Where to start with "Tell me about yourself."

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by c073186, Jun 17, 2008.

  1. c073186 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
    #1
    My biggest problem in a job interview is when the person does the "Tell me about yourself" thing. Where am I supposed to start? Not like I am going to say, "Well I was born here, grew up, did this as a child ... blah blah blah..." Do I just start saying what I do in school and what my plans are for the future? Do I go into my hobbies and interests or are they more likely looking for "about me" in a professional way (my skills, job experience, etc.)?
     
  2. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    #2
    I usually tell them something whacky. It isn't that it's not serious, it's just that I will say something kind of interestingly whacky and smile. Frankly, if they can't handle me during the interview then they certainly don't want me working for them!

    Oh yeah, I haven't worked in 5 years.

    Kidding.
     
  3. flyinmac macrumors 68030

    flyinmac

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2006
    Location:
    United States
    #3
    Telling them that you were born in the town in which you are applying isn't a bad thing. Let's them know you have roots in the community. That could be considered a plus if they are interested in local business.

    Otherwise, tell them the things that you enjoy doing which may be relevant to the job in which you are applying for. And, some basic stuff to show that you are a person with interests and perhaps interesting yourself (as in more than a couch potato).

    Or, you could always just tell them that you're desperate for work, will take any job they'll give you, will do anything you're asked, and for as little as they'll pay :D
     
  4. naftalim macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2007
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #4
    The interest here for interviewers is not so much to get to know the details of your life. Its meant to see a few things.

    How you express yourself
    What passions or interests you have.
    Is there some kind of pattern or lack of it in your life.

    I have interviewed and hired hundreds of people and this is actually the key area of my interview. I hire on attitude. Skills can be taught, attitude is often hardwired by an early age. If someone has a good attitude, they would probably have done well where they were and will do well going forward. If someone has a bad attitude, skills won't always be enough. Most people usually don't work out because of a lack of soft skills.

    So, talk a bit about your personal life, your passions and interests. Show how you have learned things, how you have grown.

    If someone isn't passionate about themselves, how am I, the person supposed to assess them get excited about them?
     
  5. themadchemist macrumors 68030

    themadchemist

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2003
    Location:
    Chi Town
    #5
    First thing to do is to frame yourself. Create for yourself a personal narrative--we all have them, it's just a question of putting it together clearly. Once you've got that in your head, you can draw on it for all sorts of situations.

    People who you know peripherally (like, for instance, an interviewer) are going to stereotype you with a few key words they remember from your interactions. It's the only way we can keep everyone we meet straight in our heads. You have a fair bit of power in shaping how you're labeled, and you can do it by figuring out how you want to be labeled and selling that by the way you project yourself, a sprinkling of anecdotes, and a cohesive sense of who you are and where you want to go.
     
  6. JNB macrumors 604

    JNB

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2004
    Location:
    In a Hell predominately of my own making
    #6
    I always keep it simple.

    "Very well, where do I begin? My father was a relentlessly self-improving boulangerie owner from Belgium with low grade narcolepsy and a penchant for buggery. My mother was a fifteen year old French prostitute named Chloe with webbed feet. My father would womanize, he would drink, he would make outrageous claims like he invented the question mark. Some times he would accuse chestnuts of being lazy, the sort of general malaise that only the genius possess and the insane lament. My childhood was typical, summers in Rangoon, luge lessons. In the spring we'd make meat helmets. When I was insolent I was placed in a burlap bag and beaten with reeds, pretty standard really. At the age of 12 I received my first scribe. At the age of fourteen, a Zoroastrian named Vilma ritualistically shaved my testicles. There really is nothing like a shorn scrotum, it's breathtaking, I suggest you try it."
     
  7. pagansoul macrumors 65816

    pagansoul

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2006
    Location:
    Earth
  8. iMacZealot macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2005
    #8
    Or Chuck Woolery. Whenever I hear that question, I think of him.
     

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