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Interview - Tell me Something about Yourself..
Human Resources » Recruitment & Staffing

Chrm Message From: CHRM Total Posts: 209 Join Date:
Rank: Coach Post Date: 23/02/2006 21:06:01 Points: 1045 Location: India

Dear Friends,

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

Chrm Message From: ganobadate Total Posts: 3 Join Date:  
Rank: Beginner Post Date: 23/02/2006 21:21:33 Points: 15 Location: India

this is too general a question for a job interview. It may be alright in a social setting.

The interview ought to be like a dialog and should develop from those aspects of the Cv that seem most relevant to the job.

i would prefer the answer of the interviewee to lead the next question, such that we can build the profile of the candidate and come to see his strenghths.

Chrm Message From: CHRM Total Posts: 209 Join Date:  
Rank: Coach Post Date: 26/02/2006 23:21:40 Points: 1045 Location: India

Dear Ganobaji & Colleagues,

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

Chrm Message From: Achu Total Posts: 12 Join Date:  
Rank: Executive Post Date: 06/05/2010 18:59:02 Points: 60 Location: India

Hi Sir,

I think, the interviewer should already go through the resume atleast once before taking the interview and should avoid the questions like "Tell me something about yourself".

 Experienced Interviewers rarely use this question.

Rather they should carry interview very generally and make the interviewee comfortable.

I also strongly feel that this should not decide the fate of the interviewee.


Arundathy Krishnan



Chrm Message From: ShaliniSalgia Total Posts: 1 Join Date:  
Rank: Beginner Post Date: 08/05/2010 12:35:46 Points: 5 Location: India

Dear Friends,

I have been handling recruitment for couple of years now and I totally agree that a resume of a candidate has to be studied carefully before calling anybody for an interview, because this is an initial round of filtering the relevant candidates from the entire bunch.

I personally feel that the questions like "Tell me something about yourself" not only helps to break the ice between the interviewer and interviewee but also puts a candidate in a much comfortable space. This question also enables the interviewer to understand what is the approach a person takes while answering this question, does he / she knows oneself well, has the candidate ever thought about oneself as an individual and understood what the qualities he/she has that are different from others or that makes him / her what they are. What actually are their strenghts apart from normal jargans that keeps floating around and everybody would like to quote them, what actually are the areas that they feel can be hinderance for them.This question also gives an insight to interviewer about the level of clarity a candidate has and also what level of maturity he / she has. It also gives an opportunity to candidates to talk about their personal as well as professional achievements, which rarely anybody uses, but it is an opportunity for them to quote. This helps an interviewer to have some basic understanding of personality traits of the person.

So according to me it is not just a question, which a routine one in every interview, but it can be used as a basis for making an interview a dialogue and also to understand interviewee much better. It is alsoa n opportunity for an interviewee to tell the best about oneself.







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