10 Clever Ways to Describe Yourself in a Job Interview
Saying that job interviews are not fun would be an understatement. In fact, most
people grunt and sigh whenever they need to attend an interview, no matter
how desperate they are to get a job. Why? Well, because having to sit across the
room from a stranger and have them judge every professional decision you've
ever made is never easy.
However, job interviews are a necessary means to an end and it is, therefore,
our responsibility to prepare before each of these professional meetings. Going
through common interview questions can help you feel more at ease, and
because situational questions (eg: `you encounter problem X at work, what do
you do?') are much easier to answer than generic ones, we are here to help you
find a clever way to answer `How would you describe yourself?'
Understand the Interviewer's Motives
It's true that some of the questions we get asked during job interviews seem
completely pointless, but rather than complying with the idea that the
interviewer is simply going down their list of things to ask, always start by
thinking `Why am I being asked that?'
With questions like `How would you describe yourself?' the interviewer is trying
to find out more about you and how you judge yourself. As such, your answer
will essentially shape their way of understanding you and this means that you
need to put some thought into what you are going to say.
The reason why this particular question is usually asked is not so that the hiring
manager can learn more about your range of vocabulary but rather to evaluate
whether you'd be a good fit to the company's culture and work environment.
Hiring managers are often worried that hiring someone who doesn't fit in with
the rest of the team will lead to conflict and eventually turnover, and their best
way to avoid that is by ensuring that you'll be able to adjust to the workplace as
quickly and as efficiently as possible.
Therefore, the best way to answer this question is to show them that you are
the right fit for this position, ie: that you have the skills required and that your
personality pretty much fits the requirements as well.
Find Out More about the Company Culture
Researching a company before the interview is, as you probably already know,
necessary. Not only will most hiring managers blatantly ask you if you've looked
at their website, etc, but they will also expect you to know details about their
operation. Researching a company also has the additional benefits of being able
to better understand what the hiring manager is talking about when describing
the job's duties and being able to ask more focused questions.
However, researching the company and their major competitors is not enough.
Especially when you suspect that you may be asked questions such as `How
would you describe yourself?' Memorising up to the fifth decimal point of the
figure of the profit the company turned around in the second trimester of 2014
will do nothing to show that you are a great culture fit.
What you should do instead is research the company's culture, so go to the
company's social media pages and look for company photos. Most companies
will at least have shared a picture from their Christmas party or from a fundraiser
they participated in, and these pictures and posts can help you better
understand the company's organisational culture.
Another great idea is to contact someone who already works at the company to
find out the insight scoop. Go through your LinkedIn contacts to see if you have
any acquaintances who work there and if you don't, then use social media for
what they were intended for: stalking. Go through employees' social media
profiles and see if they've posted anything about their work. Most people have,
so you are very likely to find the kind of information you're looking for.
Identify Your Best Qualities and Characteristics
The first two steps relate to researching and understanding how to meet the
interviewer's expectations; this step has to do with taking action in order to
meet their expectations. The first thing you need to do is sit down with a friend,
or a family member, and write down any and every word that comes to mind
that is relevant to you. So, if you're a daydreamer, for example, write it down; if
you're an organisation freak, put that down as well. There are many things we
find unattractive about ourselves, but with the right spin, they can turn into
qualities any employee would be lucky to possess.
The next step has to do with matching your qualities to the company's
expectations. Go through the job description once more and circle any words
that are similar (even remotely) to what you have down on your list. Once you
do that, think of how you can improve the adjectives and phrases on your list to
make them more attractive. So, if you've put down `daydreamer', for example,
and the company is looking for someone with innovative ideas, then you can
describe yourself as someone with a vision.
Also, make sure that you think of what you can maybe use from past work
experience. Although, generally speaking, interviewers do not want to drag this
question and they'll expect you to be as concise as possible, some will ask you
to elaborate. So, the best way to answer the question is by having an interesting
example/story to relate. Think of occasions when your organisational skills came
in handy or when your ability to multitask helped your team hand in a project
before the deadline, etc.
1. `I'm someone who's very organised and very detail-oriented. Not just in the
workplace, but in my personal life as well. I believe that by keeping track of
what you want to achieve, you're basically ensuring success and I think this
is true at work as well. Knowing what you need to do ahead of time makes
you methodical which also helps you spot any details that others could
2. `I am a people person. I work best when in a functional team because I
believe that sharing ideas with others leads to more creativity and more
effective results. That's not to say that I can't work independently, as well;
on the contrary, I am great at carrying out my own tasks, but I think that
when there's collaboration in the workplace you get better results.'
3. `I am a problem-solver and I'm very orientated towards producing results. I
enjoy challenges because they give me a unique opportunity to put my
head down and come up with a solution. And I do, every time; I am not
afraid to take risks and do things differently, although I never dive into
something without calculating the risk.'
What are 5 words to Describe Yourself? Meditation is a practice in which an individual uses a technique â€“ such as mindfulness, or focusing the mind on a particular object, thought, or activity â€“ to train attention and awareness, and achieve a mentally clear and emotionally calm and stable state. Meditation is practiced in numerous religious traditions.
Author: Preeti Jain
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