“So, tell me about yourself”. This is a common question used byhuman resource professionals. It is deceptively simple but posesa real threat to those who don’t understand its purpose. It is anunstructured question that does not provide clues for what theinterviewer wants to know. If you are not prepared to answer thisquestion effectively it can wreck your chances of landing a job.How can that be? Unstructured questions are commonly used bypsychiatrists and psychologists to open their clients up and tounderstand client concerns and problems. The longer you talk themore chance you will express negative thoughts about previousemployers (the jerk who red you); problems you may have hadon jobs (“those idiots didn’t know how to run a company”); atti-tudes you have about authority (“I don’t like working for anyone, just give me the task and get out of my way”) and I could go onfor a long time with this, but you get the picture.So, how to avoid this problem? I advise my clients to create a setanswer to this question. It should be no longer than 3 to 5 minutes,not memorized but practiced out loud in front of a mirror, (there’sa good reason that actors practice lines out loud, in your headthe speech always sounds good. Out loud you’ll hear mistakesa-plenty). This presentation should briey cover your education, job history, main achievements and why you have interest in the job/company you’re interviewing for. Then you stop and ask theinterviewer if there is more that he or she wants to know. If not,proceed to ask the interviewer about the job opening, what sort of person they are seeking for the job and what sort of problems theyneed solved.There are several reasons to do this. First, it enables you to takeover the interview. Second, most people love to talk rather thanlisten. The more they talk the better you will sound to them!Third, they will discuss issues and problems of concern in theposition that will enable you to respond with your expertise insolving those problems. You may learn many useful things aboutthe position that will help you to sell yourself more effectively.But you can do this only if you are prepared to elicit informationby taking over the interview as described. An unskilled interview-er will have no understanding of what you have done to turn thetables from interviewee to interviewer. A skilled interviewer willunderstand and give you points. So, tell me about yourself, and goget one for the gipper. Or, better, get one for yourself.
An Engaging Evening of Speed Networking
Where:The Metropolitan Club - Willis Tower233 S. Wacker, ChicagoWhen:Wednesday, June 1, 5:30pm
Where:Webinar - participate from your home or ofceWhen:Tuesday, June 14, 12:00pm
Where:The Standard Club320 South Plymouth Court, ChicagoWhen:Thursday, July 14, 5:30pm
Breakfast and Networking with West RidgeChamber of Commerce
Where:Devon Fish & Pizza2848 W. Devon Avenue, ChicagoWhen:Wednesday, September 14, 8:30am
Small Business Legislative Forum
Where:Skokie Theatre7924 N. Lincoln Ave., SkokieWhen:Monday, September 26, 6:00pm
Chanukah Networking Event
Where:Grossinger City Autoplex1561 Fremont, ChicagoWhen:Wednesday, December 21, 2011 - 6:00pm
Brought to you by
A Job Interviewing Tip
By: Richard Rotberg
Richard Rotberg is the retired assistant director of JVS Chicago and
currently a career counselor. JVS Chicago, is a 125-year-old non-prot,
non-sectarian social service agency. To make a complimentary appointment with a career counselor at JVS, call 847-745-5464 or search for jobs onlineat www.ParnossahWorksChicago.org.
a real threat to those who don’tunderstand its purpose.’
3Jewish Business News
- A publication of Jewish B2B Networking, Inc.