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"Tell me about yourself"


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Old 12th January 2015, 4:39 PM   #1
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"Tell me about yourself"

The title above is probably one of the hardest questions I ever encounter when doing an interview. I just got word and am set to do an in-person interview in the next few days, which would be for my dream job. I'm looking for insight on how to best answer this question and if you have been in the hiring process, what type of answers are you looking for when you ask this. Thanks!
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Old 12th January 2015, 4:59 PM   #2
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Usually this means you tell them your interests as far as your career goes. For example, I've said "I am a recent college graduate with a major in business management, I am looking to gain experience in x, y, z or I have x many of years of experience in x, y, z and looking to further my career because of x, y, z." Hope that helps. Remember to sound confident!
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Old 12th January 2015, 7:49 PM   #3
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I think this depends on the company culture a bit; if they are more "old fashioned" you should probably answer by summarizing what your CV already says, however if they are more "creative types" (e.g. google) you might need a more original approach.
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Old 13th January 2015, 12:51 AM   #4
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Every time I've had this question asked of me, the employer wanted to know ABOUT ME outside of the work situation. They wanted to know what my interests were, what my hobbies were, etc. I had one employer say that he really liked getting to know potential candidates as people while also screening for job qualifications.

You can start off with your educational background, and your work experience, but this is the "blah blah blah" that tends to make people zone out and get glazed eyes. Especially since the employer should already have a copy of your resume and has already read these things, and it's why you're on the interview in the first place. When you sit down for the interview, you also hand them a fresh copy of the resume just in case they misplaced the first.

Who are you as a person? Why would you be qualified for that job? What made you apply with them?

With one company I went on an interview with I told my now current boss a childhood story of me writing my own book and it tied into the job I was applying for.

Show them you're a passionate person and passionate about the job you're applying for.
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Old 13th January 2015, 1:21 AM   #5
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It means explains how your personality helped you work well in previous work environments and give examples
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Old 13th January 2015, 4:04 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KatZee View Post
Every time I've had this question asked of me, the employer wanted to know ABOUT ME outside of the work situation. They wanted to know what my interests were, what my hobbies were, etc. I had one employer say that he really liked getting to know potential candidates as people while also screening for job qualifications.

You can start off with your educational background, and your work experience, but this is the "blah blah blah" that tends to make people zone out and get glazed eyes. Especially since the employer should already have a copy of your resume and has already read these things, and it's why you're on the interview in the first place. When you sit down for the interview, you also hand them a fresh copy of the resume just in case they misplaced the first.

Who are you as a person? Why would you be qualified for that job? What made you apply with them?

With one company I went on an interview with I told my now current boss a childhood story of me writing my own book and it tied into the job I was applying for.

Show them you're a passionate person and passionate about the job you're applying for.
This, but it should really end up relating to your career aspirations.
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Old 13th January 2015, 4:40 AM   #7
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Usually they want to see how you are with other people. Can your outside interests contribute to your job? In terms of being social. Any oddities you bring to the table.

But hopefully it won`t be like this.....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rPu_d4SSOPk
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Old 13th January 2015, 5:15 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KatZee View Post
Every time I've had this question asked of me, the employer wanted to know ABOUT ME outside of the work situation. They wanted to know what my interests were, what my hobbies were, etc. I had one employer say that he really liked getting to know potential candidates as people while also screening for job qualifications.

You can start off with your educational background, and your work experience, but this is the "blah blah blah" that tends to make people zone out and get glazed eyes. Especially since the employer should already have a copy of your resume and has already read these things, and it's why you're on the interview in the first place. When you sit down for the interview, you also hand them a fresh copy of the resume just in case they misplaced the first.

Who are you as a person? Why would you be qualified for that job? What made you apply with them?

With one company I went on an interview with I told my now current boss a childhood story of me writing my own book and it tied into the job I was applying for.

Show them you're a passionate person and passionate about the job you're applying for.
This is always my issue, it is hard to tell if the employer wants to know about you personally, or professionally. I think I'm going to have to go with something that is mainly job related, but also shows something of me in the past that lead up to wanting the position / career I am going for.
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Old 13th January 2015, 9:51 PM   #9
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I wouldn't be afraid to follow-up and ask if they are interested in you personally or professionally. We've been conditioned by the last 6 years of being told by the "job-givers" that every single answer you give places you on the edge of employed/unemployed. Screw that. My answer to your question, as well as every other question you would ask about, is just to be yourself. Every answer is an opportunity to shed light into who you are in the way you want a prospective employer to know you.


For example, and this is not to say it's foolproof, very recently I just went through an interview process. My answer to the "5 year plan" question was that life has taught me that 5 year plans aren't realistic. When asked how much I made at my previous employer, I responded that while I appreciate their interest, what I made previously has no bearing on this job as they likely apply a value to the skills they need and whomever they choose to hire for the job will be worth that no matter if they made $25k or $90k last year. This and some other honest answer to ridiculously outdated questions got me to the second interview and, ultimately, the job offer.


Be yourself. Answer how you want and don't let others tell you what the right answers are. You'd be surprised how many employers you actually WANT to work for will appreciate it, and you for doing it.
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Old 14th January 2015, 6:00 AM   #10
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What he said:

"I wouldn't be afraid to follow-up and ask if they are interested in you personally or professionally. We've been conditioned by the last 6 years of being told by the "job-givers" that every single answer you give places you on the edge of employed/unemployed. Screw that. My answer to your question, as well as every other question you would ask about, is just to be yourself. Every answer is an opportunity to shed light into who you are in the way you want a prospective employer to know you."

Just be yourself. Ask the employer what he wants to hear about, and if it's anything besides your job CV experience, just try to talk with him like with a friend.
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Old 14th January 2015, 1:07 PM   #11
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Learn as much as you can about the company & the person who will interview you. Answer the Q to highlight those qualities in yourself that best the job description. Then add in something personal but not too personal. I usually tell people I have a Dalmatian. Pet ownership shows compassion and responsibility. It's personal but not over sharing. Another good personal tidbit might be some unusual job you had when you were younger, that's not resume material but could be fodder for further discussion. These personal touches show that you are an individual.
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Old 15th January 2015, 5:08 PM   #12
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Go figure, I had my interview with six people and none of them asked this question
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Old 15th January 2015, 7:50 PM   #13
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No feedback yet about how it went?
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Old 15th January 2015, 8:47 PM   #14
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Go figure, I had my interview with six people and none of them asked this question
I honestly think it's a lazy question by the interviewer
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Old 16th January 2015, 2:00 AM   #15
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No feedback yet about how it went?
The whole interview went exceptionally well. They are interviewing four people, or just did rather, for it. They had a large stack of resumes and I was one of the four they selected to come in for the in-person interview. I won't know till sometime next week what the decision is, so all I can do is wait. The only other thing to add is I sent out emails to all six that interviewed me thanking them for their time, I actually had to dig a bit to get their contact information, as none gave out business cards.

I'm not too nervous as I have another interview with a different company for the same type of position, this one being one of the biggest in the industry and it does large scale hiring. So in time, hopefully, I will have a job lined up and ready.
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