dwadeffan

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Jul 31, 2015
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I am having trouble with this question. Some places say keep it a minute while others say tell your story and the rest of the questions will come from there. Im having trouble summarizing everything in a minute. Can someone give a sample of how they talk about themself in a short period of time?
 
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nonociceptors

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Jul 25, 2012
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Very well, where do I begin? My father was a relentlessly self-improving boulangerie owner from Belgium with low grade narcolepsy and a penchant for buggery. My mother was a fifteen year old French prostitute named Chloe with webbed feet. My father would womanize, he would drink, he would make outrageous claims like he invented the question mark. Some times he would accuse chestnuts of being lazy, the sort of general malaise that only the genius possess and the insane lament. My childhood was typical, summers in Rangoon, luge lessons. In the spring we'd make meat helmets. When I was insolent I was placed in a burlap bag and beaten with reeds, pretty standard really. At the age of 12 I received my first scribe. At the age of fourteen, a Zoroastrian named Vilma ritualistically shaved my testicles. There really is nothing like a shorn scrotum, it's breathtaking, I suggest you try it.

That's about as far as I got before they kicked me out of the interview, so I wouldn't recommend you follow my template. But seriously there are a million ways to approach a question like this and to be honest the interviews couldn't care less if you forget to mention the number of siblings you have and instead decide to say where you grew up, or if you forego mentioning all of your ECs and instead emphasize one. It's hard to mess up this question if you avoid controversial topics and things that are too personal. When I had this question I'd ramble for a bit and just follow the flow of the conversation. Inevitably something I mentioned would interest the interviewer and they'd interject (they've done this many times before ;))
 

redhotchiligochu

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Jul 11, 2016
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But seriously there are a million ways to approach a question like this and to be honest the interviews couldn't care less if you forget to mention the number of siblings you have and instead decide to say where you grew up, or if you forego mentioning all of your ECs and instead emphasize one. It's hard to mess up this question if you avoid controversial topics and things that are too personal. When I had this question I'd ramble for a bit and just follow the flow of the conversation. Inevitably something I mentioned would interest the interviewer and they'd interject (they've done this many times before ;))
Good advice. I was being sarcastic earlier but you're not expected to speed-rap through your whole life story. Pick out a few basic things that are unique to your situation and see if you're able to establish rapport with the interviewer.
 

changtw

2+ Year Member
Jun 5, 2015
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Dental Student
My friend suggested a method she stumbled across while job hunting, and I found it to be incredibly useful, as it helped me focus my thoughts.

The website she referred me to explained further:

"A formula I really like to use is called the Present-Past-Future formula. So, first you start with the present—where you are right now. Then, segue into the past—a little bit about the experiences you’ve had and the skills you gained at the previous position. Finally, finish with the future—why you are really excited for this particular opportunity."

https://www.themuse.com/advice/a-simple-formula-for-answering-tell-me-about-yourself

I hope this is helpful!

As far as examples go, it's been nearly a year, but I believe I said something like the following:

Currently, I'm working as (short description of parttime jobs). When I have some time away from work, I try to get in as much traveling and diving as I can (I wanted them to get an idea of what I enjoy outside of work and academia). I graduated from (UG) with a degree in Biology last spring, and I'm so ready and excited to start dental school.
 
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sarriball

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Oct 16, 2014
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I had a difficult time with this question when I was preparing for interviews during my gap year. What worked for me was just to make a list of a few things that were most interesting or relatable to the position on a word document. I then tied it all up in the end with some sort of conclusion incorporating my passions with my future wherever I was interviewing.

The thing that helped me the most was to just be myself. I'm kind of a goof and I like to make people laugh, so one of the things I try to do is just make the interviewer smile or laugh a bunch. It has never really failed me for any interview I've had.
 
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dyesht

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Oct 27, 2014
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A lot of students over think this question, but really it's just like a friend asking you "what's up what have you been doing?"
 
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x0jessmariex3

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Jul 23, 2015
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I also used the Past, Present, Future model. My career advisor actually told me this strategy to answer the question. Except I did it in order as Past, Present, & then future. My answer was something like:

Well, I am 1st generation in my family to go to college and I began working at age 16 at a retail store. Since I was little though, I've known that I wanted to do something in healthcare. It wasn't until the end of high school and beginning of undergrad that I really began to consider dentistry as a career path. In order to learn more about the profession I joined my undergrad's Pre Dental Society and shadowed 2 specialties. A year later, I became a DA at Magic Smile Dental due to my sparked interest in dentistry, after obtaining my state x-ray license. My current experiences with dental patients really solidified my decision to pursue dentistry. I can see myself truly enjoying being a dentist for many years to come.
 

DMDDDSHopeful

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I had a difficult time with this question when I was preparing for interviews during my gap year. What worked for me was just to make a list of a few things that were most interesting or relatable to the position on a word document. I then tied it all up in the end with some sort of conclusion incorporating my passions with my future wherever I was interviewing.

The thing that helped me the most was to just be myself. I'm kind of a goof and I like to make people laugh, so one of the things I try to do is just make the interviewer smile or laugh a bunch. It has never really failed me for any interview I've had.
Same.