In This Episode
We were recently involved with some mock interviews with local high school students. The goal is to give these 15 and 16 year olds some practice at interviewing for a job. They are asked to complete an application, dress in nicer clothes, and then sit down for a 10-minute interview with some volunteer adults to “interview” for a job in a retail store.
We are big fans of role playing or practicing. Many of our coaching sessions with clients are just that, us role playing with them for an upcoming meeting or encounter. One of the reasons we do this is that we find it helpful to talk through things. As things move from ideas in our brains to words coming out of our mouth, sometimes it gets jumbled up and doesn’t quite come out the way we intended.
One of the first questions we asked each of the interviewees in these mock interviews was, “Tell me about yourself.” This is one of those great interview questions that is often overlooked but can really tell you a lot about the person. The request is pretty open ended and leaves a lot of room for the person on the receiving end. What surprised us was how many of these teenagers froze up at this request to tell us about themselves.
A few responded after a pause to ask, “What would you like to know about?” Some paused and just started spewing adjectives to describe themselves like hard-working and dependable. It was almost like they were trying to find the right answer vs. simply just telling us about themselves.
As a business owner you are likely asked a version of this question nearly every day. Although it may sound something more like, “Tell me about your business” than tell me about yourself. As a small business owner, chances are you and the business and your stories are intertwined. So how do you as the business owner respond to this question? How about the rest of your team?
With our 7 Keys to Success the 7th Key is Presenting which is often overlooked. But it’s really the Key that brings everything else together. If you don’t Present well, chances are you will be missing out on some opportunities.
During the show today we provided some insights for how to better Present yourself including responding to the request to “Tell me about yourself.” In addition to our earlier comment about the importance of role playing and practicing, it is also key to understand who your audience is. When it comes to your business it can fall into one of two categories, internal or external.
How you Present and talk about your business should be different to those internally vs. externally. Even within those two broad categories of internal vs. external there are different ways you’ll Present. For instance, on the internal front you will likely share different information with your Leadership team than you will with your front line workers. Externally, you’re likely to share more intimate details about your business with your banker than you will with a customer. So don’t make the mistake of having the same Presentation for everyone.
One way to jump start this discussion with your team is to bring it up at your next monthly meeting and just go around the table to see how your team responds. You’ll likely all be better off for it and so will your business!