By John Antonios
Helping new graduates stand out from the crowd and take control of their career legacy.
So, Tell Me a Little Bit About Yourself!
“So, tell me a little bit about yourself” – don’t you just hate that question! Unfortunately, there’s no escaping it in the interview process. Just try to search for the “most common interview questions” and you’re bound to find that question in the top 10; and my personal experience confirms my findings. Ironically, very few are cable of answering that question without choking. Given how frequent we are asked this question, I’m still surprised we haven’t mastered the answer.
For you to be able to give a compelling reply, you first need to understand your brand thoroughly. How can you expect to sell anything to anyone if you don’t know the product or service you’re selling? The same applies to your brand! Therefore, you need to think long and hard of who you really are and what makes you unique. Always remember that there are two sides to every coin; how you see yourself and how others perceive you. Self-exploration requires you to keep an open mind and not take yourself too seriously, that’s the only way you’ll learn more about the real you.
Aside from 360 assessments and strength finder tools, I strongly recommend you give this book a try: “The Question Book – What Makes You Tick” by Krogerus & Tschäppeler. This book “asks all the questions you’ve ever wanted to ask someone – and you never asked yourself”. The extraction phase of personal branding demands a lot of patience, but the gem you unearth will be worth your while. You will have tons of material to use in formulating the answer to that inevitable question.
Here’s a tip: Think of your answer as a movie trailer – a customizable one at that.
You can’t expect to expose the whole movie in the trailer, but you have to be able to earn the attention of the viewer enough to make them want to watch the whole movie. This is where customization of the trailer comes into play. Just like any movie, it usually has several different trailers that reveals different ‘snippets’ of the movie intended to attract different viewers. Similarly, your reply should be customized to meet the requirements of the person asking the question. The key thing to remember here is that the movie staring “you” is one and the same; you’re simply presenting it in a different light according to the situation.
Here’s my advice: Prior to any interview, read more about the company itself and the job in question.
Highlight keywords found in the company values and job description that match your own. Use those common elements to customize your trailer and a kick off that interview with a jaw-dropping performance that will keep them on the edge of their seats for the rest of the movie.
And like I always say, “You Shy, You Die!”
John Antonios is a Personal Branding Strategist & Executive Coach. He stands side by side with politicians, executives, and graduates helping them understand and promote their brand DNA, allowing them to cash in on their passion and take control of their legacy.