Friday, October 30, 2009

The different forms of "so, tell me a bit about yourself"

My niece was describing a recent job interview. She and the interviewer were graduates of the same university, so they ended up chatting about the alma mater, the football team, the professors they both had had. And in that chat, my niece told the interviewer a bit about herself.The chat is my favorite form of interview, probably because it is my most successful. However, I am prepared to tell a bit about myself in different ways. My most interesting (and least successful) version was the structured verbal questionnaire. I met with an Austrian businessman who had a set list of 18 questions that he was asking every interviewee. Just the facts, ma’am. I tried to embellish my answers, stray, engage in conversation but these attempts met with a stony stare, and we moved on to the next question. “Your connection has been lost….please try again later.”Sometimes, that is just how it goes when you are trying to tell a bit about yourself. It reminded me of a friend’s description of her Six Minute Dating experience*. Some of the men asked questions from a set list, some chatted, some about themselves, some about the women they met. It sounded like a great way for someone to get comfortable with telling a bit about themselves, to practice a ‘so, tell me a bit about yourself’ story, in some different forms.
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