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Here's a great article from CNBC by Suzy Welch. It tells us all something about a perennially pesky interview question.

Hiring managers often kick off interviews with a deceptively simple question: "Tell me about yourself."

Interviewees may be tempted to gloss over this question in their preparation — after all, everyone thinks they know the answer by heart. But according to bestselling management author and CNBC contributor Suzy Welch, you should have your answer meticulously prepared.

Potential employers will use your response to determine two things: your maturity and your authenticity, Welch tells CNBC Make It.

Here's the best way to answer this common question.

Tell your story with the job in mind.

While it may sound like the hiring manager has asked for your life story, they don't want to hear a long-winded, aimless tale. And they already have the bulk of your professional narrative in front of them, in the form of your resume.

"The interviewer, usually your future boss, wants to know the parts of your life story that relate to your doing well in the open job," Welch says...

Ask yourself, "What is it about me that he or she cares about?" Welch says.

This shows the hiring manager that you are aware of what they're looking for, which is a sign of maturity.

Don't be afraid to show who you really are.

While you may think it's best to stick to a script, you should also add a bit of personality to your answers. "Your interviewer ... wants to see if you'll fit in, culturally."

For example, Welch says that if she was interviewing for a job as a journalist, she would start her answer by saying, "I was born in Portland, Oregon, and I come from a big, crazy and generally happy Italian family. But for the purposes of this job, I began my life as a writer at my high school newspaper."

One or two small details that show you are self-aware, empathetic or any other positive trait you're hoping to demonstrate can go a long way.

"Use this opportunity to actually say something like, 'The one thing that doesn't show up on my resume is my values,'" Welch suggests.

Jot down notes on what you'd like to convey about yourself in your answer. Or better yet, practice your response for a friend or family member.

"Be prepared," Welch says. "Know it's coming at you, and don't wing it. It's an incredible opportunity to differentiate yourself."

Business Communication graduate Brendan Reynolds reached out to the department with an update on his career. He writes,"I started my job as a web producer at WDVM-TV in Hagerstown, Maryland. I do the same work we did when taking care of The Villager's website, editing articles and publishing them online. In my downtime, the reporters and producers here have been teaching me the ins and outs of television journalism. The news director has promised to move me into a reporter position soon; however, he wants to find a replacement web producer before moving me."  Brendan served as co-editor-in-chief of The Villager when he was a student.

 

He notes that anyone who is looking for an entry-level job at a news station, an overnight producer position is available, working 12:30 a.m. - 8:30 a.m. and a web producer position is open as well.

Congratulations to Business Communication students Emma Cathy Smith and Paul Farrell, and visual communication design major Heather J. Sun (left to right in the first photo), who presented their research at the 2018 Maryland Communication Association conference at Howard University on September 15, 2018. Their panel was titled "We Have Watched and Listened from the Mountain! An Analysis of Black Panther." Their mentors and faculty facilitators, Dr. Deric Greene and Dr. Heather Harris of the Business Communication department, attended the conference with them. Pictured together are all the Stevenson attendees: Dr. Harris, Dr. Lee Krahenbuhl, the three students, Dr. Greene, and Dr. Nadene Vevea.

Dr. Krahenbuhl's presentation was titled "Matter and Impertinency Mixt: The Boots of Maryland's Promethian Actor Junius Brutus Booth (1796-1852) as Historiographical Relics of Interpersonal Communication." Throughout the day, there were also sessions from scholars at Howard University, College of Southern Maryland, Bowie State University, and Maryland University of Integrative Health.  The keynote speaker was Dr. Ronald L. Jackson II, from the University of Cincinnati.

(Photos above from Deric Greene, Ph.D.)

Congratulations to Business Communication alum Mackenzie Wieder, who finished her thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail on Monday, Sept. 10, 2018.

She wrote: "In the span of 173 days on the Appalachian Trail, I got a hitch from an Amish guy in his horse and buggy, I watched the sunrise from McAfee Knob and Clingmans Dome, I hiked into town to buy an entire cake and eat it on the sidewalk with my friends, I hiked 42 miles in one day, I saw Spongebob on Broadway, I created a makeshift splint and waited for emergency responders for a hiker who broke his ankle, I swam in every lake I could, and I experienced magic from strangers. On Monday, I finished my 2,190.9 mile journey.

In the photo at left from her Facebook account, Mackenzie sits atop Mt. Katahdin, the highest mountain in Maine at 5,267 feet, located in Baxter State Park. Mackenzie's mantra for the hike was "accept the unexpected."

Welcome home, Mackenzie!

Business Communication alum Kaitlin Kirkwood is featured on the university's Facebook page talking about her extraordinary time at Stevenson. As a BizComm, Kait worked in the Admissions Office as an ambassador, and was a reporter and programmer for SUTV as well. She credits her strong communication skills for her ability to succeed in her job at Discovery Communications. (Thanks to Aaron Harris for the video link)