Those answers are typically longer and include concrete evidence and examples of you applying those skills to past experiences.When you answer “How would you describe yourself,” you’re telling the hiring manager about your qualities (also called characteristics) and how they meshes with the skills you bring by using focused and tailored adjectives…why you do what you do.Odds are that company wants an employee who can adapt quickly to a wide variety of different scenarios. I proved this during my tenure at Hershey’s when we had a power outage on Christmas delivery day but every last bar of chocolate still left the factory.” Boom. I’ve spent the past 15 years learning the ins and outs of this industry and know exactly what I need to do to provide the highest level of medical supervision and overall coordination of all components required for the smooth operation of any medical facility.” Can you say corner office, company car and annual bonus?!? Now that we’ve covered some example answers, go ahead and play around with your own qualities and characteristics adjectives and see how well they relate to the job you’re interviewing for.
Plus, you can segue this into concrete examples of how you used your communication skills to problem solve.
If you’d rather, “ambitious” works here, as well—any adjective that shows you are not just showing up to work for the paycheck and the free coffee is great.
Think about how you would sincerely describe yourself—both personally and at the office—then put together a list and memorize it for ultimate interview success.
Here are some 8 powerful examples interviewers are sure to love.
Start with your quality/characteristic from the list of words to describe yourself and then finish off with a specific, tailored example. (Again, this isn’t your life story.) Now before we get into how to properly answer this confusing question, let’s hit on the ways NOT to answer it. While we do want a long list of adjectives that properly describe the qualities and characteristics you bring to the position, an interviewer doesn’t just want you to just fire off a random string of adjectives as though this were a grown-up version of “fill in the blanks” or “Hiring Manager Mad Libs.” Make sure you list a quality or characteristic adjective, and then back it up with a tailored answer that exactly demonstrates how that adjective makes you invaluable to your potential employer. Speaking of adjectives, let’s not venture too far off the path and make sure your adjectives actually relate to the job you’re applying to. You can’t simply list off a string of adjectives that describe yourself without having concrete examples of you demonstrating that quality. I take my job seriously and once assigned a task, will see it through to completion.
Save adjectives like “dashing,” “devastatingly handsome,” “hilarious” and “suave” for your online dating profile. You also want to make sure that the words you’re using are words you’d actually use about yourself. Use examples from your past that prove that you are that person (beyond a shadow of a doubt). At my last job we lost a worker to injury and did not have the budget to hire a replacement, so I volunteered to pick up the slack, often working long hours into the night. I really enjoy working with a wide variety of people to achieve a common goal efficiently and realistically.Finally, determine exactly how all those things relate specifically to the position you’re applying to.Once you have all that information, you should be able to answer the question easily.While it might sound good to use words like “intelligent,” “visionary” and “talented,” those are words that can rankle a recruiter because rather than being reflective, they can come off as cocky and sound as though you’re bragging. Keep in mind that other red flag words and adjectives to describe yourself that you want to avoid include “obsessive (scary)”, “goal-oriented (generic)” and “likeable (nobody is 100% likeable and the more you say that, the more people aren’t going to like you). Now let’s circle back to how you should answer this question, starting with a quick wham-bam walkthrough just to warm you up. We’ll start with a brief job description, a quick analysis of the desired qualities/characteristics, and then our perfect tailored answer. For the last five years, I managed a team of seven engineers as we worked on four projects simultaneously.We’ll start by pretending you’re interviewing for a job as an assembly line worker for a candy company and that the job description states your responsibility will be to quickly fill different sized custom candy boxes with chocolates (sound familiar? By reading the job description, you know that the position is high-speed and that you’ll be required to quickly assess each candy box as it comes towards you to figure out exactly how to fill it. “I’m comfortable adjusting to any situation and don’t get flustered easily when faced with unexpected challenges. With that single word and simple sentence, you let the hiring manager immediately know that you’re the right person for the job. And don’t be worried if you have more than one adjective that describes a desirable characteristic. Each project fulfilled its responsibilities ahead of schedule.”“I’m experienced and detail-oriented. Don’t forget we wanted to let you know that there are over 100 other difficult interview questions you could be asked in your job interview. Don’t worry, because we created a free PDF that outlines the most common questions and gives you word for word sample answers that you can use at your next interview. Remember, we’re looking for qualities and characteristics. What qualities or characteristics would an applicant need in order to be considered the Perfect Candidate?Now go through and see how you can exemplify these qualities and characteristics.By doing a little homework before you get to the interview you’re also demonstrating that you’re motivated, prepared, and capable…all qualities any hiring manager would appreciate in a candidate. You know you’re going to be asked about yourself in a job interview, so don’t get caught tongue-tied.You’re “self-motivating.”This word hints at your attention to detail, your precision, your organizational skills, your ability to prioritize, and the fact that you hate letting anything slip through any cracks. You’re in it for the team—you don’t just show up for you.If you’re meticulous, you’re thorough and self-managing and trustworthy. You realize that your work is part of an ecosystem of other people’s projects and you don’t let anybody down. You can be relied upon to do your job, do it well, and deliver whatever needs to be done. You can totally brag here at this point, and throw in a mention of any accomplishments or awards you may have earned along the way.