“Tell me about yourself” “How would you describe yourself” “Describe yourself in a few words”…etc. These are not uncommon questions during a job interview. But for a lot of candidates, the request makes their minds go blank. The first tip on how to describe yourself in an interview is to be 100% sincere and original in your response.
In this article, we will be talking about:
- Ways to describe yourself in an interview,
- Over-used words to avoid,
- And overall how to nail answering the question!
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How to not describe yourself in an interview
There is a list of generic words recruiters do not wish candidates to describe themselves with. Besides, we all know they copy-pasted and memorized them all by heart, with no authenticity or credibility.
The list goes on like so:
Motivated/ Adaptable/ Flexible
This is not the right set of words to describe yourself in an interview. It is very redundant and repetitive. They are also very basic and give no insight into who you are as a person and what you are capable of achieving.
Being responsible and trustworthy in a job is not a strength. It is the bare minimum, an obligation. Using these to describe yourself in a job interview will have no added value.
Do not get too excited about showing your enthusiasm and end up using the wrong words. Even though you mean to say detail-oriented and meticulous in your work, you could be misunderstood. Obsessive or similar sounding words have a negative connotation.
Actually saying you are creative shows nothing but your lack of creativity. I can assure you that almost every candidate, if not all, mentions this adjective while describing themselves. Either in their resume or orally. Creativity is showcased through actual acts and behaviors. Words in this case mean nothing.
How to nail responding to the request of describing yourself to the interviewer
Single words are not the only means to describe yourself in a job interview. In fact, nothing is more boring and uninteresting than listing a bunch of redundant words.
We suggest that you give context to the word or words you are planning to describe yourself with in the job interview. Start by telling a short amusing story about your last job, or your college experience. And from that jump to the conclusion saying: “that is why I think I am very….”, or “that was when I learned something about myself and how I do things a certain way” …etc.
This is a great method to break the ice and bond with the interviewer as well as to serve the main goal that is describing yourself.
Another option on how to describe yourself in an interview is using the third person while you speak. Now we know, many candidates do not like to talk about themselves too much. Be it them afraid to come off as arrogant, or simply because it makes them uncomfortable. Try saying something like: “My colleagues always said I was…”, or “My classmates/ group partners always described me as … since I…”.
There is no one true or correct way to do things. Just try not to be very basic and redundant to actually catch the recruiter’s attention and stand out from the crowd. We will always remind you to be yourself and prepare well for your interviews.
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