“Tell me something yourself”
Just about all of us know that this is a question we can expect to be asked in an interview or sales meeting, but how many of us have a confident, compelling answer? One we can back up with stories?
This week I had the pleasure of conducting an interviewing skills workshop with the very talented young apprentices in the Great Hartford Arts Council’s “Neighborhood Studios” summer arts program. At the beginning of the workshop, I asked them all to jot down at least three adjectives about themselves that they would use in an interview. What they came up with blew my mind. I share it with you here.
Yes, that’s right, you see the word, “affable” (and the contributor knew what it meant). A few of my favorites: put –together, resilient, determined, go-getter. Every one of these young people had (at least) three adjectives at the ready to describe themselves. And not just any adjectives, their choices are descriptive, evocative, meaningful words.
Even more impressive, later in the workshop I asked them to think of an experience in their lives that would illustrate one of the words they’d used to describe themselves. Not more than five minutes later they were finished writing and the room was abuzz with small groups sharing their stories with one another. There is not a doubt in my mind that these kids will be super successful interviewees, super successful communicators and super successful people.
How about you? Do you have your three (or more) adjectives at the ready? Are they boring, sleep –inducing business-speak words, or are they juicy, descriptive words like those the Neighborhood Studios apprentices came up with? (And hey, you can borrow theirs, I’m sure they won’t mind.)
Once you have your describing words, do you have stories you can tell to prove what you claim? Do your stories have a beginning middle and end? Have you tried them out on someone to make sure they’re complete and clear?
If not, take an hour or two – or more and run through these exercises yourself. The payoff will be well worth it. On your next interview or meeting you’ll be heard.