“So, tell me a bit about yourself…”

The dreaded interview question that all employers ask and yet are somewhat afraid of the answer. And, interviewees dread because they are terribly afraid of saying the wrong thing. We are often ourselves only when BY ourselves. The rest of the time, we dance with others and are often fearful of stepping wrong, getting the rhythm wrong in the dance we call life. I think most people like to believe they are authentically themselves ALL the time and yet, do we not all put on personas that accentuate one or another aspect of who we are?

For instance, I paint and some call me an artist. I also do a fair amount of needlework, so some would say I’m a knitter or quilter. I happen to work full-time in technology so other people call me a tech geek. I have another friend who just thinks it’s weird that I like to read a lot so I’m their “encyclopedia.” We rescue cats, so others call us cat crazy. I don’t think I’m any of those things. I might be ALL of those things, but I’m not one of them although to some I am. I’ve done many other things too at one point in my life. I rode horses and bicycles competitively. I swam and did triathlons competitively too. Those that knew me then would have labeled me an athlete. Those that know me now would likely find that laughable. And yet… And yet… I still have dreams of long rides, ultra-marathons by bicycle (my knees wouldn’t handle running triathlons any longer).

What do I say when someone asks me, “So tell me a bit about yourself…” What, or who, do they expect? What do they want to know? My present? My past? My dreams for the future? What do you say when someone asks you that question?

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