Interview Techniques - Good Words to Describe Yourself In An Interview
- Rob Recchia
- Sep 19, 2021
It’s one of the most common interview techniques, and it can make your mind go suddenly blank. But there’s no need to panic when the job interviewer asks, “How would you describe yourself in a few words?” Before blurting out just any old answer, stop and think about what they're actually asking. They’ve already read your resume or CV, and may have even done a preliminary phone interview. The secret as to what interview techniques like this are really asking is simple: how do you view yourself and how does that relate to the job you’re interested in landing?
Prepare to Describe Yourself
Deciding how to answer this question may cause some anxiety, but if you take some simple steps before the interview, you’ll be prepared to give a response that shows you perceive yourself as the company asset they’re looking for:
- Start by preparing a list of adjective and phrases you think best describe you.
- Ask friends, family and colleagues for suggestions.
- Look at the job description again and circle the words on your list that best relate to the position.
Then, pick two or three of the circled words and think of times when you demonstrated each of those traits. Not all interviewers are looking for detailed, specific examples, but if it looks like they're waiting for more, it’s better to have something prepared in advance.
Find the Right Words
This may sound obvious, but being sure the words you choose describe you in a positive way is among the most important interview techniques. Whether they’re character traits like honesty and selflessness, or professional ones like quick learner or motivated, try to match the words to the position at hand. Depending on the job you’re applying for, here are some examples to get you started:
- Self-Starter. This lets the interviewer know that you’re not someone who needs to be micro-managed. Instead, when given a task to complete or goal to achieve, you’re able to figure out the best solution in an autonomous way.
- Accountable. Let them know you’re not a finger-pointer and that you take responsibility for mistakes you make.
- Strategic. This word says you’re a creative thinker who likes to explore alternative solutions to interesting problems and difficult tasks.
- Flexible. This is a great word that says you’re open to suggestion and willing to try things another way if what you’re already doing just isn’t working. It also says you can keep the big picture in mind — that you understand the ultimate goal.
- A People Person. This is another way to say you’re a team player who enjoys working with a diverse group of people to make things happen.
Land the Job
Keep in mind the type of position you’re interviewing for, and remember to focus on the qualities that make you the ideal candidate. Authentic, genuine answers will reinforce your commitment to working for the company and remind the hiring manager of why they called you in for an interview in the first place.