How do you answer the question, "tell me about yourself"

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coffeeluver

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I was wondering how you guys start out with this interview question. Do you start at birth and move up? I need some help.



Thanks.
 

crazy250

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no, you should start with how you decided to become a doctor and relate to your experiences to that. all that other personal info isn't really necessary. who care when and where you are born. it's already on the amcas. remember, the interview is suppose to bring something out about you that wasn't clearly communicated on the paper applications.
 

Amy B

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Gosh I HATE THIS QUESTION. I mean can't they narrow it down a bit. I got this in one of my interviews and thought, great, now where shall I begin. :rolleyes:

I started out saying that I was a wife and mother of 2 kids that had decided to go back to school after the death of my very dear friend to Ovarian cancer. Then I talked about my undergrad time and a bit about my family. Thankfully that all lead to questions from her and things went smoothly. But I still hate hearing this question.
 
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coffeeluver

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crazy250 said:
no, you should start with how you decided to become a doctor and relate to your experiences to that. all that other personal info isn't really necessary. who care when and where you are born. it's already on the amcas. remember, the interview is suppose to bring something out about you that wasn't clearly communicated on the paper applications.
Thanks for the advice but how do I start? I don't know if I should start off by just telling them how I decided off bat because what if that's the next question? I'm still confused. :(



Thanks
 

coffeeluver

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lesstalkmorock said:
When's your interview?
Good luck!!! :D :luck: :luck:
Oh you want some Karma points, don't ya? ;) Thanks for the good luck wish...sending some Karma your way. :)
 

coffeeluver

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Amy B said:
Gosh I HATE THIS QUESTION. I mean can't they narrow it down a bit. I got this in one of my interviews and thought, great, now where shall I begin. :rolleyes:

I started out saying that I was a wife and mother of 2 kids that had decided to go back to school after the death of my very dear friend to Ovarian cancer. Then I talked about my undergrad time and a bit about my family. Thankfully that all lead to questions from her and things went smoothly. But I still hate hearing this question.
Good advice...so start out by describing our present family situation?

Anyone have other examples of how they started with this question?
 

southbelle

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I certainly don't think you should start at birth, but I also don't think you should start with medically related stuff such as why you are interested in medicine. Those questions will come in a bit.
 

coffeeluver

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southbelle said:
I certainly don't think you should start at birth, but I also don't think you should start with medically related stuff such as why you are interested in medicine. Those questions will come in a bit.
How did you start?
 

TheRussian

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I actually started with birth (sort of) I was born in Russia (thus the name) so it gave me a good opporunity to talk about how we decided to move here and the difficulty I had in the transition from life in Russia to life in the US.

This is something that was not elsewhere in my application. Generally this is what you want to talk about, something not on your application that is. Think about what's on your application and what you wanted to talk about that you didn't have an opportunity to put on the application and talk about that.

Also if you talk about why you want to be the doctor when asked this question, the interviewer won't ask you why you want to be a doctor in the next question, unless they are not listening to what you say and thats generally not the case.
 

southbelle

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coffeeluver said:
How did you start?
I talked about my family. Where I lived. How old I was. What I was doing at the time(teaching middle school).

But you have to approach each interview differently. Don't take the same approach to questions at each school. I only applied to my state school and my mcat was almost 10 points higher than their average and my gpa was 4.0 at the time of my interview. Short of admitting I was the zodiac killer or that I'm really a man dressed like a woman, I was going to get in. So I played it safe. That isn't always the best approach depending on the situation
 

Sharkfan

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Arg! I HATE that question. I got it for a scholarship interview not even a week ago. My take on the best way to answer this question is to let them know what is special about you. You know, what makes you different from everyone else. I started out with the basics: where I am from, where I went to high school, and quickly jumped into specifics: my extra curriculars in high school, why I chose my undergrad college, my major and how I chose it, and my college extra curriculars. This strategy worked out well. Your interviewers should be able to pick something out of all that to ask you about, so you will probably have a chance to eleborate on whatever they find interesting. And don't worry, they will eventually bring up the "so why medicine?" Which is another annoying question that I am not going to get into right now...

Hopefully this helps!
 
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YoungFaithful

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I actually did start at birth, gave a quick summary of childhood and gave more details for my recent years. It seemed to work fine. Interviewer seemed impressed and I was accepted a week later!

:D
 

Mr. Rosewater

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My name is Navin R. Johnson. I was born a poor black child.
 

Catalyst

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southbelle said:
I talked about my family. Where I lived. How old I was. What I was doing at the time(teaching middle school).
This is actually what my premed advisor suggested and what I did at interviews. It worked well and usually led well into following conversations.
 

alianwaar4

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tell them something unique about yourself, try to think of an experience or story that you could tell them that would really let them know something special about yourself, maybe your extracurriculars and how your passionate about it...and though it might sound trite, its never bad to say that while you are passionate about medicine and you realize it will be here on out an integral part of your life, try telling them something else that will make your more than a doctor...dont just tell about the past, but tell about the future :)
 

WyldeWolf1

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I hate this question. I spent how many hours on the AMCAS and secondary application to provide all relevant information on myself? Fortunately, only one of my interviewers actually asked that. He was also the only unprepared one. Coincidence?
 

Indebt4Life

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I know a question that is much worse..." If accepted to X Medical School, how will you be able to contribute to the class of 200X" I HATE THIS QUESTION. Is there a right answer to this or do they just wanna make you sweat? I mean come on, I am gonna give them all my money, hence, in debt for life...I am gonna sacrifice my youth, vigor, social life...everything. what else do they want from me? my organs.
 

CarerraGT

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The Tell me something about yourself didnt seem as tough to answer as the "why do you want to be a doctor?" - it seems that there is a lot more weight placed on how you answer this one on the spot than telling them who you are.

for the Tell me about yourself, i just gave a little info on my family, my interests, what i did in undergrad, etc etc

sometimes they really do want to know, other times, they dont care
 

OnMyWayThere

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Indebt4Life said:
I know a question that is much worse..." If accepted to X Medical School, how will you be able to contribute to the class of 200X" I HATE THIS QUESTION. Is there a right answer to this or do they just wanna make you sweat? I mean come on, I am gonna give them all my money, hence, in debt for life...I am gonna sacrifice my youth, vigor, social life...everything. what else do they want from me? my organs.

:laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:
 

midlifecrisis

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Ask them, "Where would you like me to start?" I had two interviewers ask this question, and neither had read my ap. They didn't want any preconcieved notions.

The first time sucked, I started with what I felt was relevant info, later in life, and it became clear they really wanted a coherent life narative from the start. I sucked so bad I didn't get in....it was a school where interviews were very heavily weighted.

So the next time I asked the interviewer, "Where do you want me to start?" He said the beggining. This time I was prepared, and gave a succint little narative. He asked a couple follow ups and said have a nice day. I got in.

Definitely think about this question, have a couple versions in your mind....ie have a birth to present version and have a inspiration for MD to present version. Good luck.
 

omarsaleh66

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this question can be very good if u are a good speaker. U should have a little 2 minute speech well prepared to answer this question. U should talk about where u are from, ur background, ur education and relevant experiences, ur challenges and aspirations and goals. dont go over 2 minutes.

peace
 

omarsaleh66

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midlifecrisis said:
Ask them, "Where would you like me to start?" I had two interviewers ask this question, and neither had read my ap. They didn't want any preconcieved notions.

The first time sucked, I started with what I felt was relevant info, later in life, and it became clear they really wanted a coherent life narative from the start. I sucked so bad I didn't get in....it was a school where interviews were very heavily weighted.

So the next time I asked the interviewer, "Where do you want me to start?" He said the beggining. This time I was prepared, and gave a succint little narative. He asked a couple follow ups and said have a nice day. I got in.

Definitely think about this question, have a couple versions in your mind....ie have a birth to present version and have a inspiration for MD to present version. Good luck.

personally, from my experiences in the business world and human resources, u shouldnt ask them "Where u want me start?" that might hurt u. Just be safe and have a prepared 2 minute speech prepared that sounds as sincere as possible. This question is to sell urself and u can make a really good impression becuase most interviewees wont answer this question well.
 
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