You can always expect the question “How will you describe yourself” in an interview. The interviewer would also be inclined to ask questions like “What do you think your references will say about you?” and “What do your colleagues think about you?" The questions might differ but the purpose of the questions would be the same: interviewers want to know how you think about yourself and your own opinion about yourself. While some job searchers may not have a clear thought about the details about how to describe yourself.
Part 1: How to Describe Yourself in Job Interviews
Go With a Prepared Response
Its best that you prepare for questions like ‘What are the five words that describe your personality the best?’ etc. before going for any interview. To prepare yourself for such questions, ask an experienced friend to pose as the interviewer. Your friend’s critique would help you improve your answers and ensure that you don’t falter when similar questions are asked in the interview.
Think About Your Applied Post
The interviewer asks the five-word descriptions to know whether your personality is in line with the job opening or not. For example, if the job opening is for an administrative post, the company would be looking for an individual who can lead a team, take responsibility and get things done. So, when giving an interview for such a post, using adjectives like proactive, persistent, ambitious and determined would help you out.
Keep It Positive
Whatever you do, never use any critical words when describing yourself in an interview. Companies look to hire individuals who are confident and positive, so any individual who describes himself as lazy, clumsy and unacknowledged would never help you hit the right notes with the interviewer. An interview is all about how you sell yourself and telling your deficiencies certainly won’t convince anyone.
Even during the most candid interviews, it’s important to keep your answers professional especially while answering personal questions like five word descriptions. The interviewer doesn’t ask the question so as to gauge your qualities as a partner or friend and so you must avoid answers like ‘sexy, happy go lucky, funny’, etc. You should keep your tone conversational and confident and smile whenever you feel appropriate, but avoid giving any answers that reflect unprofessional behavior.
Part 2: Sample Answers
That’s an interesting question. Hmm...I would describe myself as intelligent, reliable and devoted. I love working on solutions for never-ending problems. While working with ABC Limited, there was a great deal of miscommunication at all times between the sales and marketing departments. I looked into the issue and took x, y and z initiatives to streamline the communication between the two departments. I really enjoyed that one! Similarly, during my time in CDE Company, I came up with an innovative solution to make the employee feedback system more effective. (It’s best not to give details about the second story unless the interviewers show great interest).
I just don’t love coming up with solutions but also want to see them through if possible. At the ABC Company, I was assigned a new project while my solution was still being implemented and my boss told me that I could hand it off to the others at that stage. However, I requested him to keep me in the loop somehow as I wanted to see it through, so I stayed on in an advisory position till the solution was completely implemented.
One of the biggest motivations for me to work here at this company is that it provides me a wonderful opportunity to put my innovative skills to the test and to push my problem solving capabilities to the limit to aid your team in upgrading the product manufacturing operations.
For more words to describe yourself, you can refer to the link:
- Keep noticing the interviewer's reaction. You should continue to observe the subtle signs that interviewers give to see if they want you to go on or if they want you to stop, etc.
- Take your cue from the interviewer’s signals. If you get the impression that the interviewer is showing signs that he has got the answer he needed, you should wrap up your answer and move to your closing.
- Make your tone as natural as possible. You must ensure that the interviewers feel that what you are telling is the truth about yourself and not just an answer that they would like to hear from the person they are looking out for.
- Be confident and have a positive energy about you. Never give away the impression that you don’t think highly of yourself as they would not think highly of you if you don’t think like that about yourself.