Talk About Yourself

Whether you want to learn to open up to people appropriately or prepare for interview questions, it’s important to know how to talk about yourself. When talking to other people, be open and talk about things you love. Provide some personal information to build trust and friendship. When talking about yourself during an interview, focus largely on your professional experiences. Talk about your strengths and accomplishments and paint yourself in a positive light.


Speaking Interpersonally

  1. Show your personality. Don’t come across as dull or boring when you speak about yourself. Show who you are by how you speak. Be excited about what you talk about and show interest in the topics you choose. If you find a topic boring, talk about something else.[1]
    • Talk about the things you find most interesting about yourself. Maybe you love being a parent, driving motorcycles, or playing music.
  2. Talk about what you love. Bring up things that you’re passionate about and care about. Perhaps it’s volunteering, camping, or art. If you’re passionate about something, you’re more likely to be actively engaged in talking about it.[2]
    • Don’t go on and on about one subject, however. Gauge the interest level and decide how long to talk about your passions.
  3. Discuss your profession. It’s fairly normal to talk about your profession or career when talking about yourself. You don’t have to say much, but say what you do and what you like about it. This can help people learn about what you do and what it’s like for you.[2]
    • For example, say, “I work as a teacher and really enjoy it. Educating children is a passion of mine.”
  4. Be vulnerable. Don’t be afraid to share personal information about yourself. You don’t have to pretend that everything is perfect or that you’re happy all of the time. Opening up about yourself is one way to build connection and drop defenses.[3]
    • Things that make people feel closer to you might include talking about your family, preferences, and hardships.
    • In being vulnerable, don’t be an “over-sharer.” if you have major problems and need to talk about them, see a therapist.

Talking During an Interview

  1. Talk about your work experience. Briefly, begin by talking about your relevant education and experience. Say your qualifications and how you’re prepared for the job. While you may want to talk about your personal experiences, start your response by talking about your career experiences.[4]
    • You can talk about how the prospective job will help you meet your goals. For example, say, “I’m qualified for this position and am excited about learning more from the people here.”
  2. Describe your skills and strengths. Spend some time talking about your skills. Talk specifically about what makes you qualified and what you can add to the workplace. It might feel like boasting or bragging, but it’s important to talk about your positive traits and abilities.[4]
    • For example, say, “My strength lies in my ability to communicate, and this is why I’m great at marketing.”
  3. Talk about your accomplishments. If you’ve won awards, been published, or graduated with distinction, you might want to discuss this. Talk about your accomplishments and how they serve you. Showcase your accomplishments and talk about how your drive and past accomplishments can help you in the job.[5]
    • If you’re feeling bashful, just remember that you’ve accomplished some goals and you should be proud of your accomplishments. You don’t have to brag, just state what you’ve done.
  4. Say what’s different about yourself. Highlight anything that makes you stand out against other people. Maybe you have a unique experience, have multiple language abilities, or have skills that set you apart. Make sure you say the things that make you special and unique and why your experience and skills are the best.[2]
    • For example, if you have a gap in your resume, be positive about explaining it. Say what experiences you gained from it.
  5. Make some personal statements. After you’ve talked about your professional experience and accomplishments, you may want to include some personal information. For example, you can talk about your love of volunteering or seeing live music. Don’t talk too much about your personal life as it’s not appropriate to discuss very personal details at an interview. However, giving some personal information can help you seem personable and open.[4]

Remaining Friendly and Approachable

  1. Show interest in others. When someone is speaking, lean in. Favor your right ear and tilt your head slightly to listen. Make regular eye contact as a way to show you’re listening and engaged. Smile and make encouraging comments. This can be as simple as saying, “I see” or, “Uh-huh.”[6]
    • Keep your body uncrossed by keeping your arms by your sides and feet flat on the floor.
  2. Take turns talking. If you’re talking, don’t go on and on about yourself. If you notice that you’re talking too much, start to ask questions to the other person. Ask for their thoughts, opinions, feedbacks, and to know more about them.[7]
    • Some people tend to excessively talk when they feel nervous. If you feel nervous, don’t overtalk. Deal with your anxiety instead by taking some deep breaths.
  3. Speak concisely. If you talk about yourself in excess, the other person may become bored or overwhelmed. People may begin to zone out or not pay attention to what you’re saying if you tend to be long-winded. You may be able to say things in a concise manner without going on and on.[1]
    • If you notice yourself rambling, take a break. Say, “Okay, that’s enough about me. Tell me about you.”
  4. Avoid bragging. It’s okay to talk about your accomplishments but don’t let them dominate the conversation. If you’re proud of an accomplishment, bring it up so that others can celebrate with you. Share your good news once, then avoid bringing it up again in the conversation. Even humble brags can be annoying.[8]
    • If someone else describes an accomplishment, be happy for them without having to top it or bring attention to yourself. Celebrate their success without feeling threatened in your own.

Sources and Citations