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Old 07-15-2012, 07:03 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TVandSportsGuy View Post
I been getting mixed answers to this question. Some say you are only supposed to sell your "personality and character" and then some say you are supposed to talk about your strengths and linked them to the job you are applying for. I struggled with this question last month because no one never asked me this question on a job interview and it showed because the interview went downhill from the beginning.


So what type of response is best for "Tell me about yourself?
I have about a planned 2 minute schpiel for this question.

It is the honest truth about myself-- I talk about my strengths, interests, etc.

Really honestly, in interviews I don't "sell" myself so much. I am there to see if I like the job-- and there to give them an idea of what I would do or not do in the position.
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Old 07-15-2012, 12:41 PM
 
Location: here
24,839 posts, read 30,085,352 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 313Weather View Post
What I will tell you is, whenever that question is asked, there's a good chance you're not getting the job.

I mean, think about it, why would they ask you to "tell me about yourself" when everything they need to know is listed in your cover letter and resume?

Translated, they basically want to know why the hell are you wasting their time when you're not hardly qualified for this position?
Not true. This has been the first question in every interview I've had in the last 6 months. At that point, they have no idea if they would hire me or not. If they did, I'd hope they wouldn't waste my time with the interview in the first place.

At first I regurgitated what was on my resume. After the first couple of times, I figured they could see all of that, and I better come up with something else. After that I started adding more of an explanation of "why" - why did I quit my last job (we relocated), why have I been out of work for 5 years (home with the kids), why do I want to go back to work now (I always wanted to go back, and it is finally time, and I am finally able).
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Old 07-15-2012, 01:39 PM
FBJ FBJ started this thread
 
Location: Tall Building down by the river
39,615 posts, read 50,300,864 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sgt. Buzzcut View Post
Ok, so how would you handle the question? Why do you want to work for the company?
Just explain how their mission and your passions are well connected.
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Old 07-15-2012, 01:49 PM
FBJ FBJ started this thread
 
Location: Tall Building down by the river
39,615 posts, read 50,300,864 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T. Damon View Post
I just completed the interview process a little over a week ago and was asked that very question along with the "tell me about your weaknesses" question. Even though I'm middle-aged this was basically my very first "real" interview for a "real", or professional, salaried position. My background is several years of service work, then design work on my own or with a few firms that I just plopped in for a while because they knew me and my particular skills.

From what I've heard and know my particular experience with this process seems to be quite unique. I applied online for this job in April and out of the blue I get an email on Tuesday morning that they were looking over resumes and were wondering if I was still interested, well, duh!? -I just happen to work in a profession that has the depressing distinction of having the absolute worst employment rate of all professions, every Tom, Dick and Nancy who is one is out of work and will work for nothing- "why yes, I am still interested" A couple of emails later had a phone interview scheduled for Thursday, well that didn't sound promising but seemed to go well and at the end was invited to interview with the principals on site the next morning. After researching the company and their work and finding out what dynamic and creative place it is I got all the more nervous and worked up, knowing what a wonderful and perfect opportunity it would be.

The interview was in a large conference room high up in a downtown tower and as nervous as I was I just acted like myself. I went through the background question with a VERY brief couple of statements about where I grew up, interesting experiences and how I came into the field, and the weakness question with how I needed to develop more skills in a couple of areas that just needed the time and experience to develop them. It didn't seem like I completely blew the interview, in fact I was cautiously optimistic. They surprisingly said that they would let me know by the afternoon. It was an agonizing wait until LATE afternoon but word came, an offer that was seriously like twice as much money as I would have been thrilled with, excellent benefits and in a beautiful downtown office. I will readily admit I had tears of joy when I got off that phone call.

Three days after waiting for seemingly half a lifetime for an opportunity like this and BAM!

After my first week later I am still in absolute shock, huge windowed office- shared and open of course- (I can even see water!), great fellow employees in a dynamic and creative firm and I am confident that I am bringing value and good work product already. But seriously I feel like I have just won the lottery! It just goes to show that if you bring that enthusiasm and great work ethic along with some valued skills it can happen, even after 50.

To everybody still looking, keep it up and sincerely good luck!

No one is interested in your GLOATING about being hired especially since you never bothered to state how you answered the question.
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Old 07-15-2012, 04:23 PM
 
Location: USA
4,980 posts, read 8,437,190 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lovetheduns View Post
I have about a planned 2 minute schpiel for this question.

It is the honest truth about myself-- I talk about my strengths, interests, etc.

Really honestly, in interviews I don't "sell" myself so much. I am there to see if I like the job-- and there to give them an idea of what I would do or not do in the position.

Tell them what they want to hear.
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Old 07-15-2012, 05:21 PM
 
Location: New York
880 posts, read 1,734,240 times
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I usually start by introducing myself, education, experience and so on...
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Old 07-15-2012, 05:43 PM
 
Location: USA
4,980 posts, read 8,437,190 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FOReverxpeace View Post
I usually start by introducing myself, education, experience and so on...

It's important to spend a lot of time going on and on about your hobbies and interests. Make sure you tell how you got interested in rock collecting...that vacation back in '67 when your Aunt Mary took you to the Black Hills and you camped out. Lots of detail. Make it interesting.
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Old 07-15-2012, 05:48 PM
 
Location: Las Vegas, NV
553 posts, read 1,046,279 times
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If an interviewer started by asking me, "Tell me about yourself" my first assumption is that the interviewer is not very skilled. You have limited time to get to know each other and to explore whether a good fit exists for employment. Such an open ended question lacks sufficient focus. (Unlike a question like "why should we hire you?"). So my response would be to help the interview along. Make a little small talk if that has not already happened. Tell the interviewer how you have a lot of different interests some of which are related to work others of which have nothing to do with work. Then ask the interviewer, "what is it about me that you would most like to know?". Listen to the answer, and then respond. Now you have a better path to follow in trying to sell yourself.
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Old 07-15-2012, 05:52 PM
 
Location: USA
4,980 posts, read 8,437,190 times
Reputation: 2506
Sometimes, you have to run the interview yourself. I've had interviewers who were so incompetent, I had to volunteer the questions. Some know nothing about the position. They can't answer any questions and just act like that's normal and tough beans.
Their companies pay good money to employ them, and if they are going to hire someone for a position, they should know exactly what that job is about. If not, turn the whole hiring process over to the manager.

Be done with HR, it has outlived its usefulness!
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Old 07-15-2012, 08:40 PM
 
1,359 posts, read 4,379,399 times
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"Tell me about yourself" is not intended to be an open-ended question. If an applicant gives an open-ended answer, starts telling their life story, etc., that tells the interviewer that the applicant is probably not going to be a good fit since they haven't done their homework on how to present themselves.
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