This is the ultimate request for elevator height: “Describe yourself in one word.” If you are asked this in a job interview, how can you summarize everything you can bring to this role in one word?
Strategy is everything
The key (as with all job interview answers) is to be strategic. If you are asked to describe yourself in one word, it is not enough to choose a word that describes only your personality, no matter how accurate it is.
You can have any number of wonderful things: happy, flexible, warm, smart, great friend, generous, kind, and so on. But these answers will not help convince them to hire you.
What you want to do is think about the role and what qualities will be especially good for someone to succeed in that role, and then choose one of the ones that is right for you.
What are some good words to choose? Personally, my answer would be “dynamic”. For me it is a good word because I change, adapt and do everything I need to do to be successful. This quality has served me well in sales, management, recruitment, career coaching and running Career confidential. However, it is also a good word that can help someone succeed in other roles.
What will make you stand out in the role you are discussing?
Here are some more great options …
Words that will make you stand out
- Successful (if you succeed elsewhere, chances are you will succeed here too)
- Motivated (excellent for positions where you will work more independently)
- Strategic (excellent for planning or leadership positions)
- Enthusiastic (maybe a good word for roles that need a change agent)
- Organized (good for managers or employees with lots of moving parts)
- in charge of
These are all great words you can use to describe yourself during a job interview.
No matter which answer you choose, be prepared to follow an explanation or example of how you have embodied this trait in your past working life. Build your answer using the STAR technique (tell the situation or task you faced, the action you took that is an example of your trait, and the result you got from it).
Every interview answer you give should do its part to help persuade the recruiting manager to continue offering you the job. Be prepared with a great answer to dozens of difficult questions when you check out How to answer interview questions and How to Answer Interview Questions IIBoth are available on Amazon.
Before your next interview, think about the position for which you are applying and choose the best word that describes you in relation to that position. Which word will convey how and why you are particularly suitable? (Hint: The best word that describes you will probably change depending on the position you are applying for.)
And remember – a little preparation does a lot!
Need help coping with your next job interview?
We hope these tips help you answer “Describe yourself in one word” in your next interview.
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This article was originally published earlier.
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