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Tell me about yourself. Hi my Autumn, my favorite color is blue. I have a Boston Terrier named Clover… oh it seems so easy to answer this question providing personal information but it is definitely not the way to respond when asked this important question during an interview. Tell me about yourself is one of the basic interview questions that you answer in almost every interview. It often the first questions asked and will set the tone for the remainder of the interview.

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Like, Um, So, Right, Ah, You Know?

One time after a 30 minute meeting I was asked how many times I said “you know.” Apparently I used the phrase “you know” as space filler too many times during the meeting. After that meeting I became acutely aware of the phrase. I listened to myself. I listened to my coworkers, family, and friends. I asked my friends and family if I say “you know” too much. I recorded a few of my phone conversations. I put up a sticky note on my desk with the phrase “Do not say you know.” Although I didn’t find that I used it too frequently, once it was brought to my attention I made sure that I did not use it again.

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To-Do Lists-Organizing Your Work Day or Work Week

At the end of the work day I take the last 30 minutes to review my to-do list and create one for tomorrow. I ask myself, what did I accomplish today? Did anything change today to affect tomorrow’s priorities? I go back through emails I had flagged throughout the day and review my notes from meetings I attended. What do I need to do to prepare for tomorrow? What do I list at the top? My to-do list along with my email calendar helps me stay focused and on track at work.

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Autumn McClenaghan

As the Director of Career Planning and Development at Brandman University, I work with students to help them reach their career goals. I invite you to subscribe and revisit the Brandman Blog to find information and stories about professional development topics such as resume building, job interviews, career planning, social media and more!