University interviews and the real You

A big source of concern for many students when applying for University is the interview process. When you are in an interview, the old question, ‘So tell us about yourself’, may inevitably come up. This is open ended and can either be flubbed and meandered through, or handled concisely and with grace.

Why is this such a common interview question?

It gives interviewers a chance to get a glimpse of the real you, and for you to set yourself apart from the other applicants, and more importantly, projecting more than what you appear to be ‘on paper’. Remember: this is your big chance to shine and show who you are as a person.

What do interviewers what to hear anyway?

Having focus and a concise statement is a must. If your answer lacks purpose or a theme, interviewers may be left confused or unimpressed. Interviewers want to hear what sets you apart from others, and if your personality comes through well during the interview process. They want to hear about the real you – the human being – not the robot that systematically turns out the same old spiel at each interview.

How do I prepare for University interviews?

Practice! If you know this might be an interview question, you can get your pitch ready right now. Try to blend a bit of the real you in with your career pursuits and where you want to be. Remember, these are University interviews and not therapy, so keep the theme of your answers centered around your you, your ambitions and your career goals.

We all have interests outside of work and aren’t all just robots doing our jobs. By explaining a little bit about yourself and bringing out your personality, interviewers will have a chance to see the real you and make a better informed decision if you are a good fit.

Read more: How to answer “Tell me about yourself” in an interview

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