"Tell me about yourself" question

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Briney Spring Gun

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"Tell me about yourself" question

Postby Briney Spring Gun » Thu Jul 31, 2014 3:16 pm

Hi guys,

Thought I had a good answer for the classic "tell me about yourself" interview question, but after things I've read and videos I've watched, I'm starting to think that it isn't such a good answer.

Does anyone, preferably a practicing attorney or current SA, have any tips or a "formula" for answering this question?

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Nammertat

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Re: "Tell me about yourself" question

Postby Nammertat » Thu Jul 31, 2014 3:19 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Hi guys,

Thought I had a good answer for the classic "tell me about yourself" interview question, but after things I've read and videos I've watched, I'm starting to think that it isn't such a good answer.

Does anyone, preferably a practicing attorney or current SA, have any tips or a "formula" for answering this question?


My best advice is to start with a bumper sticker of some sort... don't just read them your resume. Give some sort of a tagline that isn't 1000% cliche, but something they'll remember, then back it up with an explanation.

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JamMasterJ

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Re: "Tell me about yourself" question

Postby JamMasterJ » Thu Jul 31, 2014 3:58 pm

Nammertat wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Hi guys,

Thought I had a good answer for the classic "tell me about yourself" interview question, but after things I've read and videos I've watched, I'm starting to think that it isn't such a good answer.

Does anyone, preferably a practicing attorney or current SA, have any tips or a "formula" for answering this question?


My best advice is to start with a bumper sticker of some sort... don't just read them your resume. Give some sort of a tagline that isn't 1000% cliche, but something they'll remember, then back it up with an explanation.

This is consistent with everything I have read

LRGhost

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Re: "Tell me about yourself" question

Postby LRGhost » Thu Jul 31, 2014 3:59 pm

They just want to hear something cool about you that they can hopefully relate to and remember. That's all. Nobody is trying to fuck you.

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Re: "Tell me about yourself" question

Postby Trout et al » Thu Jul 31, 2014 4:08 pm

Any examples from those of you who have this one figured out?

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Re: "Tell me about yourself" question

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 31, 2014 4:12 pm

OP here, i've reworked my answer a bit, how is this?:

"I know you probably hear this from every person that interviews with you, but I am extremely hard working; I was even affectionately nicknamed the 'Hardest Working Man in Showbiz' by my study group this year. I was born and raised in a blue collar community, I worked some tough manual labor jobs before law school, and I am not afraid of hard work. For some people, 1L year was easy; they just 'got it,' and were able to get A's with relative ease while still maintaining an active social life. I didn't 'get it' as easily, and so it took a great deal of dedication and hard work for me to finish in the top x%. However, I work hard because I love what I am studying and I am committed to being the best that I can be."

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Re: "Tell me about yourself" question

Postby LRGhost » Thu Jul 31, 2014 4:25 pm

Anonymous User wrote:OP here, i've reworked my answer a bit, how is this?:

"I know you probably hear this from every person that interviews with you, but I am extremely hard working; I was even affectionately nicknamed the 'Hardest Working Man in Showbiz' by my study group this year. I was born and raised in a blue collar community, I worked some tough manual labor jobs before law school, and I am not afraid of hard work. For some people, 1L year was easy; they just 'got it,' and were able to get A's with relative ease while still maintaining an active social life. I didn't 'get it' as easily, and so it took a great deal of dedication and hard work for me to finish in the top x%. However, I work hard because I love what I am studying and I am committed to being the best that I can be."


This is really awkward.

Briney Spring Gun

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Re: "Tell me about yourself" question

Postby Briney Spring Gun » Thu Jul 31, 2014 4:26 pm

LRGhost wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:OP here, i've reworked my answer a bit, how is this?:

"I know you probably hear this from every person that interviews with you, but I am extremely hard working; I was even affectionately nicknamed the 'Hardest Working Man in Showbiz' by my study group this year. I was born and raised in a blue collar community, I worked some tough manual labor jobs before law school, and I am not afraid of hard work. For some people, 1L year was easy; they just 'got it,' and were able to get A's with relative ease while still maintaining an active social life. I didn't 'get it' as easily, and so it took a great deal of dedication and hard work for me to finish in the top x%. However, I work hard because I love what I am studying and I am committed to being the best that I can be."


This is really awkward.



haha fair enough, that's why i'm here. Can you give an example of a strong answer, or a way to fix this one?

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Re: "Tell me about yourself" question

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 31, 2014 4:28 pm

Briney Spring Gun wrote:
LRGhost wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:OP here, i've reworked my answer a bit, how is this?:

"I know you probably hear this from every person that interviews with you, but I am extremely hard working; I was even affectionately nicknamed the 'Hardest Working Man in Showbiz' by my study group this year. I was born and raised in a blue collar community, I worked some tough manual labor jobs before law school, and I am not afraid of hard work. For some people, 1L year was easy; they just 'got it,' and were able to get A's with relative ease while still maintaining an active social life. I didn't 'get it' as easily, and so it took a great deal of dedication and hard work for me to finish in the top x%. However, I work hard because I love what I am studying and I am committed to being the best that I can be."


This is really awkward.



haha fair enough, that's why i'm here. Can you give an example of a strong answer, or a way to fix this one?


Perhaps I'm wrong, but it's my impression that a "Tell me about yourself" question is about getting to know a little about you as a Human Being, not as Law Student Looking for Job. I'd think you'd want to fill in some background bio info that can't readily be found on the resume. Correct me if I'm wrong.

Briney Spring Gun

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Re: "Tell me about yourself" question

Postby Briney Spring Gun » Thu Jul 31, 2014 4:30 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Briney Spring Gun wrote:
LRGhost wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:OP here, i've reworked my answer a bit, how is this?:

"I know you probably hear this from every person that interviews with you, but I am extremely hard working; I was even affectionately nicknamed the 'Hardest Working Man in Showbiz' by my study group this year. I was born and raised in a blue collar community, I worked some tough manual labor jobs before law school, and I am not afraid of hard work. For some people, 1L year was easy; they just 'got it,' and were able to get A's with relative ease while still maintaining an active social life. I didn't 'get it' as easily, and so it took a great deal of dedication and hard work for me to finish in the top x%. However, I work hard because I love what I am studying and I am committed to being the best that I can be."


This is really awkward.



haha fair enough, that's why i'm here. Can you give an example of a strong answer, or a way to fix this one?


Perhaps I'm wrong, but it's my impression that a "Tell me about yourself" question is about getting to know a little about you as a Human Being, not as Law Student Looking for Job. I'd think you'd want to fill in some background bio info that can't readily be found on the resume. Correct me if I'm wrong.


See that's what confuses me. Some resources say "tell them how your background relates to their firm, and how you can help them, because they don't give a fuck about what sports team you root for on sunday," and others say "tell them about you as a person."

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Re: "Tell me about yourself" question

Postby M458 » Thu Jul 31, 2014 4:31 pm

Briney Spring Gun wrote:
LRGhost wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:OP here, i've reworked my answer a bit, how is this?:

"I know you probably hear this from every person that interviews with you, but I am extremely hard working; I was even affectionately nicknamed the 'Hardest Working Man in Showbiz' by my study group this year. I was born and raised in a blue collar community, I worked some tough manual labor jobs before law school, and I am not afraid of hard work. For some people, 1L year was easy; they just 'got it,' and were able to get A's with relative ease while still maintaining an active social life. I didn't 'get it' as easily, and so it took a great deal of dedication and hard work for me to finish in the top x%. However, I work hard because I love what I am studying and I am committed to being the best that I can be."


This is really awkward.



haha fair enough, that's why i'm here. Can you give an example of a strong answer, or a way to fix this one?


The problem is after you finish giving this answer, you've told your interviewer absolutely nothing about yourself that will differentiate you from any of the other 15 people they're interviewing that day. Rising 2L here (so take all my advice with a grain of salt), but my understanding is that this is basically your 30-45 second elevator pitch. I usually take this as a "Why are you here (in law school and looking for firm work)?" type question and try to weave in 1 thing from my background and 1 thing from my resume. I've gotten good feedback on that approach from prior mock interviews.
Last edited by M458 on Thu Jul 31, 2014 4:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: "Tell me about yourself" question

Postby ymmv » Thu Jul 31, 2014 4:32 pm

LRGhost wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:OP here, i've reworked my answer a bit, how is this?:

"I know you probably hear this from every person that interviews with you, but I am extremely hard working; I was even affectionately nicknamed the 'Hardest Working Man in Showbiz' by my study group this year. I was born and raised in a blue collar community, I worked some tough manual labor jobs before law school, and I am not afraid of hard work. For some people, 1L year was easy; they just 'got it,' and were able to get A's with relative ease while still maintaining an active social life. I didn't 'get it' as easily, and so it took a great deal of dedication and hard work for me to finish in the top x%. However, I work hard because I love what I am studying and I am committed to being the best that I can be."


This is really awkward.


Yeah, I can see a critical employer taking out of this that (A) you actually think someone gives a shit about your status appointment in a study group and (B) you were not "naturally" very good at law school and had to eliminate your social existence to pull it off by the skin of your teeth.
Regardless it all sounds pretty hokey, TBH.

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Re: "Tell me about yourself" question

Postby El Pollito » Thu Jul 31, 2014 4:33 pm

Anonymous User wrote:OP here, i've reworked my answer a bit, how is this?:

"I know you probably hear this from every person that interviews with you, but I am extremely hard working; I was even affectionately nicknamed the 'Hardest Working Man in Showbiz' by my study group this year. I was born and raised in a blue collar community, I worked some tough manual labor jobs before law school, and I am not afraid of hard work. For some people, 1L year was easy; they just 'got it,' and were able to get A's with relative ease while still maintaining an active social life. I didn't 'get it' as easily, and so it took a great deal of dedication and hard work for me to finish in the top x%. However, I work hard because I love what I am studying and I am committed to being the best that I can be."

It would be extremely hard for your interviewer not to laugh at you if you said this.

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Re: "Tell me about yourself" question

Postby arklaw13 » Thu Jul 31, 2014 4:39 pm

I'm originally from [state] and interested in working in [city] because [made up reason]. I majored in [subject] because [something other than I didn't realize I should have majored in engineering] and decided to go to law school because [something other than working fast food wasn't appealing]. I've enjoyed it so far because [something other than I'm a masochist with no regard for my future happiness]. I'm interested in [litigation or transactional work] because [I did something relevant 1L summer].

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Re: "Tell me about yourself" question

Postby Briney Spring Gun » Thu Jul 31, 2014 4:41 pm

arklaw13 wrote:I'm originally from [state] and interested in working in [city] because [made up reason]. I majored in [subject] because [something other than I didn't realize I should have majored in engineering] and decided to go to law school because [something other than working fast food wasn't appealing]. I've enjoyed it so far because [something other than I'm a masochist with no regard for my future happiness]. I'm interested in [litigation or transactional work] because [I did something relevant 1L summer].


I appreciate the honest feedback guys, I agree that my answer was lame as shit. I like your formula ^.

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Re: "Tell me about yourself" question

Postby LRGhost » Thu Jul 31, 2014 4:43 pm

ymmv wrote:
LRGhost wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:OP here, i've reworked my answer a bit, how is this?:

"I know you probably hear this from every person that interviews with you, but I am extremely hard working; I was even affectionately nicknamed the 'Hardest Working Man in Showbiz' by my study group this year. I was born and raised in a blue collar community, I worked some tough manual labor jobs before law school, and I am not afraid of hard work. For some people, 1L year was easy; they just 'got it,' and were able to get A's with relative ease while still maintaining an active social life. I didn't 'get it' as easily, and so it took a great deal of dedication and hard work for me to finish in the top x%. However, I work hard because I love what I am studying and I am committed to being the best that I can be."


This is really awkward.


Yeah, I can see a critical employer taking out of this that (A) you actually think someone gives a shit about your status appointment in a study group and (B) you were not "naturally" very good at law school and had to eliminate your social existence to pull it off by the skin of your teeth.
Regardless it all sounds pretty hokey, TBH.


It's awkward because it makes it sound like the person sucks at socializing.

OP, nobody is trying to fuck with you. You're not going to get "gotcha" questions. When someone says "tell me about yourself," they want to know about you. "Well, I'm from X state and I worked at Y. I'm in law school now which has been as good as it could be (chuckle), but really I'm enjoying my time here. We've had intramural [sport] which has been a great way to unwind. I've been trying to catch up on [television show/books/movies] this summer so that's been fun. You know, I did [sort of cool thing] the other day and it was a lot better than I expected."

That's also shitty but the idea is that you're introducing yourself to someone. You talk about where you're from, what you enjoy doing, if you did anything cool over the summer, and then you stop. Hopefully you're not awkward and your interviewer isn't awkward and the interviewer will relate to something and talk to you more about that.

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Re: "Tell me about yourself" question

Postby Mal Reynolds » Thu Jul 31, 2014 4:47 pm

I enjoy how law students want a formula for the most individualized of all interview questions.

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Re: "Tell me about yourself" question

Postby Briney Spring Gun » Thu Jul 31, 2014 4:49 pm

Mal Reynolds wrote:I enjoy how law students want a formula for the most individualized of all interview questions.


well, now knowing that it doesn't have to be so strictly "hire me" based, I realize that a formula probably isn't necessary.

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Re: "Tell me about yourself" question

Postby Mal Reynolds » Thu Jul 31, 2014 4:50 pm

Briney Spring Gun wrote:
Mal Reynolds wrote:I enjoy how law students want a formula for the most individualized of all interview questions.


well, now knowing that it doesn't have to be so strictly "hire me" based, I realize that a formula probably isn't necessary.


DOES NOT COMPUTE. NOT AN INDIVIDUAL. REQUEST ASSIMILATION IN FIRM HIVEMIND

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Re: "Tell me about yourself" question

Postby Briney Spring Gun » Thu Jul 31, 2014 4:54 pm

Mal Reynolds wrote:
Briney Spring Gun wrote:
Mal Reynolds wrote:I enjoy how law students want a formula for the most individualized of all interview questions.


well, now knowing that it doesn't have to be so strictly "hire me" based, I realize that a formula probably isn't necessary.


DOES NOT COMPUTE. NOT AN INDIVIDUAL. REQUEST ASSIMILATION IN FIRM HIVEMIND


lol, pretty much. i think all of the above information can be distilled into "be yourself," which i am not doing enough of in my practice answers. thanks guys.

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Re: "Tell me about yourself" question

Postby FKASunny » Thu Jul 31, 2014 5:45 pm

I've already been asked this question a lot and haven't had problems answering it without a formula, but that's probably because I'm not trying to convince them I'm something I'm not.

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Re: "Tell me about yourself" question

Postby arklaw13 » Thu Jul 31, 2014 5:59 pm

FKASunny wrote:I've already been asked this question a lot and haven't had problems answering it without a formula, but that's probably because I'm not trying to convince them I'm something I'm not.


Me not trying to convince them I'm something I'm not:

I'm originally from [state] and interested in working in [city] because [there's jobs there and I want one]. I majored in [philosophy] because [I didn't realize I should have majored in engineering] and decided to go to law school because [working fast food wasn't appealing]. I've enjoyed it so far because [I'm a masochist with no regard for my future happiness]. I'm interested in [litigation] because [I have no idea what transactional lawyers do].

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Re: "Tell me about yourself" question

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 31, 2014 6:07 pm

You can say anything you want, as long as you sound like someone fun to work with. I tell firms I went to law school on the recommendation of others and that I'm (insert whatever I want them to talk about for the next 15 minutes)

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Re: "Tell me about yourself" question

Postby ymmv » Thu Jul 31, 2014 6:09 pm

arklaw13 wrote:
FKASunny wrote:I've already been asked this question a lot and haven't had problems answering it without a formula, but that's probably because I'm not trying to convince them I'm something I'm not.


Me not trying to convince them I'm something I'm not:

I'm originally from [state] and interested in working in [city] because [there's jobs there and I want one]. I majored in [philosophy] because [I didn't realize I should have majored in engineering] and decided to go to law school because [working fast food wasn't appealing]. I've enjoyed it so far because [I'm a masochist with no regard for my future happiness]. I'm interested in [litigation] because [I have no idea what transactional lawyers do].


Hell, neither do transactional lawyers. Or else they are just complete shit at explaining it when asked.

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filibuster

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Re: "Tell me about yourself" question

Postby filibuster » Fri Aug 01, 2014 6:55 am

hahaha really should give them the answer you so artfully crafted. you sounds like an awesome candidate man



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