So tell me about yourself…

Starlet Dance Studio Ginger lower leftWhere do you begin when asked that all-important question during  an interview? Let me share a recent experience that illustrates how  you might respond when it happens to you.

Recently I reconnected with a dance teacher I had not seen in 30 years; I found her daughter though a social networking site and she told me that her mother was still working in her dance studio in New Jersey at the age of 80! When I reached her by phone, she immediately asked “So tell me about yourself, how are you doing?”

I first felt at a loss for words; where should I begin?

Should I tell her about my life since I was a teenager, that I had  earned a Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in career counseling, married, raised three children, lost my husband to a fatal heart attack, remarried, moved across the country, reinvigorated my new career, and work with an urban ministry with my church?


Should I tell her that I had never forgotten my experience taking dance lessons from her for 10 years, how I later taught dance part-time at a YMCA for 9 years, and that my daughters now dance competitively? Should I discuss with her how much dancing has changed since the early 1970s when I was her student? Should I explain how her creative dancing instruction techniques highly influenced my methods and philosophy of teaching?

Obviously, the second answer is correct. When asked this question during an interview, “So tell me about yourself,” think about what an employer wants to hear. “Tell me about yourself… as it relates to this specific position for which I am interviewing.” My dance teacher might have fallen asleep if I had shared with her my whole life story, so wasn‘t it better to relate details that dealt with how she had impacted my life personally in the field of dance after she had shared her wisdom and knowledge with me?

When interviewing for a position, always keep in mind the employer’s needs. He or she wants to know if you are a match for the job. So whatever question an employer asks during an interview, add on this ending in your mind: “…as it relates to this position.” Employers spend time interviewing you for one reason, to see if you are a right fit for the job. They don’t care where you grew up, what your favorite hobbies are, or what you had for breakfast. Always keep that perspective in mind, keep your eyes on the goal, and aim for it!

P.S. By the way, in the picture above, it’s me in the lower left corner…

No Responses to “ So tell me about yourself… ”


Mail(will not be published)