How to Describe Yourself in an Interview: 21 Methods with Examples

May 4th, 2021

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Describe Yourself

You have completed your GMAT, done with your applications, and now you are preparing for the interview rounds. One question you may be asked is, “How would you describe yourself?” You have several options to answer this question, and you should use your specific experiences and skills to share the best answer.

But before that, please understand when an interviewer asks you to describe yourself, they are looking at various parameters- your qualities, experience, personal attributes, and if you are the right fit. That is why you should wow them with your answer as that will make the right first impression!

If you are worried about how you will do that, relax; we have got you covered! In this blog, we will be discussing 21 examples that you can use to describe yourself and have a successful interview! Also, in the end, we will share with you different words that you can use to describe various aspects of yourself!

Without further delay, here is the list of essential pointers that we will discuss in this blog:

1. Why Interviewers Ask the “Describe Yourself” Question?

2. How to Answer, “How Would You Describe Yourself?” with 21 Examples

3. Tips to Give the Best “Describe Yourself” Answer

4. List of Words to Introduce Yourself

1. Why Interviewers Ask the “Describe Yourself” Question?

Before we dive into how you can describe yourself effectively, you must first understand why interviewers worldwide ask this question in the first place.

As with most interviewees, there is always an air of nervousness. For an interviewer, their first task is to make the candidate relaxed. Unless the interviewee is relaxed, they will not share much information about themselves, which would mean that the interviewer would not access them correctly.

In other words, it is a cycle.

The interviewer asks the “Describe yourself” question to ease the candidate into the interviewing process to break this pattern. Think about it, if the first question that you are asked during an interview is technical, chances are you might not be able to recall the answer!
On the other hand, when you are asked to introduce yourself, you are relying on simple information that comes naturally to you- your school’s name, where you lived, your career, etc. That helps you gain your confidence and stand your ground during the interview.

Also, once you describe yourself, that helps the interviewer craft their follow-up question and understand the direction of the interview. This chain effect of follow-up questions helps the interviewer understand you as a person and as a professional. It is one of the most important aspects of any interview.

That is why how effectively you describe yourself will help you solidify your grounds during the interview.

In other words, if you answer the “Describe yourself” question well, the interviewers will get more reasons to select you as the best candidate, based on hard skills and soft skills. This question, once you notice, serves as a beautiful medium to help you demonstrate your speaking skills, connect with the interviewers and present yourself professionally.

Now that we have understood why interviewers have been asking this question let us look at how effectively you can answer the “Describe yourself” question.

Also read: How to Succeed in MBA Interviews? Here are 5 tips!

2. How to Answer, “How Would You Describe Yourself?” with 21 Examples

To create a good first impression, you can utilize some of the phrases given below.

I. Showcase your passion: If you can prove to the interviewer that you love your work, you are already ahead of many other prospects. Every employer wants to hire people who enjoy their work. That is why, if you use the word ‘passion,’ it shows that you are dedicated and loyal to your work. Also, it means that the quality of your work would never suffer because you are passionate about your work.

II. Demonstrate your ambition and drive: If you are driven and ambitious, you are already on the path of success. If you mention that you are an ambitious person and your resume and experience support your claim, you will positively impact the interviewer. An ambitious employee will find new and innovative ways to improve themselves and set the standards. Such people are also the source of inspiration for others and have the leadership skills required to boost teamwork.

III. Exhibit your organizational skills: Are you someone who is focused on the details? Organizations love an organized candidate because they will be someone that can be trusted to meet deadlines without compromising on quality. If you are vying for an administrative position like project management, your attention to detail would be an essential aspect of your work.

IV. Showcase your people person attitude: If you are naturally outgoing who loves to interact with people, your interview is one of the first places to showcase your skills. This is an important attribute that can help you build a professional network and also connect with people. In a sales or customer service position, this is one of the pre-requisites, after all.

V. Display your leadership qualities: leading always does not mean being at the forefront. It also means to uplift your team members and help them. Suppose you are indispensable because you take the initiative and get things done. In that case, you should highlight your leadership skills when you are answering your “Describe yourself” interview question. Employers often seek natural leaders for leadership and non-leadership positions because they set a good example and boost team morale.

Also read: An Ultimate MBA Interview Guide

VI. Highlight your result-oriented attitude: This is a highly appreciated skill that you should use to introduce yourself. If you can prove to the interviewer that you are a results-oriented candidate, the interviewer will know that you will find the most useful resources to reach your goals. In other words, you know what it takes to get the job done.

VII. Display your communication skills: If you can effectively communicate at your job, you will create a lasting impact in any industry. When describing yourself as an effective communicator, you must put your best foot forwards with your interviewer. After all, if he or she is not convinced that you can simplify and share your ideas in a condensed manner, which is engaging, he or she will not think of you as an effective communicator. It is also vital when you will be dealing with a customer.

VIII. Showcase that you’re a creative thinker: Most challenges you will face in life or at work will have a creative or straightforward solution. If you identify yourself as a creative person, you must also prove it to the interviewer through your experience. It is also a desired trait for any employee because it can help you find solutions, anticipate problems, and get stellar results.

IX. Exhibit your precision: If you pay attention to all the details and work with inhuman precision, you should communicate it while describing yourself to an interviewer. It is another critical trait as most companies operate in a deadline environment where projects need to be completed on time with the highest quality standards. In such a case, precision is required.

X. Share your vision for success: When you describe yourself, it is also essential to share your vision and wish to work for the particular company. On that note, you can mention that you admire the strong leadership of this company, and you associate with their principles. You need to do proper research because you cannot talk about an organization’s principles without basic knowledge.

Also read: MBA Admissions Committee & Venture Capitalists: 5 Aspects They Look For in Their Prospects

XI. Showcase your customer-centric approach: While introducing yourself, you can also talk about your selling style and how you put the customer first. You can also mention that you are always asking the right questions to uncover ‘what’ the customer wants and meet those requirements. It is imperative today as we live in a world of instant gratification. In such a case, if you can provide a personalized touch, it creates a significant impact. Of course, companies love this trait because it helps push sales and gets loyal customers.

XII. Highlight that you are a positive person: If you are a person who can handle stress without bursting a vein and execute your tasks, it is a trait that you should highlight when you describe yourself. Being calm, you will be able to work on your task at hand in an effective manner without requiring micromanagement. If you can display this trait to your managers, you will be considered for more senior roles over others.

XIII. Mention that you are accountable: If you are a responsible person and can showcase this to the interviewer, chances are you will be hired. The reason behind it is simple. Accountable people are responsible for their actions and do not shift the blame or point fingers at others. Such individuals would look at how they can improve themselves and get better. Who wouldn’t want such a person on the team?

XIV. Showcase that you have strong personal values: When you describe yourself to the interviewer, ensure that you showcase your maturity and strong personal values. You can talk about instances where you faced a conflict of your values and how you have triumphed over it. Organizations love to have principled employees as they will improve their skills constantly and can be trusted.

XV. Stress on being a top performer: While you describe yourself, it is also an excellent time to talk about being a top performer and that you want to be judged and evaluated based on your performance and rewarded for your efforts. This level of honesty will help you showcase your confidence and initiate a level of transparency.

XVI. Mention that you are a constant learner: When you describe yourself, it will be a good idea to talk about how you love to learn new things. Suppose you can convey to the interviewer how you are always looking for new opportunities to develop and grow. In that case, chances are you will be considered a suitable candidate to join the company. It is because a constant learner will always be helpful to not just one team but across verticals.

XVII. Showcase your problem-solving capabilities: If you describe yourself as a problem solver, chances that it will heighten your interviewer’s interest. Problem-solving requires excellent communication skills along with strong analytical skills. It is a valuable skill that allows you to analyze situations and problems from different angles and find the best solution. It is not surprising that if you have advanced problem-solving skills, chances are your promotion will not be far away!

XVIII. Mention about your innovative streak: If you describe yourself as someone with a creative streak who consistently works hard to innovate and create value, chances are you will be selected. Companies need fresh thinkers who are not just a cog in the wheel but can think outside the box and create a significant impact.

XIX. Showcase your pragmatic approach: A pragmatic person is someone realistic and practical in their approach. Talk about your pragmatic skills and how you do not waste time in theory but focus on the practical application of getting the job done. You will be able to impress your interviewer. Today, companies look for unique and creative solutions that require a healthy mix of practical and theoretical approaches. Suppose you can showcase your practical side. In that case, your interviewer will be convinced that you will consider various parameters before making a decision, which will positively impact the company.

XX. Highlight your decision-making ability: In today’s fast paced business world, making effective and speedy decisions is a desirable trait for anybody who wishes to be in a leadership position. Even with time pressure and high stakes, if you can move forward and make impactful decisions, you are already on the road to success. Let us assure you that every company worth their salt would want to hire you because you have one of the critical skills required to become a good leader.

XXI. Focus on being fun: Working in a team is not just meeting deadlines; it is also about creating a good rapport with others. Remember that if you can encourage people to show up to work happy, you are their leader. That is why remember the quote-“All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” Ensure that you describe yourself as fun and outgoing. A touch of humor goes a long way to save the day.

Now that we have discussed 21 examples of how you can answer the “Describe yourself” interview question let us look at some basic dos and don’ts you should keep in mind while preparing for the interview.

3. Dos and don’ts of giving the best answer

Let us start with things you should keep in mind.

I. Remember the job description: Ensure that you match your qualifications with the requirements of the job. That will ensure that you have researched what the company is looking for in their ideal candidate.

II. Tell a story: Remember how you speak is equally important as what you say. That is why you should pick two or three terms that best fit the position and think of specific times when you have demonstrated these characteristics.

III. Focus on what makes you an ideal match: During your interview, you need to describe yourself keeping the type of position you are interviewing. But keep in mind not to repeat a list of reasons. Instead, convey it like a story.

Now let’s focus on what you should not do while preparing for your interview.

I. Don’t share too many examples: There should be a fine balance on how many examples you share with your interviewer. Often, they want a concise answer to their question. But you should share examples for some of your highlighting traits that you think match with the company’s requirements.

II. Don’t over-sell yourself: Remember to be authentic and not create situations to fit your job description. Chances are the interviewer may be able to spot the lie and catch you!

KEY TAKEAWAYS

1. MATCH YOUR QUALIFICATION WITH THE JOB DESCRIPTION
2. RESEARCH THE COMPANY’S CULTURE
3. BE YOURSELF

Now let us share some more tips regarding some of the choicest words you can use while speaking! Remember to use them while practicing your questions and answers, and you will undoubtedly create a good impression!

4. List of words to introduce yourself

Here are some examples of words you can use to describe yourself in an interview. We will present them in a tabular fashion for your ease.

Words to describe how you work with others:

Describing your work styleDescribing your personalityDescribing your teamwork
AnalyticalAdventurousTolerant
ThoroughBalancedDirect
TenaciousDrivenCollaborative
SkillfulCreativeDiplomatic
ResourcefulPerceptivePatient
ReliablePositiveCooperative
ProactiveRisk-takerSupportive
CommittedOrganizedCompassionate
PersuasiveEnergeticHelpful
PersistentSelf-AwareResponsive
InventiveCuriousEmpathetic
InsightfulCourageousAttentive
InitiatorObservantRespectful
IndustriousMethodicalFlexible
HardworkingSavvySincere

Credit: Indeed

We have finally come to the end of the blog. We hope this blog could help you prepare for your interviews and help you answer the “Describe yourself” interview question effectively.

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