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Tell Me About Yourself – 4 words that can trigger terror during an interview

In Active Learning, Active Listening, Cartooning, Communication, Leave Your Comfort Zone, Toastmasters on July 29, 2014 at 6:53 pm

“Tell Me about Yourself,” is often one of the most common things recruiters or hiring managers say in an interview, pre-screening interview, or during networking or job fair events. You may also be asked this question during a public speaking event or by the media. I call it the “TMAY” response … It’s an Icebreaker … (And) as you brand yourself and develop a common-themed message for your written documents (resume, bio, LinkedIn profile, etc.), and other networking requirements, you need to develop a strong, compelling response to the ‘Tell Me About Yourself’ request.

Source: http://www.openreq.com/news/tell-me-about-yourself-tmay/

There are many strategies to overcome the fear or anxiety brought on by these dreaded four words . You can practice your TMAY response in the mirror each morning. You can rehearse your elevator speech time and time again (preferably in an empty elevator before you share one with a potential employer or client). You can participate in mock interviews. You can practice with a friend. You might even visit a group like 40Plus DC or drop into a Toastmasters club.

Recently, I had the pleasure of participating in an event where nearly all of these opportunities came together. A friend of mine, Jim Chamberlin sent me an e-mail asking if I’d like to participate in a Toastmasters’ demonstration meeting for a 40Plus DC event. Of course, I said, “Sure, how can I help?” And that’s when Jim suggested that I give an icebreaker speech to whomever showed up at at 1718 P St, NW, Washington, DC.

Here are a few images from this recent event. My props: 4 small posters measuring 16″ x 20″ …

I spoke of how I use my business card as a miniature canvas to illustrate my services.

I spoke of how I use my business card as a miniature canvas to illustrate my services.

For example, I might draw a simple time line to explain how my career has tracked from "dot mil" to "dot org" to "dot com" to "dot biz."

For example, I might draw a simple time line to explain how my career has tracked from “dot mil” to “dot org” to “dot com” to “dot biz.”

Or I might remind them of our CONNECTION with a doodle of where we met.

Or I might remind them of our CONNECTION with a doodle of where we met.

And sometimes there's time to make the "hard sell" or CALL TO ACTION by sharing a little humor.

And sometimes there’s time to make the “hard sell” or CALL TO ACTION by sharing a little humor.

Other members of the CAST include …

Jim Chamberlin served as the emcee (also known as the Toastmaster of the Day).

Jim Chamberlin served as the emcee (also known as the Toastmaster of the Day).

Scott served as my speech project EVALUATOR.

Scott served as my speech project EVALUATOR.

Rand served as the Table Topic Master, someone who quizzed unsuspecting volunteers with "pop questions" that called for impromptu responses.

Rand served as the Table Topic Master, someone who quizzed unsuspecting volunteers with “pop questions” that called for impromptu responses.

Which were answers by volunteers such as Lawrence Greene. Who in the spirit of full disclosure is a Toastmaster and who did exceptionally well in modeling for others how to play along.

Which were answers by volunteers such as Lawrence Greene. Who in the spirit of full disclosure is a Toastmaster and who did exceptionally well in modeling for others how to play along.

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  1. Yes, yes, yes … Please share any feedback you have on my short icebreaker or on this article.

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