How to Answer The Tell Me About Yourself Opening Question at Interviews
The Opening – Setting the Scene – 3 Simple Steps to Craft Your Inspiring Story
Words of Wisdom
“Be yourself, everyone else is already taken” Oscar Wilde.
Many interview questions and answers will draw on common interview questions. For example:
Many interviews will start with the same prompt “Tell me about yourself”
Standard interview 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 life has evolved, the things you’ve learned, your successes and failures, achievements and setbacks, dreams and visions – 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.
3 Simple Steps to Craft Your Inspiring Stories to Share at Interviews
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 …
This story was originally published on 14/3/16. I needed to republish it to add updates and also to tell you
… The Continuing Story …
The pandemic brought about a change in my WorkLife from delivering in-person individual coaching sessions and group workshops to creating resources to help people self direct their WorkLife learning.
In the last three years, I’ve published 30 books and over 200 stories.
Each book and each story is based on real life struggles and successes that people have encountered in their WorkLife. They also detail the exercises that helped navigate through these situations, which are set as assignments for readers to adapt to their WorkLife situations and learning needs.
I believe stories are a powerful mechanism for teaching, a powerful medium to learn through, and a powerful way to communicate who you are and what you stand for.
My inspiration for creating my work comes from a lifelong passion for learning. My work has taught me that the one thing in life that can never be taken away from you is your learning.
School of WorkLife Guiding Statement: To create resources that are helpful, insightful and inspiring in helping people to pursue their WorkLives with greater clarity, purpose, passion and pride by creating continuous WorkLife learning programmes and resources that are accessible to everyone.
The resources I create will help you take ownership of self directing your learning in your own space and in your own time.
School of WorkLife helps you self-direct your WorkLife learning through resources that have been created to help you to take ownership of your learning in your own space and in your own time.
What is Self-Directed Learning?
Self Directed Learning is when an individual is motivated to take the initiative and responsibility on decisions related to their own learning. It is a series of independent actions and judgements free from external control and constraint.
Resources to Help You Self-Direct Your Learning
You may find the books below from The School of WorkLife Book Series helpful in meeting your learning needs as a self directed learner. Tap the book title to see a preview of what’s inside each book.
You can view the complete collection here: The School of WorkLife Book Series.
Founder of School of WorkLife, Carmel O’ Reilly is a learning practitioner and writer. She creates resources to help people self-direct their WorkLife learning. These include a Collection of Books which originated from her first book, Your WorkLife Your Way and a Learn Through Reading Series of Case Studies. which originated from her latest book WorkLife Book Club.
That’s the power of writing (and reading, which is an integral part of the craft for writers). It helps you find, develop and tell the right story at the right time in all WorkLife situations – in day-to-day communication: WorkLife and feedback conversations, presentations, talks, and negotiations, at interviews, and when socialising and networking in building and maintaining good relationships. The practice of writing helps you to tell the stories that express who you are in an interesting and engaging way.