Right way to describe yourself at an interview

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Right way to describe yourself at an interview

Interviews always entail a degree of nervousness, making it plausible for one to mistake one question for another. I say this because the way to describe yourself at an interview is often mistakably considered to be the same as talking of oneself. In other words, it is very easy to think that the questions “Tell me about yourself” and “How would you describe yourself?” are the same thing. But in reality, they are not. Though the two may sound similar in the sense they convey, however, the way to approach both the questions are hugely different.

The primary point of difference between the two is that the former one is answered from the perspective of an individual’s professional achievements; while the latter focuses more on the personality of the prospective employee. When an interviewer asks you the question “how would you describe yourself?”, he wants to know what are the adjectives you would associate yourself with, in relation to the corporate world.

Being one of the most commonly asked questions at an interview, my advice would be thoroughly prepared with an answer for this. Do this so that you do not fumble and ruin your chance of bagging the position. When you show confidence in answering questions such as this, it presents you as a strong character, who is well aware of his/her being. Therefore, assumed to be in control of how they function within a workplace. This proves to be vital to the selection of a candidate as it is considered, when you are aware of your weaknesses and strengths, you will know best how and when to put them at use; as well as how to overcome them.

While it is natural that you know yourself the best, it is important that you do not brag about yourself, as it conveys a sense of arrogance to the interviewer. There is a thin line between the two. You must highlight your strengths while responding to how you describe yourself at an interview, along with it, remember to emphasize on why you are the perfect choice for the open position. Don’t forget this is your chance to sell yourself.

The best way to approach this question is to make a list of all the adjectives that you think define you; for example, game player, detail-oriented, proactive, calm, confident, tech-savvy and the like. Now take a look at the job description and figure out from the list the adjectives that match with those that the company is looking requires. Thus, when you answer, focus only on those adjectives that best describe you with relevance to the job position being offered.

To help you in understanding this better, let me give you a few examples.

  • “I am a people’s person” or “I am a team player” – this means that you are good at accepting other’s suggestions and putting them to use when you work in a team, if and when needed. It further speaks about the kind of relationship you have with your colleagues apart from the official stuff. This trait says that you will be able to interact with customers and clients easily and also make them feel comfortable, as you are the ‘outgoing’ and ‘conversational’ type. Candidates with this are a perfect match for sales jobs.
  • “I am detail-oriented” – when you attach this adjective to your personality it establishes you as a responsible person. You appear to be that member of the family who leaves the house last, when going out somewhere, and ensures that all the switches are turned off. Being able to focus on the details often helps in keeping big problems at bay, and is deemed an attribute of an efficient employee. It also puts you forward as an organized character, who likes to take one thing at a time, solve it and then move on to the other. Since it establishes you as a person who is not haphazard, the recruiters have it clearly before them that you are going to approach every situation methodically. This kind of person in control of situations is preferred by employers.
  • “I am tech-savvy” – it would immediately send the message to the recruiter that you are technically sound and that there would not be much to train you about, in terms of technology. In fact, you could even lead the other members of a team into understanding things like that, if required. Thereby, adding value to the organization.
  • “I am creative” – being creative is an asset for any personality. Creativity is not particular to any job genre; for instance, writing. As a matter of fact, creativity is an essential trait in an employee for any department. Whether it is sales or management, your creative attitude helps you solve problems in capably identifying the issue and finding suitable solutions for the same. This even covers the adjective of being a ‘problem solver.’
  • “I am result oriented” – this particular phrase establishes you as a person to whom the realization of a specific goal is essential. You seem to one who puts his/her organization before his/her personal needs. This is precisely what the owners of the company want; someone who will be loyal to them under all circumstances and give it their best to make sure the goals are met.
  • “Communication is my forte” – a workplace is a place of diversity where you have to know how to put your views forward at the same time not sound dominating and be accepting of other’s opinions as well. Communication, thus, plays a significant role in this regard, and if you claim to be a possessor of this valuable trait, it draws the attention of the prospective employer. This attribute is very vital in a sales job where you have to interact with the customers and clients.

Every adjective that you use to describe yourself at an interview speaks volumes about your character as a professional and has a profound impact on your selection process. A few other words that you could use to describe yourself are: diligent, dedicated, hardworking, industrious, disciplined, analytical, persistent, resourceful, resilient, reliable, etc.

So, whatever may be the adjective you put before yourself, make sure it truly exists in your character, and most importantly, that it has close relevance to the open position.

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