Originally Posted by dulaney0330
Thanks for the post. Helpful, especially the visualization part which tends to be my weakness.
What is the best response for "tell me about yourself?" Would it be helpful to start in college? Where I was born?
It seems there are a variety of opinions on this and I am still in the process of determining which answer most suits me.
Remember, you're selling yourself. So you basically want to frame your response in a way that positions you for the job. That may mean starting from your birth or from your work experience. My first job was at an Apparel company that cared a lot about global fashion, so I mentioned that I was born in India, have been to several countries, and have moved around quite a bit. Normally I start around college though.
For example, I was applying to a position recently where Mathematical modeling, building reports, and communication skills were very important. Here was my rough answer:
"Iíve always enjoyed Math and teaching. I enjoyed learning so much that I finished high school when I was 15, and graduated from UC Berkeley with Honors and 24 units of graduate courses when I was 19. During my education Iíve always been working on my teaching and communication skills-Iíve done dozens of tutoring assignments for a variety of audiences and I even joined the debate club to practice my public speaking skills. I also started working with programming and Statistical Modeling in college. I made statistical models as a Research Assistant using SAS, for a paper that was published in Nature, one of the top scientific journals.
After graduating I used those skills at an apparel company called <blank>. I built a variety of reports for different projects, including optimizing the inventory layout in our warehouse, cleaning up our receivables and collecting $850,000 that might have been lost, setting up basic risk analytics for B2B customers, and more. I really enjoyed that job and learned a lot, but had to leave when my wife started graduate school at the University of <blank> (which was 3,000 miles away).
Afterwards, I worked at..."
Note the basic traits. I start with a few of my strengths. Those happen to be points that are highly relevant to the job (Mathematical modeling and communication skills) phrased in a believable way (Math and teaching).
Then I transition into explaining how I used/developed those strengths, as well as including things that sound good and are relevant. There are other accomplishments that I could include, but those wouldn't be as relevant to the job.
I then go into my work experience, tailoring it to the job as much as possible. I also leave out the parts of my experience that don't matter. I explain why I left the job, emphasizing the fact that I did enjoy the job but had to leave due to XYZ reason.
Then I repeat a similar description for my next job.
Note that I definitely wouldn't say the above word-for-word, or even come close. I just practiced writing my answer up so that I could figure out what the most important points were. I might add or drop points depending on who I'm interviewing with and what they tell me about the job.