There are various occasions where we might have to utter, “Here are some interesting facts about me.”
It might be
- At a job interview,
- When you’re on a date,
- When you want to build a relationship with a colleague(s)
- When you’re at a networking event
- As a general introduction
The problem with talking about yourself is, well…., some people find it really difficult.
What on earth do you say?
How do you sound interesting?
How do you not sound as though you’re just boasting?
What’s the right information to share in order to break the ice with a person you don’t know?
How do you not freeze in a situation (such as a job interview) when someone asks – “Tell me something interesting about you.”
In this article, I’ll be looking at 100 “interesting facts about me” questions that can generate some ideas to both prompt discussions and provide insight into who you are.
We’ve grouped these into five groups:
- Work-related Interesting things about me
- Personal – interesting things about me
- Fun and interesting things about me
- Achievements – Interesting things about me
- “As a child” – Interesting things about me
We’ll also discuss
A typical interview question is “Tell us about yourself.” One of the main reasons potential employers ask that question is because it provides both the interviewer and the candidate a simple means of creating some dialogue that provides some insight into the candidate. However, consider that the interviewer has read your CV, so it wouldn’t be appropriate to simply regurgitate that.
While you can touch on your employment history, the interviewer is likely to be trying to draw out the real you. You can use this opportunity to demonstrate your various skills (both technical and soft) and how you react to challenges turning a negative into a positive.
Consider some of these:
- “My biggest accomplishment is…..” – Use this interesting fact as a great opportunity to sell yourself and your ability to work hard and achieve a goal.
- “My best skill is…..” – This could be a soft or hard skill that can help both you and the organization that you work for.
- “The last thing I learned at work is….” This could be through a piece of training you’ve attended or, better still, learning through experience.
- “My key strengths are….” – The could be a mix of soft and hard skills, they could be skills around a theme, i.e., “my strengths are that I listen to my team, take feedback which I then use to help motivate the people around me to achieve goals.”
- “I want to achieve the following….” Set out clearly your plans. Look to provide some timeline, i.e., “I aim to achieve this within the next 6 months, this within the next 2 years, and within the next 5 years this.”
- “My favorite office hack is….” Show your ingenuity and explain your favorite productivity shortcut.
- “The pandemic has taught me….” – The pandemic has taught all of us something (even if it was how not to have yourself on mute during a zoom call), what did it teach you?
- “The skill/tool I use the most at work is…..” – This fact helps describe how you work and what you use to be effective.
- “I like to teach other people to….” What things do you teach others? It doesn’t have to be a hard skill but could be things like communication, patience, empathy.
- “I’d like to ask the CEO….” – Tread carefully with this one! Use this to explain the burning issue you’d like the company to address and provide some context around why it would be beneficial.
- “The most important career advice I’ve received was….” – This fact provides two things, firstly the piece of advice and secondly how you used it. This demonstrates two things: you can listen and that you apply what people tell you.
- “If I didn’t do my job, I’d like to work in…..” – Use this fact to help provide insight into some of your passions.
- “The most unusual thing on my desk. A nice, fun icebreaker.
- “If I could change anything about my job, it would be….” Of course, for many, it’s salary! While we all want a million dollars a year, you can always use this fact to demonstrate how you could make the job more efficient/effective.
- “The biggest lesson I’ve learned from my job is……” – This fact demonstrates how you learn things from your environment; perhaps you’ve learned empathy or communication or the importance of getting things right the first time?
- “I’m most productive when……” – This fact provides some insight over how to get the best out of you. Perhaps you can state the inputs you need to best support you (goals or direction, for example?) Or perhaps you can state that you just work best first thing in the morning.
- “The biggest challenge I’ve overcome is….” – This is a great fact as it demonstrates resilience.
- “The biggest lesson I’ve learned is….” Things can go wrong in any job; it’s how you pick yourself up that counts.
- “The first job I ever had was….” A nice fun fact that you can use to demonstrate how far you’ve come.
- “When things are difficult I…” Another fact that demonstrates that you can cope with pressure and how you react to problems.
You can use the following facts to introduce information about you to another person (or group).
- “My bucket list includes…..” – Shark diving? Seeing whales? Bucket lists are a great discussion point and provide some insight to you as a person.
- “My greatest influence is…..” Your family, Your first boss? We’re all influenced by someone? Who was yours and why?
- “I have a hidden talent that most people don’t know, it is……” – Surprise people with a talent you have that people perhaps don’t expect.
- “My hobby is….” Explain what you do in your downtime.
- “The last big purchase I made was a…..” Maybe you can explain what you bought and why.
- “If I lived my life again, I wouldn’t do…..” Challenging things made you who you are, but if you have your time again, well, they are easy to skip
- “I’d like to be remembered for…..” Helping people? Being a great friend? Being a great parent?
- “My favorite thing to do at the weekend is…..” What do you do with your downtime?
- “My least favorite habit is…..” What cheeses you off about other people?
- “My worst habit is….” You’ve talked about what upsets you about other people; what do you do that upsets others?
- “The person I most admire is….” Who do you admire and why?
- “The number one thing on my bucket list is……” So you’ve got a bucket list, but what’s top of that list?
- “My charity is…..” This can tell people a whole bunch about you, who you support, and why.
- “My goal for the year is….” – What are you trying to achieve and why?
- “My favorite book is….” – What have you read that has really had an impact on you?
- “My favorite place is….” – Perhaps it’s somewhere you’ve been, perhaps it’s somewhere you want to go, where is it, and why is it your favorite?
- “My favorite meal is….” – A nice icebreaker fact, maybe it’s some home cooking? Maybe it’s a restaurant meal out; what is it and why?
- “The thing that inspires me is….” – Maybe it’s a piece of music, maybe it’s a person, perhaps it’s a place.
- “I relax by…..” We all lead frantic lives; how do you choose to relax in yours?
- “My favorite sport is….” Sport can be a great talking point; perhaps you have a favorite team or event that you can discuss?
The next section covers fun facts that you’d like to share about yourself. They are meant to be light, fun things to remove any stress in the situation.
These facts won’t open you up to too much intense scrutiny but can act as an ice-breaker and enable you to kick off a conversation by opening a little bit of yourself up and providing an insight into who you are.
- “My guilty pleasure on Spotify is…..”– sure, other people might treat that track as trashy, but that’s not going to stop you dancing around your house to it.
- “The most famous person I’ve met is……” – You were in an elevator at the mall with George Clooney? Wow!
- “The thing I say all the time is…….” – Like – Whatever!
- “My favorite superpower is……” – Leaping tall buildings in a single bound!
- “My favorite joke I heard this week is……” – tread carefully! Not everyone will have the same sense of humor as you!
- “My favorite movie character is……” Thor, because he has that massive hammer!
- “The animal that really scares me is……” Spiders! You can always add an interesting anecdote as to why you find the animal scary.
- “The last award I won was for…..” 100m sprint while at school! Ok, got something more recent? I’d love for you to tell me about it.
- “The sport I’m hopeless at is…..” Tennis, too much hand/eye coordination.
- “If I won the lottery, the first thing I’d buy is…..” This can say a lot about you – would you treat someone else? Or yourself!
- “The last picture on my camera roll is…..” – Ummm….let’s not go there!
- “I could never give up……” Coffee!
- “My first car was a……” What car did you have? Did you give it a name?
- “I learned the following interesting fact this week….” – What did you learn (preferably something light and funny).
- “My favorite coffee shop is……..” Who serves the best flat white in town?
- “My last meal would be…..” your numbers up, what’s the last thing you’ll eat and why?
- “I speak the following languages…” Perhaps you are multi-lingual
- “My favorite time of the day is…” Are you a morning person or a night bird?
- “I have a pet called….” First, tell them its name, then show them it’s Instagram!
- “I’m allergic to…’ – have an interesting allergy?
- “My biggest success is…..” – What are you most proud of?
- “The last time I had to apologize for something it was for…….” We all make mistakes – what have you said sorry for recently?
- “The last thing I achieved from my bucket list was…..” It could be a small thing or something significant; what have you recently crossed off your bucket list?
- “The last movie I watched was…..” – It doesn’t have to be good, but what was that last popcorn fest that you saw?
- “The thing I suck at the most is……” – We can’t expect to be brilliant at everything!
- “The last thing that scared me was…..” It could be a movie, a spider, or simply what’s left in your bank account at the end of the month!
- “The worst movie I’ve ever seen is……” Well, I’ve watched some godawful movies, but the worst? Jaws the revenge?
- “The stupidest thing I’ve done is…….” We all like to think of ourselves as Einsteins but come on; we’ve all done some stupid things in our time!
- “The most dangerous thing I’ve done is…..” – Jumped out of a plane? Swam with Sharks? Criticized your partner’s cooking skills?
- “The last long-haul vacation I had was to…..” Ahhh, the thrill of getting in a plane and waking up on the other side of the world.
- “The last thing I found was…..” – People lose things all the time; what have you found that was unexpected?
- “My most expensive purchase was…..” – Now this is one that can provide some real insight!…. What have you spent your hard-earned dough on!
- “I collect…..” – Socks? Shoes? Wine? Vinyl? Trading cards?
- “The one thing I wouldn’t want my mom to know is…..” OK, let’s not go there (just in case she’s reading!).
- “The last concert I went to see was…..” If music is your thing, what bands have you seen live?
Another great icebreaker method is to introduce facts about you when you were a child. Again this keeps things fairly light and can demonstrate how much you’ve grown/changed.
- “When I was a child, I thought I’d become a…..” We all had delusions of grandeur as a child; I wanted to be a rocket scientist.
- “My favorite childhood memory is…..” Family vacations! What’s yours?
- “My first pet was a….” Fond memories of your first dog/cat?
- “I still have a xxxxx from when I was a kid” What have you kept from your childhood?
- “When I was a child, my favorite place was…..” – Hands up those of you that thought school?
- “My first friend was…..” – Who was your first friend? Still in touch?
- “As a child, my worst vacation was……” Perhaps somewhere you really didn’t want to go, but as a kid, you had no choice!
- “My childhood nickname was…..” Hands up if it was Stinky!
- “My worst school report was…..” I’m sure not everyone got straight A’s all the time! Any lessons to be learned?
- “My favorite game as a child was….” What did you play as a kid?
- “My favorite sports person was…..” Who was your first sports hero? Did they set the theme for who you’d support as a grown-up?
- “My favorite cartoon character was……” Gosh, there are too many to mention, Tweety bird? Bugs?…..
- “My first crush was…..” Love hurts as a kid (it hurts more as an adult!).
- “The worst lie I told as a child was….” Well, I told some stinkers! Do you remember any of yours?
- “My favorite photo of me as a child is…..” I have some great photo’s of me with my family that are irreplaceable
- “The thing I was most afraid of as a child was….” Sharks, Sharks, and Sharks (damn that Jaws movie!).
- “The toy or gadget I most wanted as a child was….” Too many to mention!
- “When I became an adult, I stopped….” So what does the move from child to adult mean to you?
- “My favorite candy as a kid was…..” Gosh, there are too many to mention.
- “My favorite thing I made as a child was….” Playing sports with my friends, still do this as an adult
We commonly use interesting facts about ourselves in both formal and informal scenarios.
- Networking Event
- Job Interview
- Team Meetings
- Family gatherings
- Social Gathering
It’s important that you choose something appropriate to the situation.
While our list above takes you through 100 examples of information that you can share about yourself, not all of them are suitable for every situation.
For example, if you’re going on a first date, you’re unlikely to impress them by sharing the skill or tool you use most at work! (of course, unless they are an interested colleague!), also, you wouldn’t want to share your worst school report at a funeral!
It’s all about context!
You need to apply context to the situation and the individual(s) you share information with, selecting something appropriate given the circumstances.
This takes several soft interpersonal skills.
- It’s relevant to the situation
- You’ve considered how the information will make you look
- You choose the right tone – honest & humble, NOT aggressive or demeaning
- You’ve considered the other participants in the situation
- You’ve thought about where the conversation could lead.
How much detail you go into when describing something interesting about yourself again depends on the situation. It is most likely that you’ll be using it to provoke some discussion, so you’ll want more than a one-word answer.
It’s possible to expand on your answer using some context and the people involved, for example:
“My first pet was….”
“My first pet was Lucky; she was a labrador who I had from when I was 5. She would follow me absolutely everywhere and was my best friend! Did you have a pet when you were little?”
or in a work context:
“My best skill is…..”
“My best skill is organization. I’m very structured in how I do things, planning tasks, and looking ahead at my objectives to ensure I’m setting in motion the things I need to achieve in the future. I like to use my computer and my phone to help with this structuring reminders and tasks. What systems does your company provide to help with this? How do you keep your teams organized?”
As you can see from the example above, you can use the fact about yourself to provide a question back to the person asking.
This is an excellent way of providing a launchpad to further dialogue.
The alternative is merely to answer the question, “my first pet was a dog.” That provides only a narrow space for the questioner to ask further questions and provides very little insight to you as an individual.
Think about how you’ll use your answer as fuel to the conversation.
I’ve lost count of the times I’ve heard people say, “there’s nothing interesting about me!” As you can see from the questions above, there’s a huge scope for providing informative and entertaining insights to you as a person, whatever the context.
So, tell me something interesting about you.
How do you respond?
Have you got a stock answer that you use in those situations? Or perhaps you struggle with the response.
We’d love to hear your insights.
You can reach us on Twitter(@sanbustrain) or via the comments section below.
This article is part of our Career Skills Guide