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Words to Describe Yourself in an Interview [With Examples]

Words To Describe Yourself

During your job hunt, you’re likely to be searching for words to describe yourself in a good way that will impress your potential employer. Whether on a resume or in an interview, your choice of words to describe yourself will significantly impact your chances of success. The adjectives you choose show how you think of yourself and how much you know about the position and company. So, let’s look at some of the best words to describe yourself in various stages of your job search.

What is the best way to describe yourself in an interview?

Choosing words to describe yourself in an interview depends mainly on the job and company. Overall, you should, of course, choose positive and upbeat adjectives that show off your best traits. At the same time, they should be characteristics relevant to the job and align with the company culture.

Example answer

I am very people-oriented. I thrive in collaborative environments and love meeting new people and learning about them. Thanks to my open-mindedness, I make people around me feel comfortable and always find a common interest, even with strangers. Throughout my career, this skill has been beneficial both during team projects and when working with clients. In my previous role, I have constantly exceeded the goals for customer satisfaction, and in turn, increased customer retention.”

When describing yourself in an interview, it’s important to choose words that accurately represent your qualities, skills, and experiences. Here are some words that you can use to describe yourself:

  1. Adaptable: Show your ability to adjust to new situations and be flexible in different work environments.
  2. Ambitious: Highlight your drive and determination to achieve your goals and succeed in your career.
  3. Analytical: Emphasize your strong problem-solving and critical-thinking skills.
  4. Collaborative: Demonstrate your ability to work effectively in a team and contribute to collective goals.
  5. Creative: Showcase your innovative thinking, original ideas, and ability to approach challenges from different perspectives.
  6. Dedicated: Highlight your commitment and loyalty to your work, as well as your willingness to go the extra mile.
  7. Detail-oriented: Illustrate your attention to detail and ability to produce accurate and high-quality work.
  8. Goal-oriented: Emphasize your focus on setting and achieving targets and your ability to stay motivated.
  9. Leadership: Communicate your ability to take charge, guide others, and make decisions when necessary.
  10. Organized: Highlight your strong organizational skills, ability to manage time effectively, and prioritize tasks.
  11. Proactive: Show your initiative and willingness to take action and solve problems before they become bigger issues.
  12. Reliable: Emphasize your trustworthiness, dependability, and ability to meet deadlines consistently.
  13. Resilient: Demonstrate your ability to bounce back from setbacks and stay positive in challenging situations.
  14. Self-motivated: Communicate your ability to work independently, take initiative, and be proactive in your role.
  15. Strong Communicator: Highlight your excellent verbal and written communication skills, as well as your ability to effectively convey ideas and information.
Remember to select words that align with your own experiences and strengths. It’s important to be authentic and provide examples to support the qualities you describe during the interview.

How to answer “Describe yourself in 3 words”

Recruiters will most likely ask you this question to see if your key character traits align with the role and the company culture. Your goal should thus be to show them that your personality and professional traits are a perfect fit for both. To do that, follow these steps:

1. Create a list of words

Begin by compiling a list of all the possible words to describe yourself. On top of that, ask friends, family, and colleagues how they would describe you. Once you have a long enough list of adjectives, start crossing out the generic, shallow ones. You should be left with words that give a well-rounded idea of who you are in all areas of your life.

2. Tailor your list to the job description

To do this, read through the job description and find the words to describe yourself that best align with it. Focus on the words in the job description that best represent your personality, career, and work style. You may find that you have more than three words, in which case you can also tailor them to the company culture based on their website or social media. The top three words to describe yourself will differ depending on the position you’re applying for, your experience, and many other factors. However, you are guaranteed to impress the hiring manager by tailoring your answer to the job and company.

3. Prepare a concrete example for each trait

The one difference between describing yourself in an interview compared to a resume is that you have the space to provide evidence of your best traits in an interview. Anyone can claim they’re a dedicated team player. You need to follow the claim up with a concrete example of when and how you have demonstrated that characteristic.

To do that, it’s best to use the STAR method. This will help you prepare a short story for each word to describe yourself in an interview.

  1. Present the Situation you were in.
  2. Explain the Task at hand.
  3. Discuss the Action you took. Remember, the action should reflect the trait you are describing.
  4. Briefly discuss the positive Result of your actions.

Example answer

“I am ambitious and highly motivated. I always set goals for myself, so I have a clear idea of what I’m working towards. I thrive in environments that challenge me, and I’m always looking for new ways to improve myself and achieve better results. For example, in my previous role, I managed to cut down company costs by 13% by conducting an independent overview of the company expenses. I was promoted in just over a year due to my exceptional results and drive.”

Tips on how to choose 3 words to describe yourself

  • Choose words that are relevant to the industry and company you’re applying to, as well as your career level and experience.
  • Pick terms that best fit the position, and then build a story around them. The story should be an example of when you’ve demonstrated the traits you list.
  • Instead of just regurgitating why you are the best fit for the job, focus on adjectives and words that capture your personal characteristics. If the position is right for you, it shouldn’t be hard to find ones that will impress the interviewer, too.
  • Elaborate on your answers but avoid being repetitive or including unnecessary details.
  • Avoid shallow business jargon or superlatives, and instead, use simple and straightforward adjectives.

Describing yourself and highlighting your strengths isn’t always easy. However, by using the tips and examples above, you will be well on your way to finding the best words to describe yourself in a positive way. Sharing specific traits relevant to the job will show the recruiter that you would be a valuable addition to the company and bring you one step closer to a new job.

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