If you were to take away all your years of experience, would you still know who you are?

by Melanie Johannesen

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A few weeks ago, I was asked a question that stopped me in my tracks:

“If you were to take away all your years of experience, would you still know who you are?”

Are you able to talk about yourself for five minutes without mentioning your job title, your experience in your relevant industry, degree or your employer?

As a recruiter, I find this question interesting considering the shifting format of job interviews.

When I got interviewed for my current role, I was asked questions about my life, not just my work. The interviewer cared not just about my experience, but whether I would be a cultural fit for the organisation.

My interviewer wasn’t incorrect, I needed to be a cultural fit to thrive in this role. And when I interview candidates, I am considering these questions as well.

As retention becomes a growing problem through corporate industry, ensuring that your staff fit culturally is vital for the success of the candidate and the business. 

Even still, I don’t think I can answer this question for myself. Whilst self-reflection is vital, I don’t think that also means you can articulate it to others.

Who are you without yours?