General Question

pleiades's avatar

Job Interview Gurus: "Tell me about yourself" how do you personally answer this question?

Asked by pleiades (6581points) July 27th, 2014

Going in for a final interview and the way I started off to answer this the first time around, I told them I was married and had a son, then I swiftly went into my work experience.

Any tips advice? Should I go straight to the point of work experience? I was kind of thinking it would set me a part from young adults and might make me seem more mature and kind of eliminates the possibility of me being the non punctual party type.

What’s your take?

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10 Answers

stanleybmanly's avatar

It’s a fine beginning because it places what should be your greatest priority first in line.

Haleth's avatar

A one-minute “elevator talk” about yourself. Start briefly into your personal life and interests, then connect them to your work experience (because you are interested in your work, right???) and then talk about recent highlights of your career, with enthusiasm.

Basically you’re just starting the conversation here. It’s like the human perspective on the bullet points in your resume. From there hopefully it will develop into a nice back and forth.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

Make sure you show them your passion and enthusiasm. Putting your family first seems right to me. You have to be authentic. Let you shine through and your love for your family and then why you are passionate about the work you do.

JLeslie's avatar

It’s illegal in America for them to ask you your marital status or if you have children. The reason it is illegal is because it can work against you. However, if you are on the final rounds it hasn’t worked against you so far in the process, so that’s good.

I would just focus on the job and the type of work that makes you happy, making sure it fits with what you are interviewing for. Maybe it’s that you love working with people, or helping people, or almost the opposite and that you like working on your own and that you are good at working autonomously and are a self motivator. I’m just babbling, I don’t know the job you are going for, nor do I know your career field of interest.

syz's avatar

When I ask an applicant to tell me about themselves, I want to know their work history. When they went into the field, why, their greatest achievements, etc.

What I do not want is what one applicant gave me, which was personal information (and tears) about why her husband left her as an explanation for returning to the work force.

UnholyThirst's avatar

Always start with your best attribute and work your way down.

ragingloli's avatar

You start with what made you interested in the field of work and then list the timeline of your carreer from the beginning.
Avoid talking about things that have nothing to do with the professions.
No hobbies, no family, no unrelated interests like music or books.

Pachy's avatar

The first thing I want to know is how much an applicant knows about my business (who we are, what we make or sell, etc.) and whether he or she has the knowledge, skills, and experience and enthusiasm to be of value.

I also like to see initiative. I once interviewed a graphic designer who was a good fit in most respects except that he wasn’t familiar with one piece of software we used. The next day he called to tell me he had signed up for a course and, if I was willing to wait a few weeks, would like to interview again to demonstrate his new skills. P.S. I wound up hiring him.

KNOWITALL's avatar

I emphasize communit involvement, hobbies, the fact that I have no kids is always a big plus.

gorillapaws's avatar

Talk about your hobbies/interests and how those relate to the job you’re applying for. Do your homework about that company. Learn everything you can about what they do. Read any press releases they’ve published, or articles about them, their products/services, or leaders in the company. Read reviews of their products/services. What are their competitive advantages in their industry, what are their weaknesses? How can your interests complement their advantages, and improve on their weaknesses.

E.g. Hypothetically, let’s say you paint in your spare time and are applying for a middle management position. Painting requires the artist to mix left and right brain tasks, melding creativity and vision with mathmatical precision of brush strokes and color mixing. These activities would compliment your application because they show the ability to translate the policies handed to you into implementing them with the personel who will require creativity and flexibility to adapt to human situations while achieving the company’s mission. Also your ability to master creative and logical mental tasks make you well suited to discover and eliminate inefficiencies that may be present in the process you’re overseeing.

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