I loathe this question.
It makes me want to cringe in my seat.
It causes me to tug at the ends of my sleeves and suddenly push my hair back behind my ear as if that makes me hear the question better.
It causes me to exhale deeply and plaster a slight smile on my face, stare the interviewer in the eyes and proceed with:
“I am a rising junior at Case Western Reserve University, etc. etc.”
Which is then followed by, “I am a first generation Nigerian-American from Jersey.”
And whatever other morbidly humdrum facts I can scramble together about myself.
Typically, when you ask people this question, the first answer they give you is what they identify themselves as/with. For many of my peers, the first thing out of their mouths would be about school or their major or their future career goals.
What I don’t get is why we initially connect ourselves to institutions, to geographic regions, and job descriptions that may not give others a panoramic view of who we are. I’m not saying this all isn’t good (except if you’re like me and usually just wing it and find yourself spending too much time rambling about how you initially disliked your freshman year academic experience). But…..why not start with a little umph? Why not tell them ABOUT yourself?
If I could redo those interviews, I’d say, “I am a life-learner.” And then use that to branch off into Why I hold this philosophy, What interests have stemmed from this philosophy, How do these particular experience make me an ideal candidate for the position + What skills have I developed due to this philosophy?
I mean you might as well connect with this person on a personal level. Be real and professional at the same time. I believe that a personal connection and leaving an impression that you are not just a “job applicant” but you are passionate and are willing to grow with the company is something that just doesn’t fit on a resume or cover letter.
***Idk if this is bad advice. It just came to me at 4am while doing Spanish homework. Feel free to give your opinions.