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how should I approach this interview question

pencilfloor

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    Hello Everyone,
    How do you appoach the question "So tell me about yourself". There are so many ways to answer this question. What do I tell them about myself? It's an open ended question not very specific and I'm dreading having to answer it. There are many things I could tell them about myself but I don't know exactly what I should say. :sleep:
     

    BluesClues32

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      I always used this opportunity to give a basic background on myself. So my response included

      name (just so the interviewer could hear the correct pronunciation and hopefully remember it for later)
      where I was born
      a little about each member of the family
      favorite activities when I was a child
      activities during high school
      why I picked my undergraduate institution
      favorite activities in college

      I wanted the interviewers to know that family is important to me, that I am a very active person and enjoy trying new activities. My advice is to talk about a few things that are important to you and that cannot be found in your application. But make sure your answer is logical. :) Good luck!
       

      Donvb

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        pencilfloor said:
        Hello Everyone,
        How do you appoach the question "So tell me about yourself". There are so many ways to answer this question. What do I tell them about myself? It's an open ended question not very specific and I'm dreading having to answer it. There are many things I could tell them about myself but I don't know exactly what I should say. :sleep:

        I use this to expand upon ANYTHING that I want them to knwo about me that might not come up in the rest of the interview...

        What I'm doing now: Lab research, married this summer, wife applying to nursing school, Honors College thesis, etc...

        I NEVER say my name/major(they already know that) or "when I was a kid..."(This makes them think.. "so he is dwelling on his past, he must be immature and a good candidate for a re-applicant")

        -I was in an interview where one guy answered the question "What sort of volunteer experiences have you done?" with "in High School I did..."

        The interviewer's looked astonished that he reverted to highschool, we've had plenty of time to do things the past 3/4 years!! Stay away from your past, and use this open ended question of "tell me about you" to answer the amazing things you're doing now...

        Good luck!! :luck:
         
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        ShyRem

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          I hate this question. As a non-trad, there are many (many) experiences which have shaped my life. There are several major events, most of them very personal and not ones I particularly want to share with an interview panel. I also hate (hate hate hate hate) talking about myself - one of my weaknesses: I don't toot my own horn very well.

          IMO, this question ranks right up there with "tell us about a challenging problem you have overcome". Well, gee, do you want a personal challenge? How about a professional challenge? An emotional challenge? A life challenge? A lifechanging challenge? A family challenge? A physical challenge? Dealing with a crippled family member challenge? Breaking new ground challenge? Give me a little more to work with here. And no, I really don't want to talk about any of them - they have shaped me into the person I am, but they are FAR from being the main thing to make me what I am today. Stupid questions.

          Ok. venting done. Back to the original question - I answer with why I went back to school, what jobs I've held, what I am today (wife, mother, educator, tutor and guide for my children, student), and what brought me to apply to med school (and why it took so d*mn long to get there). It only takes about 5-10 sentences. Oh, I also mention my hobbies and what I like to do in my personal time. I don't elaborate much - if they want more information they can ask. Of course, most of this is in my application. Good luck.
           

          Doctor Bagel

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            Fermata said:
            "As if answering your questions wasn't painful enough?".

            :laugh: yeah, that tell me about yourself question is so lame -- really, can't they come up with something more original? it reminds of this stupid class i took in college where the essay on the final basically asked us to write about every topic that we covered in class.
             

            N1DERL&

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              ShyRem said:
              IMO, this question ranks right up there with "tell us about a challenging problem you have overcome". Well, gee, do you want a personal challenge? How about a professional challenge? An emotional challenge? A life challenge? A lifechanging challenge? A family challenge? A physical challenge? Dealing with a crippled family member challenge? Breaking new ground challenge? Give me a little more to work with here. And no, I really don't want to talk about any of them - they have shaped me into the person I am, but they are FAR from being the main thing to make me what I am today. Stupid questions.

              :laugh: :thumbup: Excellent vent. I go through that whole conversation every time I see that question!!! :rolleyes:
               

              DD214_DOC

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                My last interview was actually really good. I was complimented on the strength of my overall application and the improvements I have made since applying last year. It was more of a good conversation that ended up going 20 minutes past the alotted time. I did get the dread, "Tell me about yourself" question, but I have had it so many times now in regular job interviews that it's nothing to worry about.

                My first interview of this year, at a school I won't mention (WVSOM) was nothing. I was asked, "Why DO" and that was pretty much it. It was, literally, over in under 10 minutes. I had to do my best to stretch it as long as I could, but was still out in under 15. I've had the unfortunate luck of being the last person interviewed at all of them aside from my most recent one.
                 

                punchberry

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                  The point of this question is to favor prepared candidates. You should be walking into an interview with a list of things about yourself that you WILL tell the interviewer, no matter what you are asked. If you have prepared this, then "tell me a little about yourself" is an easy question.

                  And the answer is not "I was born in X and have three adorable siblings", it is "I want to be a doctor and will make a terrific one. Here are the reasons for both."
                   
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