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paPassion7

How to answer the “tell me about yourself” question

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I know that this has been asked many times on this forum, so I’m sorry if I’m being redundant. I’ve looked at all of the previous posts but there’s so many conflicting opinions and I’m honestly so confused and feeling so defeated.

 

I’ve been using mock interview prep sites but they are mostly tailored to job interviews. They suggest to answer that question by describing your most recent jobs, a couple major projects/successes you’ve had recently, and why you’re looking to switch jobs (get into school for us applicants). However, I’m not sure if that’s the correct advice to take when interviewing with schools. Some people recommend to talk about other unrelated medical things that help you stand out.

 

I’ve had a couple interviews with no success and I’ve never felt so low. I have another coming up, but the thought of having to interview again makes me feel sick to my stomach because I have NO idea what interviewers are looking for, no idea what I’m doing wrong, and only find conflicting answers online. I always feel like the interviews go very well. I’ve tried taking the “just be yourself” approach and felt very comfortable at interviews, only to be rejected.

 

I’m sorry for rambling, I just feel so lost.

 

 

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I'm honestly a terrible interviewer, and I feel like in the past I've made the mistake of rambling about my academic history when realistically they could have gleaned that information from my application. I personally feel like there is merit in "just being yourself". Talk about your passions and the experiences that have shaped you. When interviewing for residency, a bunch of my friends have talked about their upbringing and their experience as first generation college students. It's an opportunity for you to showcase a side of you they don't see from your resume or personal statement. Don't hold back. I feel like my biggest mistake was failing to convey confidence or passion. 

Good luck with your upcoming interview! 🙂

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I'm honestly a terrible interviewer, and I feel like in the past I've made the mistake of rambling about my academic history when realistically they could have gleaned that information from my application. I personally feel like there is merit in "just being yourself". Talk about your passions and the experiences that have shaped you. When interviewing for residency, a bunch of my friends have talked about their upbringing and their experience as first generation college students. It's an opportunity for you to showcase a side of you they don't see from your resume or personal statement. Don't hold back. I feel like my biggest mistake was failing to convey confidence or passion. 
Good luck with your upcoming interview!


I really appreciate your input!! In my last interview I approached this question by explaining an event that happened in my life that really shaped me into the person I am today. Getting rejections just makes me second guess everything I say, especially when you can’t get any feedback. That’s why I’m just not sure if that was the proper approach to take


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The tell me about yourself question is an open door to talk about ANYTHING about yourself. A quick intro to how you got to be who you are, a chance to show some humor/humanity, how you got interested in becoming a PA, and what attracted you to their program.

They’ve read your file; now share something that makes you three dimensional and an interesting addition to their class. Be flat and listless and you won’t be sharing much about who you really are. Not getting in because you weren’t sharing who you really are is the ultimate sin of omission.


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On 7/26/2019 at 9:19 PM, paPassion7 said:

 


I really appreciate your input!! In my last interview I approached this question by explaining an event that happened in my life that really shaped me into the person I am today. Getting rejections just makes me second guess everything I say, especially when you can’t get any feedback. That’s why I’m just not sure if that was the proper approach to take


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I feel you. It's frustrating, and you keep overanalyzing everything you said wondering what could have gone wrong. I'd say don't beat yourself up over it. Go into future interviews with a clear mind and just let your personality really shine through. 

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FWIW you could have gotten rejected for any number of reasons.  May or may not have been a specific interview question.

Get out of your head, answer the questions honestly and, in all seriousness, be yourself.  Quit thinking about 'what the interviewers are looking for'.  They actually want to pick people for who they are and what they can contribute to the class, not who can crack the code of interviews.  There is no 'right' answer they are looking for.

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I was struggling with how to approach this question as well! I said it in a way as to how I got to where I am now, along with adding in underlying characteristics I have. When I talked about working in healthcare as a CNA and how it has influenced my decision, I spoke in a way the interviewers could see how passionate I was. I interviewed 2 weeks ago and was accepted to the program! When they asked me this, here is how I (briefly) answered:

"I grew up in ___ city in Minnesota, and went to college in Florida to play Division II lacrosse. I started as a crim justice major, but I ended up feeling so bored and that I was not being challenged in school. I switched to biology and fell in love with science, and this is how I was introduced into working in healthcare. I currently work as a CNA in a pediatrics unit and a NICU and I love being able to interact with patients from all ages"

Keep it simple, keep it brief. My interview style was two 20 minute interviews, and from this answer my interviewers were able to ask me multiple questions to continue to get to know me. I do not believe this is the time to brag, I feel you had the chance to do that in your application. Show who you are as a person and be able to make jokes. My mom is a NICU nurse and I work with her from time to time. I was able to joke with the interviewers about how when I was younger, after visiting my mom at work I told her I never wanted to work in healthcare, but during college she helped shape my decision to pursue biology and be a PA! We joked that mothers are always right 🙂  

This was from my personal experience and I hope having a real example helps you out a bit! Good luck!!

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