This is a rather long post, prompted by the "Tell Me About Yourself" lesson of the Interview Series. If you've gone through the interview series you've heard Mark's answer, which includes the personal review that is very much "typical American family."
The Brief Personal Review is the part I'm struggling with. Once I get to my second "real job" I have a story that emerges naturally, and without stretching the truth (but being selective) I can make college fit that story. Before that, I'm not sure what to leave in, and what to leave out. I'd welcome some help with this, and I'd love to see other examples of "off nominal" answers.
Part of my struggle, I think, is that I didn't have the typical middle-class American experience. Instead, I'm something of an American success story: I've overcome challenges with substantial help along the way to become very comfortably middle class.
This is how my answer starts:
I was born a poor black child.... (quote from [i]The Jerk[/i]) edited out. See a later post.
I'd like to know what people think of this answer, particularly what I could cut out (my whole answer is currently at just over six minutes, so I need to cut something) and if I need to explain more about my life before college.
For example, some drafts of this answer have included the fact that my high school and college were Jesuit schools, but this version doesn't. I've found that people assume I'm Catholic (I'm not) when they see Jesuit. Similarly, some drafts I've explained why we were poor, but while it shaped my character, it didn't shape my professional choices, so I've left it out.
I'd appreciate really any comments people have about how to shape this answer, and particularly any suggestions about what to cut.