I Googled Myself and This is What I Found…

“Tell me about yourself.”

This is the dreaded question.  I have to prepare to answer this question 5 times.  5 different interviews.  Where do I even begin?

I want to stand out from all the other applicants and I want to do this creatively and in a memorable way.  However, I fear that there is a very thin line between creative and memorable, and absurd and inappropriate.  And to get past the “trying to be creative” part of it, I actually have to come up with something interesting, flattering, and concise about myself.

As someone with low self esteem and an anxiety disorder, I can’t seem to find anything good to say about myself that doesn’t sound like an embellishment – and that makes me nervous.  Then I worry that what I think is important to highlight might sound stupid to someone else.

So how do you go about making a speech about yourself?  If I had a Wikipedia entry about myself, what would it say?  How do I come up with something that is believable and doesn’t make me feel like I’m being disingenuous?  

Someone gave me a small piece of advice on this topic: Think of five things you want to tell the interviewers and then fit each of those things into a one or two sentence summary.  Then you’ll have your answer. Five things that are important about me… How do I choose?

Early life? Do I talk about where I grew up and how I ended up living where I live? I was born and raised in … and seven year ago we moved to … for my husband to pursuit his education.

Education? These are residency interviews, so obviously, I am working towards a medical degree (we all are, so is it superfluous to talk about it?) Before starting medical school, I obtained a Master’s degree in cellular, molecular, and microbial biology and I worked for two years as a research technician doing basic laboratory research.  Upon deciding to pursuit medicine, I returned to school and worked towards a degree in English while updating my prerequisite courses.

Family? How much to I talk about my kids?  Obviously, they are a major part of my life so I guess it wouldn’t look good to leave them out… Outside of medicine, I am a mother to two young boys, A. and E..  Motherhood is one of the most rewarding and educational experiences in my life and I believe that raising a family while in medical school has forced me to work hard at maintaining an appropriate work-life balance.

Personality traits? This is probably the hardest part for me.  What do I say about myself that doesn’t sound like something everyone else says about themselves?  People who know me well would say that I am caring, thoughtful, and that I make other’s needs and interests a priority.  I consider myself a hard worker with great attention to detail and I often hold myself up to high expectations.

Future goals? Career choices?  Do I start taking about why I’m interested in O&G during this answer, or do I save it all for the “Why are you interested in O&G?” question? How do I summarize my interests in one sentence?  My own journey through pregnancy first piqued my interest in O&G.  I found myself fascinated with the changes taking place in my body and the baby growing inside of me.  This initial interest encouraged me to explore as much as I could about O&G throughout medical school and I have subsequently come to appreciate everything that this specialty has to offer.

Is there something missing here?  Is there something that is a little too cheesy?  Something that just doesn’t sound right?  I don’t feel great about everything I have said and I can’t think of anything else to say instead.  I have a feeling that no matter what I come up with, I won’t like it.  How can I deliver a confident and well spoken answer to a question when I don’t even believe everything I am saying?

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About crankygiraffe

I'm a woman... a wife, a mother, a daughter, a medical resident. I spend all my time doing the right thing... I can be cynical, grumpy, and emotional, but I keep it to myself most of the time. I need a place to let my insides out - anonymously. No judgement here!
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12 Responses to I Googled Myself and This is What I Found…

  1. psampson2888 says:

    When I write poetry or when I am giving advice to friend It comes from my heart.. So even If I don’t believe it, it is still honest. As long as you say or write with honesty, it doesn’t matter whether you think you believe it or not because when it’s all said and done, it came from your heart.

  2. Melanie says:

    I also think that’s a hard question to answer, “tell me about yourself.” All of your answers are good answers. They’re whole and honest, and short enough to keep the conversation at a good pace. Good luck!

  3. Dr. Mom says:

    I agree with the others who replied. So long as you come from a place of honesty you can’t go wrong.

    • I hope you’re right! Maybe the more I practice, the better I’ll feel about it!

      • Dr. Mom says:

        If I recall anything about the residency match its this: be honest in the interview and don’t bullshit them. I made a few mistakes but in the long run, everything worked out well. Be passionate about your decision to go with O&G and make sure they know that. Good luck!

  4. Jolie Michele says:

    I personally like your answers. I think they are concise as someone mentioned above and although they don’t sound as true to you, they sound truthful to me. You got this. You just have a little case of the nerves which is common. I’m sure you’ll do great.

  5. Twindaddy says:

    It’s tough to know what to say in an interview any more. I wish I had answers for you, but I have no idea.

  6. julitownsend says:

    I think all these answers are great because they’re honest and I suspect (and hope) that interviewers can determine the honesty. The only one I think is lacking, is the O&G one. It sounds like you’re reading it from a script and lacks the passion you have for the specialty. Let them get a feel for your O&G passion. They need to know you’re committed to it.

    Then trust that you’ll get the residency that will work best for you. Good luck.

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