“So Tell Me About Yourself”

Right now, I’m going through the interview process as I look for a job.  The interview itself never bothers me.  I know that I am a strangely likable person who can at times posses eloquence and insight beyond what even my brain comprehends, and I know I am a super capable employee that has just about rocked everything I’ve ever done.  The part of the process I don’t care for is the dreaded question…

“So tell me a little bit about yourself.”

Where do I start?  How little is too little?  How much is too much?  How do I cram my being into a ten sentence paragraph that would sate the questioner?  How do I tell you who I am with out you staring at me wide eyed across the conference room table at my candidness?

You see, (and if you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time you know it to be true) I lay things out on the line.  I am who I am and I’m not shamed of that.  I’ve probably never been ashamed of who I am in my whole entire life.  I do crazy things, I say things that make my father in law shake his head in wonder, I embarrass myself often and loudly, I love deep, and I rarely hate a thing (except kale.  Kale needs to stay the hell out of my salad).  I am super sensitive and caring but I also have become a pretty excellent student of “letting it go.”  Frankly, I live hard and I live full.  I grab opportunities wherever I see them, I talk to strangers, and smile at people in the grocery store for no reason than I am compelled to do so.  I often let people go ahead of me in traffic and wave my thanks to drivers who let me in.  I have a steal trap memory and know that my first boyfriend’s (ever) birthday was July 6th and that my good friend’s ex girlfriend was the day after.  I can identify breeds of dogs just by looking at them and even probably tell you a little about their personality.  I dislike cooking but love baking even though I rarely eat what I bake.  I have played 4th chair violin in Carnegie Hall, and moved across the country numerous times.  I know hard work pays off but am afraid to toot my own horn even though I believe I’m pretty damn great.  I have a million thoughts running through my head at any one moment and knit so that I won’t implode on myself.  I know how to knit, crochet, spin, clean & card wool, I know how to warp a loom as well as operate a jack hammer.  My favorite tool will always be a hammer drill because I appreciate anything that can drill through concrete with ease.  I have more respect for a former foreman of mine for being able to run through a job site with 150 pounds in each hand that I ever did for people I knew that made close to $50,000 a month.  I’m wicked good at math, understand people’s motivations, know how to change my own tires and oil as well as how to make a proper biscuit joint.  I appreciate dove tail joins in drawers, super ugly fish, cast iron anything, and Red Rooster hot sauce in my chicken soup.  I spend most of my recent days with some form of poo and mud on me.  I kiss my goats as well as my dogs and my husband (though not at the same time and the Mr is the only one to get lip action 😉 )

I have chased my sheep over miles and marveled at the kindness of strangers.  It takes me months (sometimes longer) to believe that a person truly likes me and I rarely invite anyone to my home.

I am more than a five second blurb so I usually say something like…”I hobby farm with my husband and I love being outside.”  I always feel like that’s cheating though.

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6 thoughts on ““So Tell Me About Yourself”

  1. You know in a job interview they don’t really want to KNOW you but what you can do for them. Well, most job interviews, anyway. The damned tricky thing is to know who the person is who is asking the questions! I just wish they’d all establish the rules BEFORE the interview so you would know what side of you to show.

    Good Luck with your job search. You’s a smart gal… find something you will like to do… not what you think you should do. warm thoughts coming your way, P!!!

  2. I would LOVE to see someone’s reaction on the other side of the desk if you told them the whole, full truth like that. I would be beyond awesome.

    Just saying. 😉

  3. Tell them you’re energetic, tenacious, a shining gem at customer service, creative, intrepid and that your work background spans a wide range of fields, in which you’ve started low and always finished high. Whether or not they ask you what intrepid means, they’ll surely ask you to give examples of some of those adjectives and…you’ll then have permission to sing your own praises. As well you should; if you don’t tell them how fine a candidate you are, where on earth will they hear the news?

  4. Wow, I’d hire you, Preita! Not that I have the power to hire anyone, but still.

    In any case, can you take some of your clear energy and knack for detailed description and pour them into a 30-second description that is appropriate for whatever job you’re applying for? You can end it with your current one-sentence version, but you might also want to tell them about some of your experience pertinent to their job description.

    And I love Linda’s suggestion above, though I think it would also benefit from some of the marvelous details you list in your longer one. (e.g. “I talk to strangers” is a great, fast way of saying you’re outgoing, curious about people, and easy to get along with. “I have a steel trap memory” is a great way of saying, “I’m sharp as a tack, I have a good way with words, and I have the confidence to realize as much.”) Are you applying for customer service jobs?

    (And kale is DELICIOUS when it’s cooked. Have you ever tried it sauteed with olive oil and garlic? Maybe with some white beans?)

  5. What you wrote is a good example of what you should say. It is all true and even though it is lengthy, though you didn’t say anything about being an author. It gives a move concise picture of what you are about. HR people are so ready to pigeon hole any one with just a short paragraph I almost think giving them more is better…over whelming their petty minds rather than under whelming them so they can decide how to fill in the blanks. if you give them no blank space they can’t make up shite about your life.
    remember they alway thinnk you are your job and never look under the surface for the real person….
    love mom

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