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Allen Grove

"Tell Me About Yourself" - A Simple Interview Question?

By January 25, 2014

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Your college interviewer wants to have a pleasant and meaningful conversation with you, so she or he is going to ask you some softball questions to get the dialogue rolling. One of the most common?--"Tell me about yourself." This question is not one that should raise your blood pressure. After all, if there's one topic you know something about, hopefully it's yourself.

That said, you want to make sure you're prepared to talk about yourself. Some responses are much better than others. You don't want to list the accomplishments on your resume (let your resume do that), and you don't want to come across as a braggart. You will also want to steer away from predictable and generic answers like "I'm a hard worker" and "I'm very responsible." Is the most interesting thing your friends would say about you that you're a hard worker? Let's hope not.

If asked to tell your interviewer about yourself, try to get at the personality traits and quirks that truly make you you. Most applicants to selective colleges are hard working and responsible. What makes you different from all those other applicants? For more on this particular question, read these college interview tips.

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March 4, 2012 at 4:53 pm
(1) Susie Watts says:

As a private college counselor, I am glad you brought that question up. I know when I am doing a mock interview with a student and I say , “Tell me about yourself,” he or she usually gets a horrified expression and I get a blank look.. Since it is a pretty common interview question, it is good for college applicants to have thought about it before their actual interview so they can provide an answer that does distinguish them from other students.

August 25, 2012 at 9:27 am
(2) John Incantalupo says:

Practice….practice…practice! When our daughter was sitting for interviews with various colleges we had her practice and role play. It helped that she was involved with DECA in high school, which prepped her in presentation and poise – highly recommended, btw, as an extracurricular activity that helps in many ways!

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