How To Answer The Interview Question: How Would You Describe Yourself?
When going for an interview, you have to be prepared for the various questions the interviewers might throw at you. One of the popular questions you can get asked in a job interview is ‘how would you describe yourself?’ There are many ways you can choose to answer this question, but only a few ways to get it right. When an interviewer asks you to describe yourself to them, they’re looking for certain information. They want to hear from you about how you align with what they’re looking for and if you possess the necessary skills. To impress interviewers, there are certain words to use and information you should reveal. That’s why we’re here; to help you get it right and show the hiring managers that you’re competent, skilled, and the right fit for the role. However, to get the answer right, you need to know the different variations this question comes in.
Variations of the Question ‘How Would You Describe Yourself?’
Although this is a common interview question, interviewers have learned to switch things up. This is to confuse people who have their answers prepared. Below are some variations of the ‘how would you describe yourself’ question to get you prepared.
- What three words would you use to describe yourself?
- How would people describe you?
- What do you think are your most important traits?
- What words do you think describe your best?
- What adjectives can you use when describing yourself?
- Tell us about yourself
- Describe your personality in one sentence
- Describe yourself in a summary
Although some of these questions need to be answered in a unique format, you can answer most of them the same way you would answer the ‘how would you describe yourself?’ question. Now that you know the different faces this question wears, how would you answer it? More importantly, what are the various favorable ways you can describe yourself to a hiring manager in an interview?
How To Answer ‘How Would You Describe Yourself?’ Question
Although, there’s a chance you already have an idea of the traits and characteristics you would like to highlight. Maybe your problem is how to format your answers; we’ve got you covered on that. Below are tips on how to answer the common interview question ‘how would you describe yourself?’
Research Your Audience
The first step to take to know the right answer to the ‘how would you describe yourself’ question is to research your question. If you’re going to work with a company that requires you to be highly social and work in a team, you won’t want to describe yourself as someone’s who’s quiet and prefers to work alone. This type of answer will not get you hired in such a company. Now, bear in mind that we’re not asking you to lie about who you are. However, you need to show your interviewers that you can handle teamwork and will be social when required. Before going for an interview, research the company and its work environment. If they have a website or social media page, then you should get it checked out. This way, you gain insight into their company culture, and you will know the best and most attractive way to describe yourself to them.
Point Out Traits That Fit The Role
When you’re describing yourself to an interviewer, you need to be honest. There is absolutely no point in lying to them; simply put your best self forward without embellishing. However, you would want to point out the traits that the interviewers find impressive and interesting. To do this right, you need to consider what you think they will find most relevant. If the job description requires you to multitask a lot, then you want to point out to your interviewers that you cope well when many tasks are going on at once. If it is a fast-paced job, you want them to know that you work well under pressure and have thrived in fast-paced environments before.
Always Focus On Your Positive Traits
You don’t want to point out your weaknesses to your employers. No employer wants to know if you are shy, anxious, easily stressed out, or uncertain. When an interviewer asks you to describe yourself, they want you to point out traits that will make you attractive to them and show you’re right for the role. Although this should be an obvious tip, many people tend to dive into their negative traits in a bid, to be honest.
Back Your Claims Up With Instances
Many times, interviewers will think that you’re simply lying. The best way to seem real is to give them an instance of how a trait has helped you out in the past. If you want to effectively describe yourself as a creative person who thinks outside the box, you can follow it up with an example like ‘in my previous job, we had a software failure that caused 40% of our clients to have outages. I took the right initiative to look at the error logs to spot the issue before the manager came to look at it. Immediately my manager came around; I informed him that I knew what the problem is and had a solution. My action saved our clients’ money and saved us time as well.’ It is okay to simply say, ‘I love to take the initiative,’ but it is more impressive when you follow it up with an instance of when you did, and it helped your employer make or save money.
Examples of Answers to the Interview Question ‘How Would You Describe Yourself?’
When answering this common interview question, you need to make sure that the answer you provide fits the job you’re looking for. Don’t just use the samples we are providing; make sure you modify them to fit the qualifications you would like to share. Below are some answers you could give to the question ‘how would you describe yourself?’ Let’s take a look.
Example 1: I’m diligent about my work
Employers are looking for people who would be diligent in their roles. In place of the word ‘diligent,’ you can choose to use the word ‘passionate.’ This is because it shows dedication and loyalty. When you’re loyal to your job, it portrays that you’re naturally invested in the job and would like to provide quality results and positive outcomes. Below is an example of how you can describe yourself as diligent about your work.
I am diligent about my job. I love what I do, and my passion for this role is a top motivation to always do my best. In my previous job, my passion continually led me to challenge myself constantly and acquire new skills that would help me do better. An instance was when I took online classes to learn how to use Photoshop. This was so I can improve our graphics and picture quality. Because of this, I was the plug for any design need in the organization.
Example 2: I am Ambitious and Dedication
To achieve success, you need to be ambitious and highly dedicated. These two qualities will help you achieve success and growth in your role. An employer is always looking for ambitious candidates because they know the candidate will continue looking for ways to improve themselves and keep their eyes on the next goal. One way you can describe yourself as ambitious and dedicated is:
I am very ambitious and dedicated. I love to be challenged and constantly set goals that I can strive towards. I don’t like settling for mediocrity, which is why I’m constantly on the search for opportunities that will allow me to do better and achieve the greatness I am looking for. This was apparent in my previous job, where I was promoted thrice in the space of two years.
Example 3: I am Detail-Oriented
An organized person is someone an employer can trust to meet deadlines consistently. Most employers look for detail-oriented candidates when filling administrative positions, project management, and several other positions requiring you to pay attention to the process and quality. A detail-oriented person is ambitious and focused on setting the proper boundaries and ways to achieve personal and company goals. A way you can describe yourself as detail-oriented is:
I am detail-oriented; I like to take notes and also use various tools to stay ahead of deadlines. I like a clean workspace, and I tend to create filing methods to help me find what I’m looking for very quickly. This is because I have found that being organized helps to improve efficiency and helps the team stay right on track. In my past role, I came up with a filing system that helped the department improve efficiency by 30%.
Example 4: I am a People-Person
People who are outgoing and conversational will find it easy to feel at home when placed in the middle of strangers. If you’re looking to send an application for a customer service role or looking to work in a sales position, you will need to express this trait to your interviewers. It can also come in handy in any organization because it shows that you possess the necessary qualifications and are also enjoyable to work with. Below is one way you can describe yourself as a people person.
I am a people person. I enjoy meeting new people and learning fascinating facts about their lives and background. As an outgoing person, I find it easy to find common ground with strangers and make people comfortable in my presence. I developed this skill because I find it helpful when you’re starting projects with a new client. In my last job, customer satisfaction scores were 20% higher than the average company score.
Example 5: I Am A Born Leader
Although you can teach many people management skills, there are people naturally prepared for this. When filling a leadership role, employers are constantly looking for born leaders who can set the right example for other team members and also boost morale. One of the ways you can describe yourself as a born leader is:
I am a born leader. I’ve always found myself promoted to a leadership role in my previous jobs because I always like to help people. Co-workers and team members love to come up to me and ask questions even when I’m not the leader. This is because they know that even if I don’t know the correct answer, I’ll point them in the right decision. In my last job, I got promoted to a leadership role less than a year after joining the company.
Example 6: I am Result-Oriented
When an employer employs a result-oriented person, they’re assured that the candidate will always have the end goal in mind. Result-oriented people will always look for the right resources and processes to take them to the destination. A result-oriented person will always do what it takes to get the job done. They will carry out difficult tasks with precisions and ensure everything turns out right and promptly. If you want to describe yourself as result-oriented, below is one way to get it done.
I am result-oriented. I am always checking the goal to see how far or close I am and the right steps to make it happen. The pressure that comes with achieving results is motivating and inspiring to me. This is why I helped my team reduce the average production time market by a week in my last job.
Example 7: I Possess Excellent Communication Skills
Being an excellent communicator is imperative to achieving continuous success in every single industry. However, communicating isn’t easy for everyone. When a candidate is excellent at communicating, they will pass messages internally and to customers without muddling up the message. An example of how you can describe yourself as an excellent communicator is:
I am excellent at communicating. One of my best skills is being able to make sure people always get the right information. I recognize that effective communication drives better results and many businesses have poor communication issues. Due to this, I feel a responsibility to always make sure everybody is on the same page all the time. This skill helped me in my last job as I increased my personal client retention rate by over 50%. I also helped my team deliver completed projects on or before the original deadline.
That’s it! These examples presented above will help you get started on how to answer the question ‘how would you describe yourself?’ effectively. However, you can share several more qualities with the interviewers to portray that you’re the right fit for the job. Ensure you review the job descriptions and compare them to determine which of your natural strengths are perfect for the role. Don’t forget to highlight your strength when describing yourself; maintain honesty while you’re at it. The opportunity to describe yourself is your best chance to show that you’re a strong candidate for the role. You can also ask family, friends, and colleagues for qualities and words you can use in describing yourself. You might find it hard to describe yourself accurately, but you’d be surprised by how easy it is for those that know you to sum up your best attributes.