When I work with clients on their interview technique or when I meet new people at networking events there is one question (disguised as a request) that I notice is rarely answered brilliantly. It’s very simple: “Tell me a bit about yourself”.
Why is this a hard question to respond to? Because there is potentially much to say. Where do I begin? Typically people start by explaining their background and before you know it you’ve heard their career history and come away not being able to put your finger on what it is they actually do, let alone how brilliant they are.
Author and consultant, Simon Sinek, in his TED talk “How Great Leaders Inspire Action” explains the what, how and why of brand communication. When articulating their value great brands don’t start with what they do or how they do it. They start with why they do it.
When you think about your answer to “tell me a bit about yourself” start with the “why”. So, why are you doing what you do? What are you passionate about that drives this “why”? Your opening statement might go along the lines of “I am passionate about M&A and I am motivated by executing deals effectively to maximise value for my clients.” Then you go into where you work now, how you got there and what makes you special.
This simple model can help you frame your answer: