Your Self Introduction is just like a movie trailer – short yet intriguing, so your audience wants more!

Your answers to the “Tell me about yourself” question is a high-level description of who you are in less than 2 minutes. It is YOUR STORY that sets the scenes that associate you with your positive qualities, captivates interviewer’s curiosity to ask further (therefore avoid too many details at this stage), and gives clues to your values, beliefs and characters.

 

We are all born to be a story-teller…… and a story-listener. In fact, it is one of the most important life skills to help us get our messages across. Christina Baldwin said, “Words are how we think; stories are how we link.” Stories help convey both the information and FEELINGS to the audience effectively, so your interviewers will remember who you are even weeks after the interview.

What to include in your self-introduction? Some brainstorming questions

  • Do you have a special name which has meaning behind it? Explain.
  • At age 7, What did you want to be when you grow up? How about now?
  • What are your passions, talents and interests?
  • What choices have you made (majors, interns, activities etc)?
  • Why did you make those choices? i.e. what drives and motivates you?
  • How these experiences affect how you see the world?
  • What make you most proud of yourself (e.g. accomplishments)?
  • What are your aspirations now, and why?
  • Are there any life mottoes that you live by?
  • How would people who know you best describe you?
  • What makes you different than other candidates for this position?
  • Why should they hire you? What can you offer them?

Structuring Your “Tell Me About Yourself” Story with Storytelling Framework

There are lots of storytelling frameworks out there, but for Self Introduction, I find this Story Arc framework the most relevant.

Beginning –>Inciting Incident–>Midpoint–> Climax–> Endstory arc>

You can put a typical superhero ‘s story and it would fit along this half circle: Started from humble beginnings, the main characters encountered some contrasting, intensive experiences which shaped their lives, they eventually rise to their aspirations, and to use their power to contribute to the humanity.

Now back to you – What are your stories? It could be less dramatic, but equally significant!!!

5 Steps to create your self-introduction story

  1. Write you 1st draft without much editing
  2. Organise and re-order the content
  3. Simplify it to a less than 2 minutes version
  4. Read it out loud in front of the mirror ( or video-record yourself so you can review and revise)
  5. Continue to fine-tune the content and how you say it until it feels perfectly natural to you

Thinking of an impeccable self-introduction opening? Try these:

After you have your first draft ready, re-organise the materials and try to think of an impeccable opening. Here are some examples to help you brainstorm yours:

  • “I can summarise who I am in three words.” [attention grabbing, and concise]
  • “People who know me best say that I’m…” [quoting someone else sounds more objective]
  • “The quotation I live my life by is…” [which tells your life motto and shows your values directly]
  • “When I was seven years old, I always wanted to be…”[this one has strong storytelling element. Perfect if you are applying for your childhood dream job]
  • “Instead of talking about it, Can I show you instead?” Then, pull out your portfolio or presentation or whatever visual materials you have prepared [ suitable for design, marketing and media jobs]

*A point to note: You do need to make sure the style of your self introduction matches with the level of formality of the position. You know, The expectation difference of a Designer and that of a Lawyer could be huge!

Sample Script for Graduates: “Tell Me About Yourself”

The below is just an example of how you can structure your self-introduction. Make sure you tailor it with your personal details and style so it feels right to you!

“Sure and I’m glad to be here today. [Quick 3 lines to put an Adjective to your Face] You can call me ______ and it means _______ (if your name or nickname has special meaning). I discovered my passion and talent in ________ (the field of interest) since age _____ so I chose _________ as my major.

[Achievements/internships] Throughout my college years I have been actively involving in business as well as international exposures – Like I had internships with __________ (employers) where I learnt ______________ and gained valuable industry knowledge. And in year 3 I went to _________ for academic exchange/ overseas service trip where I gained valuable life experiences and enriched myself culturally.

[Activities/ Leadership] I also took responsibilities of several social organizations, such as __________to polish my people skills and problem solving. As a team we have successfully achieved ___________________.

[Characters] I consider myself/ My friends would describe me as a ____________ (name your top 3 strengths/personality traits) person. That’s why I am attracted to this position which requires someone who is/has ____________ (top 3 key contributes you find from job descriptions) and with a vision to ___________(some keywords of the company’s vision if applicable), which sounds really exciting to me to start me career in.”

[This article is extracted from the Book First Job Bible: Strategies and Answers to Top Job Interview Questions. Get it now HERE]

You might also be interested in: Career Storybank Method – Worry-free Interview Preparation

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