be great to finish the presentation by asking the question the interviewer must answer and turning thinks back to the interviewer.
Sometimes this interview question could have some variations. For example - rate yourself on a scale of 1 to 10, why should we hire you, why should we consider you a strong candidate for this position, what’s better about you than the other candidates we are interviewing or what makes you special for our company? Despite the difference the job applicant should technically use the same precooked presentation, because the interviewer looking for the same information.