Monday, May 6, 2013

Tell Us Everything! Everything!

Remember Chunk from the movie The Goonies?  Here’s the scene... The Fratellis are interrogating Chunk. They say, “Tell us everything! Everything!"

Chunk responds, "Everything. OK! I'll talk! In third grade, I cheated on my history exam. In fourth grade, I stole my uncle Max's toupee and I glued it on my face when I was Moses in my Hebrew School play. In fifth grade, I knocked my sister Edie down the stairs and I blamed it on the dog... When my mom sent me to the summer camp for fat kids and they served lunch I got nuts and I pigged out and they kicked me out... But the worst thing I ever done - I mixed a pot of fake puke at home and then I went to this movie theater, hid the puke in my jacket, climbed up to the balcony and then, t-t-then, I made a noise like this: hua-hua-hua-huaaaaaaa - and then I dumped it over the side, all over the people in the audience. And then, this was horrible, all the people started getting sick and throwing up all over each other."

This is funny stuff, and for me, the most memorable part of the movie. And it reminds me of how an interview can go. The interviewer is one of the Fratellis. Chunk is the person interviewing for the job. The interviewer asks the question, “Tell me about yourself.” The person being interviewed, Chunk, responds, “In third grade, I cheated on my history exam. In fourth grade, I stole my uncle Max's toupee….”

Where do you start? What is the best way to handle a question such as this during an interview to avoid being like Chunk??

Here is what I suggest. When asked an open ended question such as, “Tell me about yourself”, respond in such a way as to draw from the interviewer what it is they really want to know. So you can hone in on what is relevant and important. Surely they really don’t want to know about how you cheated on your history exam in third grade. So respond to the interviewer by saying, "I’d be happy to tell you about myself. What is it that you would like to know?" 

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