How to answer the “How would you describe yourself?” Interview question
Some interview questions can feel more difficult to answer than others, especially when we have been put on the spot. Being well prepared for an interview includes planning answers to potential questions. They don’t have to be in full detail, just enough for you to work with and form a conversation with, if needed. This question is a good example of that.
Some interview questions can feel more difficult to answer than others, especially when we have been put on the spot. Being well prepared for an interview includes planning question answers. They don’t have to be in full detail, just enough for you to work with and form a conversation with. This question is a good example of that. I find that most employers will ask to describe yourself in 5 words or less, this is a very open-ended question. You could simply state the 5 words you thought of beforehand, or you could turn it into a more formulated answer.
When the interviewer asks this question, they simply want to know a bit more about you and if you would fit in with their team. They may ask you to back up your answer with examples, but it’s important to give them this information before they have to ask for it. Always back up your claims with an example, it doesn’t have to be a long-winded explanation, just enough to keep them interested. It’s always best to use this question to focus on specific experiences and attributes that make you a good fit for this role.
Talk about your personality
It’s important to give a little bit of detail as to who you are, it’s not all about work and it’s important to be yourself both in the interview and at work. Here are a few words you can use to describe yourself:
It’s important that you don’t just say what the interviewer wants to hear. A job is for you, as much as it is for the employer. You want to know that the work environment is going to be good for you and support you in your role.
Describe your work style
We all have specific ways that we like to do things. We are all different and work in ways that suit us best, regardless of how others work. An office or workspace isn’t going to function with just one specific way of working, employers rely on employees bringing their whole selves to work and sharing their perspective. You can learn a lot from your colleagues, and they can learn from you, but that’s only possible if you can be honest.
Again, it’s important to focus on what you can do and not what you can’t. Although sometimes it may feel like we have nothing to give, we can all bring something unique to work. We often get caught up on how we should be at work, before thinking about what our unique and different skill sets can bring to a team. Focus on the positives and never talk down on yourself.
How do you work with others?
Another key reason interviewers will ask this question, is to ensure that you would work well with the team they have already built. What can you bring to the team? How do you work?
You can’t mention all of these, it would take too long! But take the skills that you think are most important to you and the things you would actually be good at.
“I am hardworking and dedicated to my role and my own professional development. I love a challenge and constantly set goals for myself to achieve, both in work and in my personal life. My previous job gave me the opportunity to achieve my goals and now I’m looking for a company that can help me reach the next stage of my career. I believe constantly pushing yourself can really help you achieve greatness.”
“I am a very creative person. If something isn’t working for me or the team, I like to explore alternative solutions, ones that may not be as obvious. I have an open mind and work best with a team around me. My creativity has led me to some good opportunities in my current role, I am always looking outside the box and believe this role is a good fit for my next venture.”
“I believe I am a very organised individual. I achieve my goals and targets by setting realistic goals with a timeframe I can work with. I am developing new ways to achieve these goals creatively and work in order of relevance and urgency. I do like to be on top of my work and use lists and calendars to my advantage.”
If you are struggling to talk about your strengths or even think of any good examples, a good place to start is with your friends, family and even colleagues. It can be a difficult thing for some people to do on their own and no one knows you better than the people around you. You’ll be surprised with what they come up with and how quickly they are able to. Always stay positive and focus on your strengths, interviews are the right time to be thinking highly of yourself.