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Tell me something about Yourself

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If I were to ask, what is the most clichéd and frequently asked question in all interviews, the answer would be “Tell me something about yourself”. This question can also be considered a polite way to start any conversation. But, I have always wondered if anyone has actually given a thought to the answer to this question.

Answers to this question can vary from person to person. Most of the interviewers would tell you that 90 % of the people they have interviewed would have very similar hobbies like listening to music, dancing, reading books etc. But I am sure that most of them follow a template to answer the question without actually knowing who they really are.

I have observed that many people have two versions of themselves. One that they use under their officewear and smart dresses, in a form that is acceptable to the world. The other is what they actually are. Many of us are oblivious to the fact that this version of ourselves usually exists. I call these versions as the “Presentable Me” and the “Real Me”. We always want to polish or work on our presentable version and forget about our real identity.

“Presentable Me” is the format that is closer to the world standards of defining an individual. If you have a house, a car, a job with steady income, then you have started on the right track. You can also be creative and intelligent, but how much you earn and how many assets you have are the only things that get you points and enhance your presentable image. Whether you love what you are doing or you enjoy doing your job is completely beside the point.

Since childhood what is expected out of us is to be studious, hardworking and getting good grades. No one cares what you actually want to do, or what you enjoy doing. If you are good at sports but not good in studies, then you are not in the “presentable form.”

The “presentable form” is a social taboo and a pre defined format of typecasting individuals. Sometimes in order to enhance our presentable version, we end up in self
denial. The other thing with this presentable version is that you don’t have to define it for yourself. The society would very gratefully do it for you. If you are a pretty, good-looking girl in you college, the society would see you as a future of the modelling industry. If you are good in studies the presentable version would always have mould of ‘doctor’ and ‘engineer’ for you. In order to fit into these moulds we never try to pursue the “real version” of ourselves. Why? Because we know that the moment we run away from our “presentable version” to our “real version” , we would be considered as failure.

What I find interesting is that the people whom the society considers to be “champions” or “great”, are the ones who have travelled the distance from their ‘presentable’ to their ‘real’ selves (versions). Their journey was their experience and they achieved fame and success by trying to follow what they really wanted to do.

I am neither judging anyone nor am I suggesting that everyone is living a fake life. What I am suggesting is that don’t run away from embarking on this journey from your “presentable you” to “real you”. Because, no matter what happens, one thing is certain; you would know the answer to the question “Tell me something about yourself.”

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9 thoughts on “Tell me something about Yourself

  1. This is a great post! I don’t know how much you know about sociology but have you ever looked into Goffman and his text ‘the presentation of self’? Your post is very similar to his ideas.
    I agree that we have a template that we follow when meeting someone new and that we’re expected to be hard-working all the time. It seems there’s a constant pressure to portray oneself as ‘smart’ (as in academically) and our accent and the dialect we use all feed into this image so we put on a façade to ensure we’re perceived in the way that we want to be.

    Liked by 1 person

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