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Back in January, I asked a question. A question that, once answered, would help you stand out and be noticed in a crowd. What do you include in a response to the question: What’s Memorable About You?
I heard from a number of you who expressed frustration with this question. Because some people think the answer is “nothing”. Really?
So this is a follow-up to that post to help you think through this question with more depth. Because at a future career networking event, in a round of structured conversation, the question may be asked directly of everyone. And you’d sure like to have a great answer.
But more often, you will simply like to share something memorable when you build your elevator pitch. It could be an accomplishment that really reinforces your career. Or a skill that successful people in your field always display.
But its not just about being interesting while you are career networking. Having a few interesting points about yourself is just plain good for any conversation. At the office. At the little league game. At a cocktail party.
Having little gems to share can keep a conversation going and give people a reason to ask multiple follow-ups. It’s OK that conversation revolve around you for a few minutes. Especially if they are genuine and intended to be conversational. Not entirely self-promoting.
And if you are not one who sits on a large book filled with lists of what makes you memorable, well, this post should help.
Because I created a list of interview questions. And I hope that reading through them might help you find a little gem or two. Because sometimes the gems are there, you just can’t see them. Or someone else needed to tell you it was OK to talk about it.
- Where were you born? What is that town known for?
- Were you born in unique circumstances (i.e. non-traditional)
- How much did you weigh at birth?
- What is the origin of your name?
- Do you have a twin?
- What is your best memory from childhood?
- Where did you live while you were growing up?
- Did you grow up with any people who are now famous?
- Who was your childhood hero?
- Have you attended any memorable events (i.e. presidential inauguration)?
- What are you passionate about?
- Did you meet your spouse in a unique way?
- What is the coolest place you ever visited?
- What awards or medals did you win as a kid (sports, spelling, art, science)?
- What have you always been known for?
- What do friends give you grief about (math whiz, athletic, good at trivia games)
- Did you have “big hair” in you past? Or other funny appearance story
- What have accomplished anything big on your bucket list. What’s next?
- What is the origin or your name? Where did your family originate?
- Are you related to anyone famous?
- Have you ever met your childhood idol or hero?
- Have you ever done anything really hard (run a marathon, complete a triathlon, read all the classics)
- What can you do unusually well (artist, chef, writer, chess, crossword puzzle)
- Do you have an engaging hobby (re-building cars, growing flowers, interior design)?
- What is your best quality?
- Have you ever written a novel, an ebook of poetry or a song?
- What do you collect now or as a kid (bottle caps, baseball cards, dolls, wine)
- Have your kids done anything remarkable or especially cute?
- Have you had to overcome a challenge in your life?
- What famous person, dead or alive, would you like to meet?
- What one work accomplishment will you be remembered for?
And once you find two or three gems. Build a short and a long version of the story so that you can tell it. Quickly if you need to, of course. But even better? Create a long version for when you have the time. And when a conversation seems ready for it.
Career networking is not about bragging. It is about unfurling your robe to show a few bright colors to the people around you. Who, prior to that, were just seeing another normal person.
And I’ll bet you are not that normal. Once you’ve thought about it.
Written by: Tim Tyrell-Smith
Tags: Career | career networks | future career | human interest | interview questions | Job Search | networking events | social networking
Categories: Career Networking