Good Words to Describe Yourself in a Job Interview

Good Words to Describe Yourself in a Job Interview

Tell me about yourselfYou’ve landed the job interview and now you’re asked that seemingly loaded question: what are 3 words that describe you? Or, you receive that similar question: tell me about yourself?

Confounded by choosing the right words to describe yourself, you hit a dead end.

“If I select X, will that be the best choice?

“If I select Y, what will they think that means?”

The answer is: it depends.

Everything has changed in 2020 – from the job search strategy, to the way people are hired, to how interviews are being conducted. With new methodologies in place, it’s important to consider the best words to describe yourself in a job interview. The key is to pick the words that are relevant to both the company’s mission and job description as well as current needs. Selecting the right words to describe yourself can put you at the forefront of the selection for the next stage of the interview process.

Here are some ideas for selecting words to describe yourself besides the cliché adjectives of detail-oriented, ambitious, and responsible:

  • Adaptable
  • Versatile
  • Resilient
  • Reliable
  • Proactive
  • Observant
  • Disciplined
  • Courageous
  • Transparent
  • Accountable
  • Collaborative
  • Meticulous
  • Ethical
  • Resourceful
  • Self-Aware (Emotionally Intelligent)

The idea is to step outside the box and outside of yourself to consider adjectives that are also backed by results and contributions. For example, begin to think about ways in which your ethics have been challenged and how you solved a problem or brought forth a result by being ethical. The key is to describe yourself with action and impact rather than just selecting redundant words to describe yourself. In 2020, you may also consider selecting words that are framed around challenges you’ve faced in leadership, transformation, restructuring, and even crisis management.

Remember, the goal when posed with the question, “What are 3 words to describe yourself,” or “Tell me about yourself” is to paint a canvas that is a masterpiece to the interviewer. When you think about art on a canvas, there are many different shapes, colors, and other items that overlap. Your personality is that artwork and it’s your goal to tell the interviewer the story behind the masterpiece. Be sure to select words that focus on results, contributions, and calls to action.

Thinking about making a career change? Nervous where to start? Here are some value-add resources where we’ve provided expert advice on the job search, resume writing, and LinkedIn profile writing process:

Your Resume Needs a Pandemic Makeover. Here’s Where to Start. – Money Magazine

6 Ways You Must Research a Company Before an InterviewLadders

How To Modernize Your Job Application in the Age of COVID-19Ladders

The 5 Body Language Cues to Look for in a Job InterviewThrive Global

3 Key Tools to Build Your Personal BrandHuffPost