“So, tell me a little bit about yourself…”
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How many times have you been in an interview, a meeting, a conference and someone asks these six little words? (I guess it could be eight, but I didn’t count “so” or “a.”)The question always throws me for a loop. I normally start to panic…
Do they want to know about how I was homely and shy in junior high?
Do I say something witty to impress them and completely avoid the question?
Can I make it to the nearest exit before they notice?
I most always decide to answer the question. (I’ve only run screaming once or twice.) I also learned that I needed to begin anticipating the question. Avoiding the inevitable was not going to help me. Engaging in online communities it has become not only necessary, but essential to be able to describe myself quickly. On Twitter, for example, a personal bio is 160 characters. Have you ever tried to describe yourself in 160 little characters? It’s not easy.
To make things easier for myself and the question asker I’ve developed my own key words at key times (KWAKT). In short, it’s a way I can describe myself in a few short sentences and pull it together for the question asker. The goal is to not create work for the question asker…help them understand what it is that you do–quickly.
My quick response: “I’m a public relations professional and social media freak!” It gets a little laugh, but also describes, quickly, what I love to do.
The other option (and the one I prefer) is to share my life mission statement. These statements have taken me five years of blood, sweat and tears to perfect to a point that I love. (I look at this each and every day.) “I run unabashedly free through this one life, without fear. I embrace the unexpected. I believe in abundance. I live.” Yes, these statements often attract more questions. Yes, this defies what I just told you (to make your answer easy on the recipient). The difference? I just engaged in conversation and began building the relationship.
Do you have a life mission statement? Monikah Ogando was kind enough to share hers with me this afternoon. Pretty inspiring, huh?
Start developing your mission statement today. Or, if you have a mission statement and haven’t looked at in a while, freshen it up.
Next time someone asks you about who you are…you’ll be prepared, confident and impressive.
So, tell me a little bit about yourself…