Answering the Dreaded "Tell Me About Yourself" Question

Posted by ENC Student Life on Oct 17, 2016 7:03:00 AM

 At some point in life you've probably had a teacher, friend of your parents, or aged relative say "tell me about yourself". It's an awkward question that always seems to come out of the blue. But even if it isn't a surprise, how are you supposed to answer? Do they want to know what you study? What your hobbies are? That you love peanut butter and hate mustard? What do they want from you!? 

Answer: They want to get to know your heart. People want to know who you are not what sport you play or who you're dating. Those aren't bad things to mention, but they don't get to the heart of who you are as an individual.  

The most common answer goes something like this "Well I'm a senior at ABC high school. I've been dating Taylor for about a year and I'm on the basketball team." That's a fine answer and it does give information about you, but it's only surface level. Your answer to the "tell me about yourself" question is basically your personal elevator pitch. Not familiar with that phrase? In business, an elevator pitch is the 30 second version of your business model that you can share with a stranger in the time it takes to ride an elevator. Is the answer above really all someone needs to know about you?  

For instance. When you say "I play soccer." What most adults hear is "I like to run around with my friends and have fun." Which is true and probably a good portion of the reasons why you play soccer, but hasn't the sport also taught you the power of hard work? You could instead say "I am driven, I like to work hard and get results. I play soccer in my free time." Still true, still letting them know that you enjoy the sport, but there's more info and it gets to a deeper level.  

The next time someone asks you to talk about yourself, try coming up with an answer that's more than just surface level. Talk about your passions, what you've been studying this week, or this cool thing you just learned how to do. By getting personal, you'll stand out as someone who is interesting, relatable, and easy to talk to. Don't fall prey to the typical answers. Stand out and get noticed! 

Written by ENC Student Life

Student life in Quincy, MA at Eastern Nazarene College - Empowering students, enriching lives, and educating the next generation. The mission of Student Development at Eastern Nazarene College is to support the mission of the College by fostering a distinctly Christian living and learning community that facilitates the holistic development of students. Valuing the diversity of our students we seek to cultivate and empower their personal growth, health, and success in order to enrich their total learning experience and prepare them to lead and serve in the world.

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Topics: Adulting, Life Hacks