"Tell me about yourself" how do you respond?

webistanwebistan Posts: 15Member ■□□□□□□□□□
Tell me about yourself? What should you and shouldn't you say in response to this question? How long?

And is it appropriate at the begging of an interview to ask how long the interview gonna be?
"Don't be consumed by despair."

Comments

  • blargoeblargoe Self-Described Huguenot NC, USAPosts: 4,171Member ■■■■■■■■■□
    Sometimes they want a technical/work answer and sometime they want personal answer. I always ask which one they mean before answering.

    Unless you want to come across as abrasive or that your time is more important than theirs, it's poor form to ask how long it's going to take. Also, depending on how well you're doing, it might take longer to interview someone they seem to like as a candidate.

    Do your interview right after lunch and take the rest of the day off from your current job.
    IT guy since 12/00

    Recent: 11/2019 - RHCSA (RHEL 7); 2/2019 - Updated VCP to 6.5 (just a few days before VMware discontinued the re-cert policy...)
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  • jpeezy55jpeezy55 Posts: 255Member
    blargoe wrote:

    Do your interview right after lunch and take the rest of the day off from your current job.

    Excellent advice!

    Also, when I am asked to tell them about myself, I always start off with,
    "I've been marrried for 11 years, have 2 kids and I have been working with computers for the past 24 years." not that people without kids are not, but there is a certain responsibilty with having kids and being married, so I feel that helps show responsibility and stability. Maybe it does, maybe it doesn't.

    Now, if they ask for professional history, I am in trouble. I have been working with computers for 24 years, but never made it my actual job. I did Heating & Air Conditioning for 16 years of that with some Sales in the last couple years, but I did work my way into doing computer work for the companies I was with, so I have computer experience but it was never my official title, so my true professional experience is only just over 1 year. Even with all of that, I was the most qualified when I applied for my current job and now the year of "real" experience will help me get somewhere else someday! :D
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  • Danman32Danman32 Posts: 1,243Member
    Careful about giving away too much personal information during an interview. Discriminatory laws don't allow them to directly ask personal questions, such as marital status, health issues, etc. But if you open up to that, then it becomes fair game.

    For me, that's a touchy issue, since I do have a disfigurement which can make me appear less reliable due to potential medical issues than I am. Being human nature as it is, wrong impressions can infuence decisions even if they aren't supposed to. However, too much disclosure can also give the wrong impression.

    As someone who I used to work with said, I am the healthiest uninsurable person he knew. He was out sick often, yet I hardly ever was.
  • BubbaJBubbaJ Posts: 323Member
    jpeezy55 wrote:
    Also, when I am asked to tell them about myself, I always start off with, "I've been marrried for 11 years, have 2 kids and I have been working with computers for the past 24 years." not that people without kids are not, but there is a certain responsibilty with having kids and being married, so I feel that helps show responsibility and stability. Maybe it does, maybe it doesn't.

    Actually, you should never give them that type of information until after you have been hired and are being friendly with your new coworkers. There are reasons that they are not allowed to ask for this information, and you are volunteering it. After you tell them this, if they use it against you, they can deny it and it would be very hard for you to prove.
  • EdTheLadEdTheLad Posts: 2,112Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    I think its a good idea for jpeezy to say he's married and has kids, the only way this could work against someone is if the company requires you to travel alot in which case it wouldnt be suitable for a family guy.
    Married and having kids is generally a big plus, so i think it will do more good than bad.Also i'm sure the interviewers would pickup on you not being so open and friendly.Remember Bubbaj this is my opinion so theres no winner or loser. icon_smile.gif
    Networking, sometimes i love it, mostly i hate it.Its all about the $$$$
  • BubbaJBubbaJ Posts: 323Member
    ed_the_lad wrote:
    Married and having kids is generally a big plus, so i think it will do more good than bad.

    Not necessarily. Some employers that subsidize insurance won't see it as a plus. Some managers think such an outside commitment may interfere with a job. If you have kids, you may need to stay home when they are sick, you may need to attend school functions, etc. Once you are hired, they can't discriminate against you based on these sorts of things, but it is much easier to make up a reason not to hire you in the first place.

    There are real reasons that it is illegal for a prospective employer to ask those questions. If it were really a big plus, there wouldn't be a law against it.
  • Danman32Danman32 Posts: 1,243Member
    And if you're 40 years old and single, they might ask "What's wrong with this guy that he can't find a good woman for himself?" I often ask myself that question about myself. :D
  • EdTheLadEdTheLad Posts: 2,112Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Lifes too short to worry about these things, i wouldnt want to work for a company that has this mentality.If you get the job and they find out later they can always let you go either way.
    Honesty is the best policy and if you go through your life worrying about discrimination you wont be a very happy person.
    Networking, sometimes i love it, mostly i hate it.Its all about the $$$$
  • Danman32Danman32 Posts: 1,243Member
    That may be true, but in my experience, I have later heard that some had reservations about me, and were peasantly suprised later.

    You can't always judge a book by its cover, and sometimes the preface does little justice to the story as well.

    Heck, even my commuting distance had been a concern. Fortunately colleages that moved to this job from the last before me were able to report favorably to my reliability.
  • BubbaJBubbaJ Posts: 323Member
    ed_the_lad wrote:
    Lifes too short to worry about these things, i wouldnt want to work for a company that has this mentality.If you get the job and they find out later they can always let you go either way.
    Honesty is the best policy and if you go through your life worrying about discrimination you wont be a very happy person.

    It's not really a matter of honesty, nor is it necessarily a company policy. My company strives very hard against dicrimination, and I think it is a great comapny to work for. I know a woman manager in my company that would hire only single men if she could get away with it. She is more than fully staffed, but is always short-handed because of women on maternity leave, parents needing to take care of kids, etc. There is no way she could get away with letting them go. Although she wouldn't purposely discriminate, it does have a subconscious effect on her hiring decisions.

    You don't have to be dishonest, and you don't have to go through life worrying about discrimination. Just don't reveal information to an interviewer that is none of his business.
  • blargoeblargoe Self-Described Huguenot NC, USAPosts: 4,171Member ■■■■■■■■■□
    BubbaJ wrote:
    ed_the_lad wrote:
    Married and having kids is generally a big plus, so i think it will do more good than bad.

    Not necessarily. Some employers that subsidize insurance won't see it as a plus. Some managers think such an outside commitment may interfere with a job. If you have kids, you may need to stay home when they are sick, you may need to attend school functions, etc. Once you are hired, they can't discriminate against you based on these sorts of things, but it is much easier to make up a reason not to hire you in the first place.

    There are real reasons that it is illegal for a prospective employer to ask those questions. If it were really a big plus, there wouldn't be a law against it.

    All the more reason to divulge that you are happily married and have a family then. I know I wouldn't want to work for a company who operates this way would be better off having them not consider me.

    In most cases, marriage/kids implies stability. Maybe they aren't supposed to ask, but there's nothing saying you can't bring it up.
    IT guy since 12/00

    Recent: 11/2019 - RHCSA (RHEL 7); 2/2019 - Updated VCP to 6.5 (just a few days before VMware discontinued the re-cert policy...)
    Working on: RHCE/Ansible
    Future: Probably continued Red Hat Immersion, Possibly VCAP Design, or maybe a completely different path. Depends on job demands...
  • jpeezy55jpeezy55 Posts: 255Member
    BubbaJ wrote:
    ed_the_lad wrote:
    Married and having kids is generally a big plus, so i think it will do more good than bad.

    Not necessarily. Some employers that subsidize insurance won't see it as a plus. Some managers think such an outside commitment may interfere with a job. If you have kids, you may need to stay home when they are sick, you may need to attend school functions, etc. Once you are hired, they can't discriminate against you based on these sorts of things, but it is much easier to make up a reason not to hire you in the first place.

    There are real reasons that it is illegal for a prospective employer to ask those questions. If it were really a big plus, there wouldn't be a law against it.

    I don't think that offering the fact that I am married with kids is bad, all they need to do is look at the ring on my left hand to know that I am married anyway...if I take it off, they will see the suntan ring where it normally sits. I know a lot of guys don't wear rings, but I do and so to offer that is no big deal.

    As for the point of Insurance, as soon as it comes up, I ask about an insurance buy-out and explain to them that my wife is a Teacher of 12 years and has some of the best benefits around (most school-systems do offer great insurance). Also, the school I work for now pays me $2000 (before taxes) if I do not use their insurance, it's the "buy-out" I mentioned. Most companies do not offer this, which makes me not want to switch in some cases. Even a pharmaceutical company could not match the benefits my wife has and did not offer a buyout...needless to say, I turned their offer down and stayed where I am...I would've lost out in the end of that deal.

    I never found any harm in offering the little bit of info about my family and if the company is against that, then I wouldn't last long there anyway.

    Just my random thoughts...everyone is different. icon_wink.gif
    Tech Support: "Ok, so your monitor is not working, the screen is blank, and no matter what you do it stays blank? Do you see that button on the bottom right hand side just below the screen? Press it. . . . Great, talk to you next time!"
  • sharptechsharptech Posts: 492Member
    When the question is asked- I just give my work experience related to the job I am interviewing for, if the interviewer wants to know something else they will branch out off what you said.
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