Tell me a little about yourself…

I just love job interviews.

AdobeStock_101524983Those of you who’ve been reading my blog for any length of time will sense the ‘tude there. I don’t love job interviews, in fact, like most people, I would prefer never to go through one again.

I’ve had some humdingers, too. The absolute worst was with a human resources intern, who apparently didn’t know the law. You can’t ask questions that will reveal age, and that includes the year you graduated from high school. At least, at that time and in that state, you couldn’t.

“Tell me everything you’ve been doing since you graduated from…what high school did you go to? Where the hell is that?” he asked.

“Are you kidding me?” I responded.

It didn’t get any better, and it lasted a whopping 45 minutes. I thought about putting an end to the misery early on, but given the number of inappropriate questions he was asking about my personal life, I held on. This was a phone interview, and I was betting it was being recorded. I took careful notes, and after our conversation was over, I wrote a brief and straightforward letter to the Human Resources Director letting her know I didn’t believe her intern reflected the best of their organization.

I never heard from that company again.

There are standard questions, and generally I know how to answer them, but sometimes I get tripped up. The one that always stumps me is, “what do you plan to be doing in five years?”

Kittens and popoversI’ve lived long enough to know two things: you can’t predict with any share of accuracy what you’ll be doing in five years, and employers are really asking, how long could we count on you sticking around? That brings up a host of questions you just can’t ask.

Then there are the “tell me about” questions. “Tell me about a time you had an innovative idea that saved lives and changed the world.”  “Tell me about a challenging situation with an outcome that included rescued kittens and popovers.”

The interview usually ends with, “do you have any questions for me?” and of course, you can’t ask for the information you’d really like to take home and ponder. “What are the best and worst things your employees say about your company?” or “Tell me about the unwritten policies.”

AdobeStock_92854227qI’m job hunting now, and I’m smart enough to know potential employers could read this post (as well as anything else I’ve written on this blog). To them I humbly say…rats, I can’t think of what to say. This blog reflects a part of me.

It’s not all of me, though, so I look forward to meeting you and learning more about the great opportunities at your renowned organization.

Image Credits: (Drawings) © Séa — Fotolia; (Cat) © Africa Studio — Fotolia; (Woman Running to Opportunity) © RetroStar — Fotolia.

7 Replies to “Tell me a little about yourself…”

  1. Whew! Tough question–kittens AND popovers….I could do OR but not AND. 😀 I guess I had it lucky when I interviewed for my present job, that I have had for 23 years. I was recommended by a good friend who the company loved. And my husband was their computer rep. The company owner came down just to meet ‘my computer guy’s wife.’ I was hired. I would have no idea how to interview now. Good luck!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That was lucky! I’m hoping and trusting things will go smoothly. I debated posting this — but finally decided, it’s all in fun, and if a prospective employer can’t laugh at one of life’s more stressful situations, probably not the company for me. Not that I’m assuming they’re all jumping to read my blog! But the possibility exists.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Yeah interviews can be a pain in the rear end, but what are our gonna do. At least you did whats right. I’ve sent a few of my short stories as resume letters before. You’ll find something that works for you

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I have tales from the front lines of interviewing also. It is a frustrating, fascinating, flawed aspect of how one becomes employed by another. I try to have fun with the process and especially when it gets to the “what questions do you have” part of the show. Obviously I have a million…and most of them the person asking does not want to be asked. The honest answer to the “where do you see yourself in five years” question seems to now be “working somewhere else.” The average time one stays at the same employer isn’t what it used to be!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So true! When I first got out of college and was looking for a job in PR, I said I hoped to have advanced in my career to whoever I should be with five years of experience in my field. Potential employers loved that answer. Problem is, there’s no way of predicting how things will unfold. In five years I hope to be happy. How I get there is a day-to-day process.

      Liked by 1 person

I'd love to hear from you!

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: