Navigating Uncertainty: Mastering the Art of Self-Presentation and Decision-Making

Tara H

Hatched by Tara H

Oct 29, 2023

3 min read


Navigating Uncertainty: Mastering the Art of Self-Presentation and Decision-Making


In both job interviews and life in general, uncertainty is a constant companion. From answering the dreaded question, "Tell me about yourself," to making crucial decisions amidst the unknown, our ability to navigate uncertainty plays a pivotal role in our success. This article explores how to craft compelling interview responses and how the brain handles the unknown, providing actionable advice to thrive in uncertain situations.

Section 1: Crafting a Memorable Interview Response

When faced with the question, "Tell me about yourself," during a job interview, tailoring your answer to the job description and the employer's needs is key. By highlighting relevant experiences and accomplishments, you demonstrate your suitability for the role. It's crucial to keep the response work-related, focusing on your professional journey rather than personal details. This approach ensures that your answer aligns with the employer's expectations and showcases your value as a professional.

Section 2: Understanding the Brain's Response to Uncertainty

Uncertainty triggers cognitive load, increasing stress levels and affecting decision-making abilities. The brain categorizes uncertainties into different types: Known-Knowns, Known-Unknowns, Unknown-Knowns, and Unknown-Unknowns. Known-Knowns are uncertainties we are aware of and can plan for, while Known-Unknowns are uncertainties where we lack the necessary knowledge to create a plan. Unknown-Knowns are uncertainties we subconsciously understand, which may influence our decisions through biases and assumptions. Lastly, Unknown-Unknowns are uncertainties we are completely unaware of, making them the most challenging to address.

Section 3: Strategies to Navigate Uncertainty

  • 1. For Unknown-Knowns, it is essential to examine our assumptions and identify any biases. By challenging these assumptions, we can replace them with factual data, reducing the impact of unknown-known uncertainties on our decision-making processes.
  • 2. When faced with Known-Unknowns, conducting experiments and gathering information can help close knowledge gaps. By turning these uncertainties into known-knowns, we gain a better understanding of the situation and can make more informed decisions.
  • 3. Dealing with Unknown-Unknowns requires market research and strategic intelligence to uncover blind spots. While this practice is valuable, it's important to acknowledge that some unknown-unknowns will always remain beyond our control.


Uncertainty is an inherent part of life, whether in job interviews or daily decision-making. By tailoring our interview responses to highlight relevant experiences and accomplishments, we increase our chances of success. Understanding how the brain handles uncertainty empowers us to navigate unknowns more effectively. By challenging assumptions, conducting experiments, and conducting thorough research, we can mitigate the impact of uncertainty on our decision-making. Embracing uncertainty as an opportunity for growth and adaptation positions us for success in an ever-changing world.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Tailor your interview responses to align with the employer's needs and job description, emphasizing relevant experiences and accomplishments.
  • 2. Challenge your assumptions and biases when faced with unknown-known uncertainties, seeking factual data to inform your decisions.
  • 3. Conduct experiments, gather information, and close knowledge gaps to transform known-unknown uncertainties into known-knowns, enabling more informed decision-making.

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