So, Harshad, tell me something about yourself.
That’s how most of the job interviews I go to start. Without a fail, they always ask this question. I understand why people ask it. There was a time when I was tempted to ask this myself. That was an interesting incident. A new MBA graduate had called up for an internship in business development. We were planning to expand, but our office wasn’t much to boast about. I think we had plans for a coffee table, but that’s about how far we went when it came to decorating the place. So, me and my faithful co-worker and friend, decided to have this interview at a cafe. I was so nervous, this was the first time I was the interviewer and not an interviewee. It’s ironic that now, when I am back again to being an interviewee, I am still nervous about the question mentioned above.
My first instinct has always been to ask back to my kind interviewer.
Okay, I will like to tell you something, but where do I start? Why don’t you just ask what you want to know? Are you serious? Alright, would you still want to know if I told you it was classified? etc .
Of course, I am a better man than my instincts, so I never ask any of these questions. My grandfather had some great advise for my mother, when she was struggling with interviews. He said
Never say no to anything. You just know one word, ‘YES’.
It’s interesting that it still works, most of the times I guess. People want people who do their dirty work, who don’t rebel, who don’t make a ruckus. I know why it’s so, and I am really beyond complaining. As a matter of fact, I can almost relate to the thought process. It’s a bad world, and each man is out for himself. So why make things any easier for anyone?
I still don’t know what do I talk about myself. A good friend has advised me to tell what people like to hear. It agrees with the great advise of my grandfather. Me on the other hand, I like to keep things clean. I can’t bring myself to pretend to be something I am not, and that’s very difficult, because I am pretending to be something all the time. So it gets a little confusing for everyone. So I tend to keep just one version of me active anywhere I go. It’s much simpler that way. Why complicate life with things you don’t need to do. Pretense can get very bothersome. This puts me in a delicate situation though. I can never say anything much as an introduction for myself. I could go on talking about how great I am at my job, but what does that have to do with me? My job isn’t me, is it? And I doubt, if people really want to know what I do with my free time. Even if they do, I don’t think that I have a ready definition. I am changing all the time, so there is no pitch, what you see is what you get.