I had an interview in Geneva recently. I felt it went well with the hiring manager but am skeptical about how it went with the HR person. She asked me those questions that nobody likes to answer, and I wasn’t prepared for them. One of them was: “What one word would you use to describe yourself?”

And you know they are going to judge you on your answer (even if they say there is no wrong answer).

My mind went spinning. One word. One word. One word. I don’t participate in the memes in Facebook when they make their rounds (although at that moment, I wish I had). One word. One word. One word (my thoughts finished that phrase: One word to rule them all ….phasing evil laugh).

My mind went to the one word that ALL my high school teachers used: conscientious. Not a bad word, but I hoped I had grown in 20 years. I was looking for a more encompassing word. One that described my knowledge and experience.

I panicked. I couldn’t think of a word. I finally answered: active. I like to do things. I get things done. I like to be part of what’s going on…even if just as an observer. You learn things. And, in my business, you need to learn things.

Active. I like to be fit. I need to move. I need to do more than one thing.

I blurted: Active.

I saw from the look on her face: Not the right word. (Or that’s how I felt anyways.)

After the interview, I remembered I had written a blog entry once, on being a piece of equipment.

I thought: Damn. Damn. I should have answered: Swiss Army knife. (Not one word, I know, but it is one thing).

So, just to recap my original blog entry on if I were a piece of equipment, what would I be? I would be a Swiss Army knife.

Incredibly useful in any (or almost any) situation.
Low maintenance.
High performance.

I’m not talking about the all-in-one Swiss Army knife. I’m just talking about a regular one. The run-of-the-mill Swiss Army knife. The one you would throw in your backpack for an expedition. That’s me right now.

The Swiss Army version of me would definitely have a corkscrew.

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  1. What!? Jen – you are the deluxe Model for sure – not superfluous – but multi-faceted. I’d even throw in a juicer…

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