So, tell me about yourself.
The "Tell me about yourself" question is probably as old as dinosaurs but it is also one of the toughest questions to be asked as well. There is no one absolutely right answer to the question, because being an open-ended question, no one could say that you've answered wrongly.
However, in the context of an interview, it would be wiser to conform to the expected answers to the question, as required by the interviewers. All questions are asked with an underlying purpose, because in an interview, time is of essence. No one wants to be wasting time asking silly questions or questions that do not give them any vital information about yourself, unless it's intended for ice-breaking.
"Tell me about yourself" is designed to let you reveal information about your personal achievements, your strong points, your character and how you can actually contribute to the company. This question actually lets you preview your best side to the interviewer, as you will subsequently go on to expand on your answer in the following questions asked by the interviewer.
When asking that question, interviewers are not expecting you to tell them a long-winded story about your life. They need you to tell them the highlights of your career, be it academic or working life. Being extremely interested in singing, and explaining that you often spend your free time unwinding at the karaoke stations in town with a bunch of your friends is not going to help the prospective employer analyse any strong positive points about you that could be converted for the benefits of the company.
Give them the milestones in your life whereby you have managed to overcome some huge obstacles in your life, or have accomplished some major project that could have changed the lives of people around you. Give them something stunning and outstanding about you that would make them want to rope you in to work with them. Tie your achievements to the needs of the company hiring because that would ultimately be what interviewers are looking for-how you could fit in into his team of people and what you could contribute for the company.
But please be prepared to expand on your answers because you are not helping things if you merely slap the interviewer with just a one-sentence answer, such as, "I'm really good with my words.". The next thing that would inevitably pop out in the interviewer's mind would be, "And.?". You need to justify your answers and not leave the interviewer with more question marks concerning you. You could probably say, "I'm really good with my words because I'm really passionate about language and linguistics. I could come up with write-ups or stories really fast, and I could even adjust the tone of my writings to the client's needs, which makes me really versatile with my words."
At times, interviewers may also help you along the way, after having asked this question. But don't be too dependent on it because it may leave the interviewer with the impression that you are not well-prepared.
This, being one of the first questions usually asked during interviews is definitely your best shot at marketing yourself to the prospective employers, because it is the time when you have full control of what comes out of your mouth. Use the opportunity wisely and you may have just talked your way to employment with the company.