Interviews #1 The Opening Question: Tell Me About Yourself

The Opening — Setting the Scene — Three Steps to Crafting Your Inspiring Story

Photo by Jeremy Yap on Unsplash

“Be yourself, everyone else is already taken.” Oscar Wilde.

Many interviews will start with the same prompt “Tell me about yourself.”

Standard responses are along the lines of: “I studied (Major X) because I really wanted to make a difference in (Industry Y) and as you can see from my CV through my last job at (Company Z) I …

To move beyond this standard response to stand out from the crowd from the outset, you need to craft “Your Inspiring Story” to show who you are as a person, not just a professional. To give meaning to what you will bring to the role and organisation.

The way your WorkLife has evolved, the things you’ve learned, your achievements, failures, dreams — these things are unique to you and make you more interesting than you perhaps realise.

A good story is not a replication of your CV or LinkedIn profile. You need to go beyond that.

Three Steps to Crafting Your Story:

Step 1: Take an inventory of the chapters of your life — turning points that shaped who you are — what you learned, accomplished and experienced.

Step 2: Focus on memorable “aha” moments — vivid dimensions, so people experience that moment with you.

Step 3: Uncover the themes in your story — what emerges as your passion — mentoring, research, relationship building, advancing knowledge …

I first shared this story some years ago on my now-defunct blog: Evolving Careers Players.

Published by Carmel O' Reilly

Carmel O’ Reilly: WorkLife Learning Practitioner & Writer Author of WorkLife Book Club, Your WorkLife Your Way and The School of WorkLife book series. Created to help you manage your WorkLife Learning. Blogger & Podcaster: Telling people’s powerful stories about WorkLife challenges & successes Founder of My guiding statement is to help people pursue their WorkLives with greater clarity, passion, purpose and pride by creating continuous WorkLife learning programmes that are accessible to everyone.

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