Recently a friend and I were exchanging interview notes. She’s got a lot of experience taking interviews, and I have very little.
Most interviews, as we all know, start with the (in)famous “So, tell me about yourself.”
This is a great question isn’t it? Because everyone likes to talk, and self-help books tell us that we must listen more. So what better way than to begin an interview by asking the candidate to talk about themselves?
Except, that an interview is not a “normal” conversation, where above self-help suggestions would apply directly.
The other person, the candidate, is obviously anxious, stressed, nervous – and what else, who knows. So this experienced friend told me that it’s a very good idea to break ice by starting to talk about myself, as the interviewer, who I am as a person, what got me here, what I love about my job, maybe a little about my family, all wrapped up in 2-3 minutes. This allows the other person to relax, and be their usual self, rather than drone on from a prepared mental note titled “about myself”.
Always good to find empathy even in the smallest of things, don’t you agree?