In June, a close friend who was job hunting asked for my help crafting an answer to the popular interview starter, “tell me about yourself.” The project was a snap because I already had a solid understanding of his strengths and goals.

Here’s the response we came up with: My career has been driven by a passion for answering two questions:  "How does this work? And how can we make it work better?" 

This brief opening transformed my friend’s interview performance. For the first time, he felt completely ready for the opening question. Equally important is that this opening provided a relevant theme that he could return to as he answered additional questions.

Whether you're selling yourself or your company’s products, there’s no substitute for knowing your core story. Sometimes all it takes is asking for help.

In case you’re wondering, my friend was offered (and accepted) the next position he interviewed for!