“Describe Yourself….” – “Describe Yourself,” A Few Pointers for a Good Response
For everyone that has ever gone on a job interview, one of the first things the interviewer will say is “How would you describe yourself?”
Before you blurt out any answer, first, think about it from the interviewer’s perspective. They have already read your CV or resume.
They know your technical qualifications. The interview is about getting to know you. Asking that question allows them to get a perspective on how you view yourself and how it relates to the job at hand. How you answer, the question will say a lot about you.
When answering the question, “How would you describe yourself?” you need to be ready before the interview. Determine three words or phrases that describe you and the way you approach the world. They should all be positive in nature. No job interviewer wants to hear about your pessimistic view of the world.
Try to choose words that relate to how you would approach a job. For example, you may be a quick learner in school. How does that relate to a job? You might answer, “I am a quick learner who can enter any situation and start picking up on the necessary details immediately.” Practice the answers thoroughly.
How would you describe yourself?
When answering the query, “How would you describe yourself?” you need to focus on your current situation, not the past unless it’s relevant. Many people make the mistake of thinking that things they did 10 years ago is a good display of what they can do today.
Everyone builds on his or her accomplishments from times gone. Interviewers are interested in what you can do now, not what you could do in the past. You can draw parallels to what you did and show how you have continued that into your present work. Showing that you have a long history of a trait is a positive.
For example, when you think of how you describe yourself, you might consider one of your best traits to be that you work well with others. You might be a good football player and played through high school. You are having an interview for your first job after college. You can take one of two approaches.
First, you can focus completely on today. For example, your answer might be “I work well in a team environment as I have shown in numerous projects throughout my college career.” Or, you can combine the past and the present. “I work well in a team environment as I have demonstrated as a football player in high school and in my college career.”
Just because someone asks you, “How would you describe yourself?” does not open up the door to bragging or diminishing your worth.
Overstating your personal qualities comes across as bragging and the interviewer will wonder what you are hiding. Understating or devaluing your personal qualities will tell the interviewer you may not be mature enough for the job or have unresolved emotional issues. Plan your answers well ahead of time to make the best impression at your interview.