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the "Tell me about yourself" interview question

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - DO' started by kiwi09, Sep 26, 2009.

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  1. kiwi09


    Aug 26, 2009
    Sorry if this has already been addressed, but I'm having a little bit of trouble preparing for the extremely broad, "tell me about yourself" interview question. I don't know whether to jump right to my interest in medicine, or talk about college, or EC's, family, hobbies, etc. etc., I just don't want to go off on a tangent talking about something irrelevant...any advice would be immensely appreciated!

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  3. WhatsNext

    WhatsNext ________________ 2+ Year Member

    Aug 6, 2009
    Here's my take on this question. It's an easy question that is usually asked at the beginning of an interview to break the tension. There is no right or wrong answer. But, how you answer the question can reveal a lot about you. For instance:

    • Do you know yourself well enough to tell someone else about yourself? This is a measure of maturity and self-awareness.

    • Can you put together a coherent thought and verbalize it in complete sentences? I'm actually being serious here.

    • How do you deal with uncertainty and vagueness? For example, do you get frustrated and annoyed with such an extremely broad question? Or, do you stop and ask them what kind of information they want to hear? Or, do you press on and make the best out of it by answering it the way you think it should be answered?
    Really, I think you should just relax and answer the question by honestly telling them about yourself, focusing on what you think is important to define you as a unique individual. Again those are just my 2 cents, if it's even worth that much to you.
  4. da Vincis World

    da Vincis World 7+ Year Member

    Oct 25, 2007
    I would recommend NOT starting with medicine...they know you are interested in medicine.
  5. TheGoodGoodTime

    TheGoodGoodTime Part VII (The Grind) 2+ Year Member

    Feb 4, 2008
    Was asked this multiple times when I interviewed last year. It's actually a pretty easy question. The solution is simple. Talk about what's not on your application. Extra-curriculars, sports, interests. These are things that aren't really easily extracted from your application. Stray away from research, interest in medicine, and all that jazz. They'll ask you about that stuff eventually. This is your opportunity to tell them who you are as a regular person and not some crazy pre-med.
  6. StairLift


    Sep 26, 2009
    Just talk about your accomplishments ambitions, life goals maybe.. then ask them some question, everyone like to talk about them self so get them talking and opening up to you!
  7. TheGoodGoodTime

    TheGoodGoodTime Part VII (The Grind) 2+ Year Member

    Feb 4, 2008
    Totally disagree with this.

    They obviously know what your ambitions and life goal is. Not to mention most of your accomplishments are also on the application. Why would you want to talk to them about stuff they basically already know? Like I said tell them about the stuff that's not on your application, the stuff that makes you, well you.
  8. Exalya

    Exalya 2+ Year Member

    Dec 21, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    This was my approach originally, but the advisers I've spoken to say that you should "stay professional" in the tell me about yourself thing. I tend to agree with you, though--why would I tell them about my clinical experience if they have my application right in front of them?

    However, as a caution, many schools have closed-file interviews... if your interview IS closed file, I would recommend mentioning your EC's or something. Otherwise they won't have much to ask you about. When I interviewed I was not asked this question, but my interviewers had my EC's/PS in their hands.
  9. TheGoodGoodTime

    TheGoodGoodTime Part VII (The Grind) 2+ Year Member

    Feb 4, 2008
    Personally for me I'd usually preface the question by saying that you can see what I've done on my application so I'll tell you more about myself off paper. Just about every person I did that with approved, and in fact 2 in particular basically said something along the lines of "thank God."

    I would say that most non-academic hobbies/talents/extra-curriculars are "professional." Obviously you're not going to tell them you enjoy going downtown/uptown to get hammered with friends, but you get my point. Although you're correct with the closed-file ones. Never had one personally, but I suppose you shouldn't go this route if they're closed file interviews.

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