Tell me about yourself." This is the most common question a student will be asked in a college or job interview and it is also the one I find many students struggle with almost immediately. "What do I share?" "What is most important?" "Should I just go through my resume?" Students get flustered since this is usually the first question and it adds to their anxiety in the interview from the get-go because they don't know where to start. Here are three tips for students:
1. PRESENT - PAST - FUTURE: This is the way to approach your response. Begin with where are you now, share a little about your past experiences and end with future goals. For example, a student may say something like:
"I'm currently a senior at Irvine High School where I'm the managing editor of my school newspaper and
involved in numerous service clubs. I love writing and have been working with an after-school program
teaching elementary students poetry writing. I'm really excited about the Creative Writing Program at
Emory University because I think it would be a great place for me to learn and grow.
Keep it short, sweet and thoughtful.
2. Stay Relevant: Focus on the experiences that are most relevant to the area you plan to study at the university. Do not go through your resume or share experiences where you are only trying to impress. The admissions officer knows on paper what you have done, they want to hear your thoughts and reflections on your experiences and why you would be a good fit at their university. Be real and relevant.
3. Practice: Think about your response to this question before you get to the interview and think about what you want to convey, then practice answering this question with your counselor, your parents, etc.
Speak honestly and with passion and an admissions officer will know you are being authentic and thoughtful. Feeling confident with your first response will help you remain confident through the rest of the interview. Good luck!