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For effective & interactive participation from all members, let us consider this case below for a while now :-
It’s been some time now that I have been a part of the recruitment process, having sourced, headhunted, coordinated, interviewed and recruited people from diverse industries and backgrounds. Surprisingly, recruitment has always been a function where my strength has been and my interest been personified.
I assume, all of us might have learnt to interview people by either watching our seniors or remembering those few questions which were asked by your superiors to the candidates, so that you can ask the same when your turn arrives. In this period, there has always been one question that has ruled the interview process which is “Tell me something about yourself”, which I am sure must have been asked to everyone. Now, I have often been asked by my subordinates as to how to answer this question. Does the interviewer expect the interviewee to summarize to him the contents of his resume since he is extremely busy to have a peek at it ? OR he is bothered to look at the resume only when he feels that the interviewee has enough potential while he answers this question.
Somehow, I feel that the candidates these days are judged directly on their answering this question. But don’t you feel this is defeating the purpose of spending that time to develop a prospective resume and preparing for other competent questions ? , if the interviewer is just going to ask the same question and decide the fate of the candidate on that.
1] So, what do you people have your views on this ?
2] Do you think this question alone can be used to decide the fate of the person ? (atleast partially)
3] Is the uniqueness of each interviewer in asking their own self thought questions (after reading the resume) lost ?
Hoping for views, comments, discussions on this issue, as I feel all of you must be having their own piece of experiences to share. Also a request to all the non-active members to wake up and participate to learn more about this informative topic.
Saumil Joshi, Founder
Message From: andrewood
Total Posts: 2
Post Date: 08/03/2006 21:51:58
Tell me something about yourself, is a question that we have all asked and answered in some point in time. To me it’s the most difficult question because you don’t know what to say there is too much to talk about or too little. Whichever way it is you finely end up talking about your entire life in a span of two to five minutes. Which spans over family and career. The surprising part to this is that we ask this question and we really don’t care about the answer ( in terms of entry level people). You just want to know what is his thought process is and his communication skill. The content of his answer is given about 20% to 30 % importance of the whole interview in terms of middle and junior levels. Where as in top management, the question is a little more specific for example “Tell me some thing about yourself with regards to your social activities” The content of the answer is given importance anywhere between 50% to 65% When you hire top management it is not to question weather the person can do the job but more importance is given to his values and social culture.
Message From: jes2explore
Total Posts: 3
Post Date: 08/03/2006 22:38:39
i feel that the question "tell me something abt urself" is helpful for two aspects....one to make trhe candidate comfortable, second, to judge the candidate's confidence and not his/her fate.
Message From: CHRM
Total Posts: 178
Post Date: 08/03/2006 23:40:44
Dear Andrew & Members,
I have often observed that, candidates start talking about everything about themselves (in some cases, even what we don’t need to know). But then I feel, each of them has a perception that the interviewer is expecting some kind of answer from the interviewee and hence they answer it that way.
Consider this real life instance that has occurred with me in the past :-
I was to be interviewed by a top ITES company for a Recruitment/Resourcing profile (since that being my strength & competency). After arriving for the interview 15 mins. in advance, I was initially interviewed by the AM-HR, the second interview with the MGR-HR, and the third with the MGR-Resourcing, now all of them supposed to ask me the same question “Tell me something about yourself”. Moreover, I am being asked in the third interview, to answer this question since the “Mgr-Resourcing says : that there are lot of things in my CV and he didn’t find time to go thru it”.
Just imagine you being tortured by this question thrice on the same day, Are you there for answering this question? Leaving the one’s which makes you feel more competent enough to answer, it seems people have very well adopted to proceed the interview process with this question, since it gives them time to prepare for the next question to be asked. In that case, Aren’t they doing their homework prior to the recruitment process? In some cases, when you are answering this question, you are being interrupted and asked about something you just mentioned and then you are again allowed to proceed. I mean, is this what we are there for? And the most weird thing that I have observed : Some of them keep writing everything that you say on the CV without paying any attention to what you say. This makes an interviewee look foolish enough to keep speaking as if you are giving a dictation, until the interviewer pauses to let you know to stop.
Overall, I feel, asking a candidate about his achievements/areas of interests/competencies to complement this job are some of the questions that can be better rolled out rather than the usual one to make sure whether the interviewee really matches the best fit for the job profile.
Hoping for more views from members…
Saumil Joshi, Founder
Message From: andrewood
Total Posts: 2
Post Date: 09/03/2006 04:17:07
Dear Saumil and members,
I agree with you totally. I have been in recruitment for some time now and what I’ve notice is that the interviewer does not prepare for the interview, most of them hardly read your resume before they call you for an interview. Eight times out of ten you will hear them say “ I haven’t had the time to go through your resume, tell me something about yourself”. Just because you are going to meet the interviewee in person does not mean that you take his resume for granted. Most of the time the interviewee talks about things that are not needed, I agree with you on that. But do you think that when this question is put out, you have to answer it with personal details or just stick to the career part of it. My opinion is that this question is an easy way out to get the facts, without preparing/ reading the resume. Its like you don’t have to do your homework before you interview a technical person. Please correct me if I am wrong, but I think it a way that the interviewer uses to generate more question.