30/60 Second "ME"
The 30/60 Second ME! In today's busy world it's a fact that people make judgments about each other in the first 30 to 60 seconds of a conversation. Usually during an interview the statement will be made, "Tell me about yourself". This is your opportunity to SELL yourself. You have a very brief moment in time to cast a lasting impression and convey your skills and assets. But even more beneficial is that you have a chance to gain some control over the interview. If you can use this opportunity correctly, you can manipulate the situation so that a dialogue takes place instead of just a question and answer session. Think about it! By the time you get to the interview stage of the game, everybody is pretty much equal at least skill wise. So what is going to separate you from the other 80 people trying to get this job?
Utilizing a good 60-second me in an interview can do exactly that. Separate you from the rest. Who is the interviewer going to remember? Someone he had an enjoyable conversation with or someone who just answered his questions? It's really quite remarkable how it works. It's a linguistic tool in a way and is used quite frequently in sales or in persuasive arguments. In order to learn this skill and gain confidence it is suggested that you begin by stating your name and the position that you are seeking. In a real interview situation, (in response to the statement "Tell me about yourself"), you would not start this way but would instead start at the next step by stating your education and experience.
The next step is to use a hook. A hook is a way to draw the interviewer into a conversation. You create a hook by taking some accomplishment from a previous job, quantifying it, and stating it in a way that almost forces the interviewer to ask you a question about your statement. This gives you the opportunity to continue describing your talents and skills without seeming to be long-winded. It helps with that first impression. Examples: Let's say you're your last job was in sales. When you started your accounts were bringing in about $20,000 a month. When you left you were bringing in about $60,000 a month. You tripled your market, or you increased sales in your assigned market by 300%. You see if you look and the accomplishment from a different angle, it sounds much more incredible. Which would impress you more, tripled or 300%? The next part is critical. There is an old adage in sales that once you have asked for the sale, do not speak or say anything else until the prospect says something. "He who speaks first loses". So once you have thrown out your hook, wait.
Be patient. Just like fishing, you have to wait for just the right moment to pounce. If you wait long enough; the situation will start to become just awkward enough to force the other person to speak. And when they do, they usually respond with a question like: "300%, Wow, how did you mange to do that"? Your response is to expound further upon your skills and talents while luring him in again. "By developing targeted mass mailings and then following up with phone calls to decision makers. I analyzed the situation and realized that there were several areas of the market that were not being tapped into. My innovative approach to the development of marketing materials and strategies enabled me to not only expand my sales so dramatically, but I managed to do so while cutting the budget that I was given by 50%. NOW!! Don't speak!! If you can hold out and wait, he will ask you another question and the game continues with the general idea coming forth that You can do more with less.
By playing this cat and mouse game, you are essentially controlling or manipulating the conversation so that all of the information that You want to get out, gets out. And at the same time, the interviewer gets the information that he wants. And as an added bonus, you both end up having a lovely conversation and were able to immediately develop a rapport with one another. Now who is more likely to be remembered? The person who conversed or the person who allowed themselves to be grilled. That's why so many people fear the interview situation. But if you go in prepared with the tools you will learn in these workshops, you will be able to be successful in your employment search.
Sometimes this even happens in other situations that can lead to referrals to other opportunities.
60 second me guidelines: (Note that the rules are basically the same for 30 second me's except for the timing. The shorter version is used in different situations like telephone interviews).
1. Use 60 seconds as a timing guide.
2. Start with name, state position you are seeking, and describe your experience and education.
3. INSERT HOOK!
4. WAIT! WAIT! Once you are asked another question, respond with more of you skills.
5. For the sake of practice, just be aware of where your hooks are and don't waste time. Try to squash your most important assets into a prepared 60 second outline.
5a. It is also helpful for you to ask yourself the question and respond into a mirror You can see how you are coming across and make adjustments so that you are presenting yourself the way that you want to.
6. When you are practicing or rehearsing, you end by requesting a contact or if there is a job available. "So if you know of anyone who is looking for someone with my skills and qualifications, please feel free to give them my name and number. Again, I am Fred Jones and I can be reached at 555-5555.
7. Remember to speak loudly and clearly.
8. Time yourself only as a guideline and try to keep it at around 60 seconds.
9. You can use notes if you want to. Prepare a script and memorize it if it helps in the beginning. With enough practice you should be able to kind of shoot from the hip. You have to remember to be flexible because every interview or situation is not going to be the same. You have to be able to roll or flow with the questions being asked and yet still be able to get your message out. This is a skill and a tool that will be invaluable to you because it allows you to regain some control.
10. Critique yourself after each attempt. And try to make adjustments as you go. There are more guidelines and examples in the 60 Second ME workshop.
The purpose of a 60 second ME is to showcase your Skills, Education, and Experience Relevant to the position or type of work you are looking for. The critical or underlying purpose is to stimulate a dialogue. Keep this in mind as you develop your 60 second ME, it will help you achieve your goal. This is not supposed to be a script, although you can start by writing a script out and memorizing it. You need to remember that ultimately you want to get to the point where it doesn't sound like a memorized script.
You have to know your accomplishments and your starting script well enough that you will be able to get your information across in a conversational manner. You want to draw the other person in and almost force them to ask you questions. If the Interviewer interrupts you to ask a question, this means your 60 second ME has done it's job. It stimulated a dialogue.
Here are some helpful HINTS:
·Use action verbs; refer to the Power Words list and avoid using the verb "to be". (I am a teacher, I was a supervisor…)
· Use the Problem-Action-Result model to highlight professional achievements; remember to quantify accomplishments whenever possible.
· Be sure to note any specialized skills, experience or talents i.e. foreign languages, international travel, working with special populations, technical skills/experience, etc.; avoid using technical language/jargon.
· Highlight any awards, honors, special recognition or achievements.
· Avoid reciting your work history, "condensing" your resume, or mentioning length of experience or years of employment in a particular field or job.
· Avoid giving up personal information. The employer does not care that you just moved here with your three kids because you got divorced and had toe surgery. He only cares about what you can do for him.
· BE FLEXIBLE!!
· This is a mini-commercial about your professional self.
· Sometimes this technique can be used in networking. When this happens, show your listener that you are genuinely interested in them, they'll tend to give you the same attention.
· Make more than one. Some will be thirty seconds (for phone interviews), some will have different accomplishments and hooks depending on what type of position you are applying for. Try not to go over 60 seconds.
· Vary it according to your audience. Only use technical terms with a "technical audience".
· After you have at least one basic script written and memorized, try to just remember the key words only. This will avoid the problem of having to remember every word in order and it will give you the flexibility you need to make changes on the fly as you are conversing with the other person.
· Expect interruptions. Examples: other people, telephone, or the interruption could be the one you are looking for, a question. This is what you want to happen. You want the interviewer to interrupt you and ask a question. You then answer it by continuing and showcasing your skills.
· Give your most important information out first. Although you are looking for your listener to interrupt with a question, other interruptions may not allow you to give your complete 60 second ME, so get the best out first.
· Do NOT worry if you forget something. Nobody will ever know, except you.
· Try to not be your own worst critic.
· Practice, Practice, Practice! It will eventually become very easy and natural.
· Being nervous is okay, it's natural. Channel the nervousness positively.
· Try to relax. Breathing is a good way to relax.
· Be friendly. Smiling relaxes you and lets others see your personal side.
· "Uhs" - Don't feel that you need to fill every second. Voids are okay especially if you are taking time to really think about the question or your answer.
· You can have qualitative hooks like awards or performance evaluations, but quantitative hooks are much better and tend to draw the listener in more. A quantitative hook usually involves some kind of number. A dallar amount or a percentage. ( I saved my last company $3 million dollars by ensuring safety rules were followed and reducing fines. I increased sales in my market by 720%. I have never had a weld break might become I have a 100% success rate with my welds.)
· Body language and eye contact are also extremely important.
Common 60-Second ME Problems
· Too short. You are probably leaving out your hooks.
· Too long. You may lose your audience if you try to cram too much in.
· Not enough hooks. This limits the listener's interaction.
· Soft voice. You need to be positive and assertive.
· Too much detail with hooks. If you give them too much information, then they are no longer hooks. They won't draw the other person in.
· Unclear close or definition of what you seek. (Listener can't help).
· Talking too fast. This overwhelms the listener with information overload.
· Uneasy talking about yourself. Try quoting what others have said about you.
60 Second ME Worksheet
Start by following the basic steps outlined below and then modify as needed.
1. State your name.
2. State the position or type of work you are looking for.
3. State your education, degrees, special training or certifications that pertain to the position you are applying for.
4. State your achievements, awards, accomplishments and any special skills. These should be your hooks and should be worded so as to urge the listener to ask you a question for further clarification.
5. Give a close or wrap-up that is appropriate to the situation. If you are just practicing, ask for a contact or reference, then restate your name. Remember that there are three basic parts to this;
A. The Introduction - Objective Statement, Items 1 & 2 above.
B. The Middle - Your experience & Accomplishment statements that prove why you are qualified for this position.
C. The Ending - Wrap up with a DIE statement to drive the point home. Make sure that your hooks are attention-grabbing statements. Remember the following: They should grab your listener and draw him into your conversation. They may paint a picture in your listener's mind, (very powerful). Remember to phrase your statements as an Action Taken and a Benefit Provided. Quantify! And remember to look at your numbers from different angles. The bigger the number the more likely they will interrupt you, which is what you want. When using a hook, don't try to deliver a memorized script. Instead draw for a list of concepts. It's much easier to talk about an idea or concept than it is to try to remember all of the right words. You can start with a script, when you are first learning, but try to eventually get away from it and stick with concepts. In creating your 60 second ME, draw from the list of POWER WORDS and SKILLS that you have created. Focus on accomplishments that tell the employer what your skills can do for him.
Another tip is to get some generic business cards to hand out. It keeps your name in front of people long after your initial contact. Make sure that your listener understands what you are looking for and what it entails. If he does not, he will not know where to look or where to refer you. PREPARE! PREPARE! PREPARE!
Building Your 60 Second ME
Why is your 60 Second ME Important?
1. It enables you to practice selling yourself.
2. It helps you learn or fine tune information about yourself.
3. It helps in Networking and getting job leads.
4. It will stimulate a dialogue or conversation.
5. It enables you to practice selling yourself. Oh Did I say that already?
1. Who you are: (Name) _________________________________________
2. I am looking for: ______________________________________________
3. My background is: _____________________________________________
4. Ending: Use key phrases, for example: Do you know of anyone who is looking for someone with my skills and background? If not, I would appreciate your letting me know if you hear anything. OR I am excited about the possibility of using my skills in this position. OR in an interview situation when your 60 second ME has worked and you have had a good dialogue with the interviewer, close with your DIE statement.
Additional Comments: In building #2 above, keep in mind that if you are looking for more than one specific type of job, you may have more than one 60 second ME. You will have to modify your 60 second ME to suit the person/situation you are addressing. Of course, you will need to figure out what you want to be when you grow up; if you don't already know. In building #3 above, use supporting information like what you have been successful at, and what accomplishments you have achieved. In this part, your 30 second ME should be stated in bullet fashion. Your 60 second ME will expand on your bulleted list. You can build interest and force a dialogue to happen by adding hooks. Hooks are accomplishments that have been quantified.