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Better Stories?

I need to come up with a better answer to this popular but dreaded interview question… “Tell me about yourself?” I hate it when they ask me this question! It's so frustrating trying to decipher exactly what the interviewer is looking for in my answer. I usually respond with a brief summary of my education background, job history, and skills but all that’s information employers already see on my resume. I feel like I’m wasting an opportunity to set up good rapport and engage managers with valuable information that’s going to set me apart from every other applicant. Tired of playing back the same old record! I’ve read that it’s better to be more of a storyteller during interviews but I have no ideas how to prepare to do this. Any suggestions?

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Sondra Harvey
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They want you to tell them what u know about your work like, im a fast learner, a team player or i can be the type to work on my own with little supervision.. Give them a list of your skills

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Sue Ratley
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Maybe they really do want to know who you are. The bigger question is, do you know who you are? Get to know yourself so that question isn't hard. All those fabulous things you've done at other jobs isn't who you are. You are much bigger than your experience. I ask what is it that you want to know? Me as a person or me as an employee. If they don't know I go with me as a person. I tell them basic background and the most awesome things ive done and the things that influenced me the most. They can always ask more questions.

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ARTRIS WOODARD
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Hi Martin, let me see if I understand . It seems that you are a person with such passion, that you don't know where to start in your story about yourself. You want them to get you, and you realize that you are probably bigger than what you are applying for so you want to give them a version of yourself that you hope they will say is a fit. First of all, shift your thinking about who you are Talk about your passion. Your skillset will speak for itself. Be YOU they are asking to know YOU. What in your experience did you enjoy about your previous work engagements? There was something that you loved about that and that spoke to and played into your passion. Think about that throughout your work history and then think about the question. If you start to do that now, you will better understand who you are as a person, not just as an employee. Remember we get accolades when we are great at what we do. We are great at what we do when we have a passion for it. Be who you really ARE..

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Angie Falzarano
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I hate that too. The other where do you see yourself in 10 yrs. My suggestion about tell me about yourself - if you do volunteer work (best to leave religious ones off) and kinda of give them explanation why you do so. Are you writing a novel, cookbook, poetry and such. Show a side of yourself that is not reflected in a resume. Hobbies are not really good to give unless it something like I sew baby quilts to donate to charitable organizations. One way to get an idea is look at pictures in their office. Do you see a pic of them fishing or maybe a vacation if this is something you also do bring it up and mention the photo you see and maybe tell them what your favorite place is. But do not try to fake an interest that can come back and bite because you won't have the correct information to reply with. They will see right through it.

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Jan Fagan
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Hi Martin: I know its frustrating but I've found that most of time they want to know what's not on the resume. They want to get a general idea of who you are and how you've met and overcome adversity or challenges. Here's an example: Family and personal life: Married for 30 years. 2 kids and lived in multiple states and overseas while husband was in the service. During my educational and work career, I successfully juggled work and school (or both) while raising a child with developmental disabilities and one with medical special needs while supporting my husband through his work and academic career through and including law school). Education: While juggling, I was able to achieve X degrees and held offices or participated in X in student organizations at X college and Y University. Post-grad jobs, professional organizations, and achievements: After graduation, I continued to volunteer with X non-profit organization or joined Y organization where I participated in Z or worked at A where I was able to (fill in the blanks). To make an already long story short, this is your opportunity to shine and touch on things that are not in your resume! Touch on things that shows that you are: a problem solver, can work successfully in adverse conditions, faced challenges and over-came them. Hope this helps!

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Tracy Garcia
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So I have an answer to your question. They would like to know what you stand for, are you family oriented, hobbies, goals/ aspirations, you could even say what you could contribute besides your skills, be the idea man!

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Edmund Vereault
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For me the trick is to weave 3-5 things together link "your story" with the company or position story. For instance, most hiring managers say they want team players ... so when telling your story talk about how you were on the XYZ team because you enjoyed sports AND BEING A TEAM PLAYER. .... Don't say simply that your first job was working at McDonalds, and then job 2, job 3, etc. ... Say you started at McDonalds because you were interested in Customer Service, taking new responsibilities when you were young, had a long term goal of saving for car/computer/hoverboard, etc.

Your story can interest the hiring manager only if you bring in his language. You know his language from the buzzwords in the job description.
His language/job description: Team Player Your Words: In high school I lettered in three sports in High School His language/job description: Goal Oriented Your Words: In college I set a goal to graduate with a 3.0 average and completed with 3.5 His langague/job description: Take Responsability Your Words: When I was team leader for X project I felt I had ownership for all that went well and all that didn't go well.

This approach, weaving your answer with characteristics of the job description also goes well with the behavioral type questions (Tell me of a time when you blah blah blah).

Good luck

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Rose LoPrimo
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Martin I must say that I agree with you. Self confidence I believe is the key.

In my younger years I was so nervous at any interviews, but as I matured and became more confident with using my words correctly. This is the time to sell your strengths as I feel an interview is actually a time to sell your skills to a prospective employer. Also somewhere when you tell about your strengths make sure that you mention that you are a team player and look forward to learn from your new endeavor.

Best Wishes Rose

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Michael Adams
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Go online to YouTube and key in " how to answer interview questions " and listen for that particular question.

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Shalara Brown
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That question is designed for you to sell yourself. They want to know how you have been successful in helping boost previous employers and WHAT DO YOU OFFER TO BENEFIT THEIR COMPANY. HOW DO YOU STAND OUT! THEY WANT TO SEE EYE CONTACT, CONFIDENCE AND AGAIN HOW CAN HIRING YOU BENEFIT THEM!

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