Happy Sunday, y’all!
I’m now in the midst of beginning applications for my final internship for grad school. It’s shocking to me how quickly this first year has flown by and here I am, with graduation only another short year away. Madness!
Anyways, as I fill out form after form after form and spend my free time crafting cover letters, my mind is constantly inundated with trying to answer prompts ranging from: “Tell us about yourself,” “What qualifications and skills do you bring to this position?” “Where do you see yourself in five years?”
I think we can all agree that these questions can be super freaking hard to answer.
Why is that? Why is talking about ourselves so hard?
After turning this idea over in my mind, I’ve come to two conclusions:
- We want to answer differently than everyone else.
- We don’t know the answers.
As humans (or maybe just as Americans), we have an innate tendency to want to be different, unique, special – like snowflakes.
Jokes aside, I think that a lot of us get tripped up because we don’t want to answer like everyone else – and that’s not a bad thing! To stand out amongst other applications, you want to show the interviewers that you bring something that they can’t get from someone else so naturally, you want to answer differently.
On the flip side, sometimes we just don’t know the answers.
In this case, some self-reflection can give you the insight you need. You can think of this as an interview with yourself to prepare for the interview with your potential future boss.
DISCLAIMER: I don’t think that you need to be applying for a new job to ask yourself these questions. Any time is the best time to try to know yourself better! Everyone can benefit from taking time to devote some brain power to answering these, even if it only unfolds a small nugget of wisdom.
If you’re a journal nerd like me, you can turn this into a fun writing challenge to span out over a few weeks or you can simply use it as inspiration to generate answers to difficult interview/application questions.
Whatever tickles your fancy.
Without further ado, here are 20 questions you can ask yourself to get to know YOU better – your starting point to get re-acquainted with the unique person that you are:
- What do I find myself doing when I’m not working, finishing homework, doing chores, etc?
- What is something that helps me breathe a sigh of relief in the midst of a busy day or week?
- When and where do I find myself being the most productive?
- What have I been told by a teacher, boss, or coach that I am good at?
- What is something that can almost immediately put me into a bad mood?
- How do I get myself out of a bad mood?
- At what time in my life was I the happiest I’ve been thus far?
- What contributed to that point in time that made me so happy?
- What, if anything, is different between then and now? What is the same?
- What is something I did in my past that I still give myself a hard time for? Why?
- When is a time that I can ‘let my hair down’ and feel relaxed?
- How do I know when I’m stressed out?
- Who do I admire or look up to? What characteristics do I admire them for?
- If I could be living any kind of life right now, what kind of life would that be?
- If I’m not living that life, what is holding me back from pursuing that lifestyle?
- How do I show people that I care about them?
- How do I know that others care about me?
- What do I think it will take to get to where I want to be?
- What is my definition of success?
- How do I know when I have been successful?
I hope these questions helped you gain a little bit of personal insight as the weekend comes to a close. After all, no one else can be an expert on what makes you YOU.
Until next time, friends.