Monday, December 1, 2008

Tell me about yourself.

Interviewer: So, tell me about yourself.

Applicant: I'm an unconventional thinker.

Interviewer: How's that?

Applicant: Well, first of all I find that question hypocritical.

Interviewer: Why would you say that?

Applicant: It is meant to gauge my level of preparation, yet requires no preparation on you part.

Interviewer: It's just a question that most applicants expect.

Applicant: Then they expect hypocrisy. I'm not a fan of hypocrisy but I'm sure many others have learned to expect it and tolerate it.

Interviewer: It's just a way for people to talk about themselves.

Applicant: I'm not saying that it can't be rationalized. I saying that it is hypocritical.

Interviewer: OK. How would you start an interview?

Applicant: Without being hypocritical?

Interviewer: If you can manage.

Applicant: I would first drop the "I know nothing about you" game. If I have your resume in front of me I am already in a position of advantage. To demand a full presentation with only a few words furthers the asymmetry. I would show that I have done some preparation including having read your resume. I would summarize it to the best of my ability and ask for errors and omissions.

Interviewer: You still haven't given the applicant a chance to speak freely about themselves.

Applicant: If I were looking to get more personal information from the applicant I would first share some details about myself. This would level the disclosure balance and give an impression about the content and level of detail I was looking for.

Interviewer: Telling them what to tell you isn't letting them speak freely.

Applicant: It would be a lead that the applicant could choose to follow or ignore.

Interviewer: That would be highly irregular. That's not how my interview went.

Applicant: And somebody in your lineage was the first to believe that the Earth was not the center of the universe.

Interviewer: Of course it isn't. So, can you tell me about yourself?