Throughout the hiring process, interviewers are notorious for asking predictable and ubiquitous interview questions.
Some of these questions may require you to solve an impossible riddle, while others may focus on your personality or past struggles.
However, the one inquiry that sends shivers down every interviewee’s spine is the broad, ominous “How would you describe yourself?”
It’s a given that you’ll be asked some version of this question during your job search. And chances are, it’ll come up at the most inconvenient moment.
The question’s purpose is to elicit your initial thoughts and observe how you handle “on-the-spot” inquiries.
Instead of being intimidated by this infamous question, take the time to prepare for it and learn how to present yourself during an interview.
Remember that there are no absolute right or wrong answers – except for maybe a cringe-worthy barrage of old anecdotes.
The most important piece of advice is to “be authentic and true to yourself.” Take your time answering the question and resist the urge to blurt out the first thing that comes to mind.
To assist you in describing yourself in an interview, here are some helpful tips:
1. The Money Maker
The primary concern of every hiring manager is how much money you can generate for their company.
In other words, they are looking for candidates who can contribute positively to the company’s bottom line. It’s not just about filling a position or performing a specific task.
Employers want to see a return on their investment in you.
To answer the question of how you can contribute to the company’s financial success, you can use these examples in your interview:
“I’m a negotiator who focuses on the client’s needs and goals. I make it a priority to understand their needs and provide resources that will help them achieve their objectives.“
“I set goals proactively, and I make sure they align with the company’s mission. This helps me contribute to the company’s overall success while achieving my own goals.“
2. The Go-getter
Employers are looking for candidates who are proactive and can make difficult decisions.
Companies want individuals who are not only focused on the bottom line but are also dedicated and driven to achieve top-notch performance.
To stand out, show hiring managers that you have the ability to set objectives, complete tasks, and have a strong commitment to surpass other applicants.
You can impress the hiring manager by using answers such as “I believe a person’s worth is measured not by what they can do, but by how they do it,” or “Team members are the most valuable investment a company can make.“
These statements demonstrate your focus on the process and your belief in the importance of collaboration and teamwork.
In essence, being a go-getter means that you have the ability to take initiative, be proactive, and make tough decisions. By showcasing these qualities during the hiring process, you will stand out as a valuable candidate that companies will be eager to hire.
3. The Loyal Candidate
Being a loyal employee is a valuable trait that many CEOs seek in a candidate. Loyalty stems from dedication and the desire to see the company succeed.
In an interview, using the right adjectives to describe oneself can signal to hiring managers that you possess this trait.
Managers seek employees who are committed to sticking with the company, through both good and tough times. Avoid giving off the impression that you would jump ship at the first opportunity for personal advancement.
Two possible answers to convey loyalty to your potential employer are:
“Success is not just about finishing a project or winning a contract. Success also entails sticking with goals and pushing through difficult times.“
“Although stability is important, I recognize that there will be challenges ahead. I believe that these difficult times are what define a company and its team members.“
Through communicating your dedication and loyalty to your employer, you increase your chances of being viewed as a valuable long-term asset to the company.
4. The Growth Seeker
Employers seek employees who are driven by personal and professional growth. While loyalty to a company is essential, it only goes so far in the eyes of hiring managers.
They want to see that you have the desire to move forward and continue learning about the industry.
If you want to impress a hiring manager, show them that you are not content with being stagnant or passive.
To showcase your dedication to growth, consider sharing answers like, “I attribute my personal and professional success to a desire for growth. I am naturally curious and want to learn everything I can about the company and industry.”
Another great answer is, “One of my personal goals is to learn a new skill every month. Whether it is a new tool for email management or taking a marketing class, each new skill advances my career another step.”
In essence, the growth-seeker attitude is vital to career success. By continually expanding your knowledge and skillset, you show a desire for personal and professional growth that is highly valued in the workplace.
5. The Goal-oriented Candidate
In a job interview, it is essential to present yourself as a goal-oriented candidate who can align your personal aspirations with the company’s mission.
It is key to create a roadmap for success and stick to plans, but it is equally important to demonstrate that you can do the same for the company.
One way to achieve this is by rewording the company’s mission and stating it as your personal goal.
Another way is to describe yourself using adjectives that show you are versatile and take the company’s desires into account.
For instance, you can highlight your ability to deliver results within the constraints of desired company outcomes or emphasize how you consider the project goals, client needs, and company values before taking on a project or negotiating with a client.
Generally, by showing that you prioritize the company’s success, you can convince the hiring manager that you are the right fit for the job and increase your chances of landing the position.
6. The Customer Caregiver
As an employee, being committed to the success of the company is important, but being dedicated to clients is equally essential.
Employers recognize that happy customers and successful clients are the key to business success. To be successful in any position, it’s key to have strong communication and customer relation skills. This goes beyond the common adage “the customer is always right.”
During an interview, showcasing your ability to prioritize the needs of clients is paramount. You can do this by demonstrating empathy and respect towards their concerns.
You can also emphasize your outgoing personality, which can help in understanding client needs better. Clients want solutions based on their specific requirements, and it’s important to listen to their concerns with compassion.
Being a customer caregiver is more than just satisfying the customer’s needs. It’s about building strong relationships with clients, actively listening to their concerns, and being empathetic towards their problems to create successful outcomes for both the customer and the company.
7. The Accountable Candidate
When it comes to job interviews, it’s natural to want to present yourself as perfect and flawless. However, it’s important to remember that everyone makes mistakes, and being accountable for them can actually be a strength.
Employers appreciate honesty and transparency in a candidate, especially when it comes to admitting mistakes.
When asked about a time you’ve made a mistake in a previous position, don’t shy away from sharing the story. It’s important to not only explain what went wrong, but also to describe how you addressed the situation and learned from it.
Being open and accountable can set you apart from other candidates who may fill their resumes and interview answers with fluff.
Examples of accountability in action could include acknowledging a mistake made in communication or taking the time to ensure accurate client information.
Remember, it’s not about being perfect, but rather about how you handle mistakes and use them to grow and improve in your career.
Final Thoughts- Be Prepared!
In any job interview, you may come across the question, “How do you describe yourself?” This question can be intimidating, but you must be prepared for it.
To answer this question, you should take the time to consider your strengths, experiences, and skills that align with the job you are applying for.
Customize your response to the job description, and make sure your answer is tailored to the specific role. Don’t overthink it, just be yourself.
Honesty and authenticity are valued by hiring managers above all else.
Remember, the interviewer is not trying to pry into your personal life, nor is it an interrogation. They want to know if you are the right fit for the job, and your answer to this question can give them insight into your character and abilities.
So take some time to prepare and practice, and don’t forget to stay calm and confident during the interview.
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