“Tell Me About Yourself” – A Recruiter’s Perspective on the Question March 14, 2022
I’ve seen some posts circling around about the frustration candidates feel when asked by an interviewer: “Tell me about yourself.”
To a candidate, this question can be disrespectful. “Do they not have my resume right there in front of them? Did I poor over my resume only for this interviewer to not have bothered to read it? How dare they disrespect my time like this!”
To be honest, I can imagine the frustration. But as a recruiter, I want to provide another perspective on the purpose of that question.
I personally appreciate hearing a candidate verbally run through their background, as I find it helpful for both the candidate and the recruiter.
For candidates, having a space to share about their resume can help them process their own story. I find that I cannot process things nearly as well as when I talk with another living breathing human. Part of my goal with the conversations I have with candidates is to help them understand themselves, and if I can be a sounding board as a candidate works through this, I am here for it.
As I compare their story with the words on the resume, I sometimes notice some inconsistencies that I will ask for clarity on, and from that I’ve seen a candidate realize they had meant to update a certain part of their resume. Talking out their story might even inspire the candidate to share something they hadn’t even thought of as they were building it.
For recruiters, having a candidate walk through their background can provide insight that is just not accessible through words on a page. In an interview, more factors are considered than just a person’s background. An interviewer is also evaluating whether the candidate would be a good fit for the company culture. This includes examining more subtle traits like confidence, communication skills, grasp of their field, etc. An open-ended question about the candidate’s background fosters a more robust conversation and can provide so much more insight into a person’s qualities.
Finally, at TYGES we see our interactions with candidates not TRANSACTIONALLY but RELATIONALLY. We don’t want to rush through the interview without getting a real understanding of what a candidate’s interests truly are. A conversation about a person’s background opens the door to a deeper connection and understanding of the candidate and their goals.
I know being asked to say exactly what was said in writing can seem redundant. But hopefully these thoughts can give another perspective on the question.
And feel free to visit our website for more insights on this!
Written by: MELINDA MARRIOTT, Executive Recruiter
Melinda Marriott is a recent graduate of William & Mary with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and in Government. She is a hard-working individual with an enthusiasm for learning and embracing opportunities, and a desire to improve the lives of others. Melinda has established herself as a knowledgeable recruiter in the ABA industry. As a recruiter for TYGES Behavioral Health, Melinda strives to connect outstanding ABA professionals with the most fitting opportunities to benefit both them and their clients.
In her free time, Melinda can be found exploring Williamsburg, reading, listening to music, or being with people in her community.
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