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Saturday, November 21, 2009

Tell Me About Yourself

No wonder nobody reads newspapers anymore.

I found this article in The Philadelphia Inquirer today. Its title: "The One Interview Question Many Dread." Funnily enough, "Tell me about yourself." isn't a question at all. But we'll let that slide. Because we're so nice here.

The article proceeds to describe the anguish and dread interviewees ostensibly feel when being presented with this bad boy at a job interview.

"Tell me about yourself."

In a series of thoroughly uninspired paragraphs, the writer goes on to advise folks in America who are currently seeking jobs (10.2%, last time I checked) on how to handle this non-question at a job interview, for those people who are lucky enough to land one.

"Be ready with your own personal 'mini commercial,'" the article wisely advises, "The message: hire me."

Well, no shit, brainiac. It's a job interview, not a lap-dance.

I've been on my fair share of job interviews in my life (I wish I could say I've been on more, actually) and I fail to see what is so hard about some dewy, balding prick from HR wearing a wrinkled Today's Man shirt-and-tie combo about yourself. After all, they're not asking you to recount the woeful tale of your first handjob or what you do in the basement at night when nobody else is home. Telling this schmeggegie about yourself is the whole fucking reason you're there, isn't it?

The problem, I suppose, comes when people feel the need to lie. Or "puff up." Or "exaggerate." Or any of the other colorful synonyms for "to lie" that you are privileged to know. Answering questions is only hard if you're not telling the truth. As long as you don't molest cats with frozen garden hoses or shit yourself to keep warm, I don't think telling someone about yourself at a job interview should be such a daunting and cataclysmic event. Get over yourself. You're just a loser like the rest of us, except that you happen to be an unemployed loser.

That's okay, though. I still love you. My little loser-boo.

One thing I am grateful for, though, that I realized after reading this article, is not that I have a job, but that I have a wife. I haven't been on many first dates in my life, but they're pretty unbearable by and large, and the main reason I feel that way is that you have to tell your life's story (edited for time constraints and content, of course) in some dark, noisy restaurant-- and that gets old fast. Like, after three minutes, I'm ready to thrust the salad fork into my adam's apple. Most peoples' lives are an amalgam of at least mildly entertaining anecdotes that have been retold at family dinners and social gatherings and in the local newspaper's police blotter that we tuck away and bring out once again on first dates-- to impress, to amuse, to engage, to prevent mass suicide and to indulge in the ritualized behaviors of "the first date."

You tell me about you, I'll pretend to listen while I look down your blouse.

I'll tell you about me, you'll pretend to listen while you stealthily look me up in the National Crime Information Center database on your Blackberry under the table.

For those of you out there who are still dating: I'm sorry.

For those of you out there looking for jobs: I'm very sorry.

That said, the dumb article I read said that your "personal mini commercial" should be no longer than 300 words. I thought I'd give it a try.

Ready? Here goes it:


My name is Mr. Apron, but you can call me “Brotha.” I really want to work here because I am unemployed, and have been wearing the same underwear since last Thursday. I have exhausted my pantry’s food supply, except for a box of raisins, which nobody under the age of 87 eats of their own free will, and I have steadily moved on to raiding the dog food container for sustenance. The dog does not mind, as I ate him two days ago.

I think you should hire me because I make really good Xerox copies and my skin tastes good. Want to try? No? Okay.

See, what had happened was, I was born a long time ago. And my mom is a tree, so that’s kind of cool. Throughout my childhood I used to eat gravel and organize Edwardian costume balls on the playground at recess. In middle school, I got super interested in aeronautics. And synchronized vomiting. Unfortunately, I had to give that up when my parents told me that wasn’t an Olympic sport. I was bummed, but my teeth were rotting out of my head, so I guess it’s good I stopped.

Anywho, after I was excused from high school for coming to my Western Civ class dressed as Herman Goring, I decided to explore some career options. And my navel. I ended up inventing Silly String and the world’s first ever burlap thong panty, (last seen being modeled by Dr. Oz on the Oprah Winfrey Show) and I went on to become the only Methodist-impersonator ever to fly from Alabama to the 213km into the Indian Ocean on a 19th century commode.

I’m proud, also, to claim myself the first person to ever receive teeth-transplant surgery with dentition donated from a recently-deceased Bonobo.

Hire me.

DAMN! 300 words on the dot, bitches. Your turn!


  1. Brillant.
    Your hired.
    As long as you wear the same drawers for another week. At least.

  2. I can't... I can't! I'm so frightened by this question.

  3. Fabulous!!!!!!!
    : )

    Agree with you on the first date stuff; much more intimidating than a job interview IMO. But then I don't know much about job interviews so I should just shut up.


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