Interview Tips

How To Describe Yourself in 3 Words

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By: Shane Hostetler
May 8, 2020 • 5 min read
Image Credits: Photo by Christina @ wocintechchat.com on Unsplash

Can You Describe Yourself in 3 Words? (With Examples!)

How would you describe yourself in 3 words? This is an incredibly common interview question, often dreaded by applicants. Not only is it hard to describe yourself in only three words, it is hard to describe yourself in a way that is both humble and impressive! It may seem like a question that you can just breeze through. However, if you can elaborate on your answer, you will leave the interviewer with a fantastic first impression.

So, we’ve gathered some tips and examples to help you stand out when answering this common prompt. Let’s get started! 

1. Emphasize Your Achievements 

When asked to describe yourself, use your past achievements to prove why you are “XYZ.” This will leave your interviewer aware of your positive qualities and accomplishments. For example, say you have a lot of leadership experience. You can say that you are a leader because you ran two teams in the past, were the manager of your department at your last company, helped to lead a group of mathletes to a victory, or won first place in a team-based contest. 

Highlighting your achievements shows the employer how you bring even more value to the company, while also giving them a closer look at your personality. 

Here Are Some Examples:

Example: I would describe myself as really creative. I have won multiple art shows in the past and grew a social media account from scratch. I really enjoy being creative. 

Example: I would describe myself as very inclusive. I enjoy working in teams and collaborating with my fellow coworkers. In my past job, I was elected the team leader for my department.

Example: I would describe myself as very personable. I have vast customer service and retail experience, where I had the opportunity to assist customers daily. I loved building relationships with customers and getting to know them and help them feel welcome in the store.

two women sitting on chair

2. Show Off Your Range

Try to avoid using words that are synonyms. This is a common mistake when answering this question! Use words that highlight all the different aspects of your skills. For example, if your first word was creative, do not say artistic for your second word. Those two words have the same message, and your interviewer may think that you only have a few skills or qualities. 

A good rule is to use two words that describe your different skillsets and then use the third word for how people describe you. Using this trick is sure to make a powerful impact. 

Examples You Can Customize:

Example: I would describe myself as really creative. Winning multiple art shows in the past, and growing a social media account from scratch has let me expand my creativity. I would also say that I am a leader when given the right tools – in my last job, I led a team of three people to complete a project. Also, I have been told in the past that I’m a very generous person. 

Example: I would describe myself as very creative, inclusive, and personable. I love finding innovative ways to always include everyone on the team and highlight their strengths. I mainly focus on ensuring that my team builds positive relationships with all of our customers and makes my personable energy contagious.

3. Incorporate The Job Description

As with every interview question, go back to the job description. The interviewer already has an ideal candidate in mind. So, let the interviewer know that you are a great fit!

For example, if you are interviewing for a management position, describe yourself in a way that highlights your ability to lead. If you are interviewing for an art position, demonstrate your creativity. 

Examples To Use During The Interview:

Example: I have a lot of experience working in customer service. My strong retail background has prepared me to handle customer complaints while keeping a professional and calm manner.

Example: I have strong problem-solving skills. I have worked on a variety of teams with people who possess different strengths and weaknesses. In my past position working in a department store, we would get slammed around the holiday season. I used my problem-solving skills to stay efficient and effective while providing the best shopping experience possible.

 

two women sits of padded chairs while using laptop computers

4. Be Honest When You Describe Yourself

This question is an excellent way for you to showcase yourself. Besides experience and skills, your personality is another key component that can help get you hired. However, it is never a good idea to lie or exaggerate the truth. Be confident in your answer; there are many reasons you are a good fit for this job!

Exaggerating the truth can set you up for future failure. The company may think you are more experienced than you are and later realize you were dishonest when conducting reference checks. Use words and answers that describe the genuine and great person that you are! 

Examples To Personalize For Your Response: 

Example: I believe I am a good fit for this company because of my love for technology and helping others. My weakness is that I do not have a lot of experience working on a team, but I am open to collaboration and was a member of many clubs in college.

Example: I believe I am a good fit for this position because I have strong communication skills, I am very reliable, and I am skilled at problem-solving. I am a determined individual with a passion for people, and I believe I could provide excellent customer service while always being a reliable team member others can count on.

Good luck with your next interview! Check out how to answer the most common questions, and let us know how your interview goes.

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