Stars Wars is the newest buzz on the horizon, and before dodging die-hards and spoilers, I went to my friend’s Star Wars viewing party. In a tangle of movies that were alternatively ignored and devoured, meeting new people, and pound cake, a different fandom, Harry Potter, entered the picture when everyone at the party was asked a simple question.
What house do you belong to?
This question haunted me for the rest of the week. I asked all my friends: am I a Gryffindor? Hufflepuff? How about a Slytherin or a Ravenclaw? And why? I ended up with a whole range of answers, and a whole list of opinions for what I was. One MUNDO friend decided I was Gryffindor, because I was “a bit of a rebel” while a different MUNDO exec declared I was a definite Slytherin, due to my drive. My old roommate insisted I was Hufflepuff because of my “mothering tendencies” and our mutual friend argued I must be a Ravenclaw, because, in his mind, I “perceived the world differently.” I couldn’t find anyone to agree with and it wasn’t until later that I figured out why my brain latched onto the little icebreaker. It was eerily similar to another question, a standard interview question that I’d been trying to answer for the past couple of weeks.
Tell me about yourself.
With two individual interviews and one group interview in the same week, I found myself constantly practicing commonly asked questions. Or, more accurately, practicing and worrying. No matter how many career camps or trainings I do, interviews always bring me a special set of worries. What should I wear; how much should I prepare? How much should I personalize my resume and should I come with questions ready, or just wing it? Yet, the innocuous opening question has always held a special sort of confusion for me—most likely, because it, like sorting yourself into a Hogwarts House, requires you to know yourself.
So who am I? What do I want to tell employers, friends, future colleagues about myself? Maybe I should highlight that I take initiative, and that the Gryffindor in me seeks out challenges and loves to see a project through start-to-finish. Or maybe it would be more important to talk about my tendency toward logic, the Ravenclaw who that looks at details, picking them apart and putting them together until they make sense and work the best way they can. I might belong to Hufflepuff, because I work great in teams and recognize that everyone has different strengths, and a time to lead and follow. Or perhaps I fall in line most with Slytherin, due to my focus on resourcefulness and determination.
But then again, those are “interview qualities,” characteristics and qualities that come up when you answer the other questions, such as “What are your strengths?” or “Tell me about you had a problem and you resolved it.” So perhaps I should use this common opening as a way to talk about myself more personally.
So who am I from that perspective?
I’m creative. I steep myself in music and love to see what beauty can be made with paper and glue and whatever lies in my junk drawer. I want to be more organized and try to do so with notebooks full of lists and double-filing my documents. I earned money for college by doing musical theatre and still go to as many musicals and plays as I can. I have the most amazing friends. I reflect by writing and once fell into a sewer on a trip to service-learning trip to New Orleans. I love giving handwritten notes. I dabble in parkour.
At the end of the day, my answer to that opening “Tell me about yourself” question was solidified as a mix between the professional and personal. I brought that mixture to each interview—and due to that, I will be starting my new position as a Wellness Ambassador in the spring. Although the preparation is nerve-wracking, I value interviews because they mean that the employers care; they want to get to know more about their potential employees. And those nerve-wracking questions, in turn, let you learn a little more about yourself as well.
So, hello! My name is Ana Sucaldito, and I’m a third-year from The Ohio State University, studying Neuroscience and Folklore. My favorite thing about my school is the numerous opportunities that we have as Buckeyes. OSU has given me the chance to learn about different communities through travel, shadow different professionals in the health field, and the tools to turn my ideas into reality. In my free time, I love collecting street art; I’m passionate about social justice, and if anyone asks, I’m a proud Hufflepuff.