Legal Recruitment from Ten-Percent Legal

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Interview question - tell me something about yourself

Job interview question – “Tell me something about yourself”

This question was recently asked by a company in London and the candidate was slightly flummoxed by it as she did not know what to say or what exactly the interviewer was looking for.

Our advice would be to condense your CV into 45 seconds and give the interviewer a potted history of yourself. This will be particularly relevant if the question was asked at the beginning of the interview as this is often when an interviewer has not yet formulated their questions and answers.

So for example, if I was answering this question, I would say:

“My name is Jonathan Fagan and I am 35 years old. I live in village in North Wales near to Chester and I am married to a GP and have three children aged one year to four years.

I have a full driving licence and my educational background is GCSE, A-level then off to university at Salford, Leicester, De Montfort and Newcastle. I have a Masters degree in Law and LLB and the LPC together with various recruitment qualifications and financial advisor qualifications.

I came to Leicester before qualifying as a solicitor and subsequently working in Nottingham, specialising in crime, mental health and family. I then went in house with Ten Percent before becoming managing director and running the company full time. My featured skills are various, and I speak a bit of German and Welsh.

My activities and interests include cricket and lots of it, golf, walking the dog and spending a lot of time with my daughters.”

You can see that I have condensed my CV into 45 seconds and perhaps given the interviewer a couple of topics to discuss further with me if he or she so wishes. It may also give the interviewer time to formulate questions or alternatively think about what they are going to have for tea before they ask you their next set of questions which they have already got prepared.

This sort of approach to the question is quite useful because it also gives you the chance to talk at the start of an interview and get the initial uncomfortable time over and done with.

Jonathan Fagan is Lead Consultant with J. B. Fagan and Associates (www.jbfagan.co.uk), specialist professional career consultants. He is also Managing Director of Ten Percent Legal Recruitment (www.ten-percent.co.uk). You can contact Jonathan at cv@ten-percent.co.uk or by visiting one of the websites.

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