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How to Describe Yourself During a Job Interview

Self-improvement is an ongoing process throughout the journey of life. Chitrangada shares her beliefs and experiences to help others.

"Tell me about yourself" is a common request during job interviews. To answer effectively and impress the interviewer, you'll need to prepare your response ahead of time.

"Tell me about yourself" is a common request during job interviews. To answer effectively and impress the interviewer, you'll need to prepare your response ahead of time.

"How Would You Describe Yourself?"

When you are asked this question in an interview, you may start wondering, "How can I describe myself with just a few words?" You may know yourself pretty well, but when it comes to describing yourself, you might need to stop and think!

Should you describe only your positive aspects or your negative ones as well? Now, everyone has some negative characteristics—right? But who wants others to know about them? At the same time, if you only tell the interviewer about your good characteristics, won't it sound like boasting or bragging?

Quotes:

Questions are the creative acts of intelligence.

— Unknown

What Is the Ideal Answer?

It's important to answer intelligently and focus on the positives of your personality.

  • Do not focus on what you're like in your personal life; you should sound like a business professional.
  • Your answer should convey that you are adaptive, flexible and logical.
  • You should describe yourself as being good at the decision-making process, cooperating well with others and making others comfortable.
  • Do not give a long speech. Your answer should be precise, crisp and effective.

To achieve these things, you will have to prepare what to say in advance.

How to Prepare for the Question

It‘s very important to prepare your answer to this particular question before you go in for an interview. When the interviewer asks you this, he/she wants to know what kind of person you are. But keep in mind that how you perceive yourself and how others see you may be two different things.

Make sure you have some carefully chosen adjectives in mind to answer this question. For example, good adjectives to use might include the following:

  • Motivated
  • Sincere
  • Dedicated
  • Ambitious
  • Determined
  • Independent
  • Understanding
  • Enterprising

Be cautious here to avoid sounding boastful. This may be difficult, as I mentioned in my opening paragraph, since it's not easy to describe yourself with impressive adjectives and still sound humble. Try to show a little modesty—it‘s very important to sound both convincing and modest.

The Importance of Describing Yourself

Many of us might say, "I don't care what other people think about me." But, in reality, we do want others to appreciate us. We want to behave perfectly and look perfect. It does matter to us what other people think. We are so interdependent on each other, both psychologically and socially.

It‘s because of this that the question "How would you describe yourself?" is so important. And it's also why your future employer may ask you this question.

Teamwork

In the office, you work with many different people, and most of the time—if not always—you work in a team. Each team member will likely have a different personality and different capabilities. Therefore, the interviewer may want to know how your friends or acquaintances feel about you.

  • Are they comfortable with you?
  • Are you cooperative with them?
  • Are you a good listener, in addition to being a good strategist?
  • Do you consider other peoples' ideas and input along with your own?
  • Can you make difficult decisions and stick to them?

The one real object of education is to have a man in the condition of continually asking questions.

— Bishop Creighton

Be Original, Be Authentic and Be Yourself

This advice is not only for a job interview, since you may be asked this question elsewhere as well. While describing yourself, you should be honest and speak in a candid manner. Make sure that you choose your own words and don't copy your answer from someone else. It’s important to be original and authentic.

Try to focus on those concerns that the company can appreciate, and explain your points intelligently. Last, but not least, be natural and be yourself.

More Advice for Answering Interview Questions

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2014 Chitrangada Sharan

How Would You Describe Yourself?

Chitrangada Sharan (author) from New Delhi, India on September 17, 2016:

Thanks Nithya my friend!

So nice of you to read this hub again. I am happy that this hub is relevant for many readers.

Have an enjoyable weekend!

Nithya Venkat from Dubai on September 17, 2016:

Came back to read again. Great points here to note and remember. We should not be stumped when they ask us to describe who we are. Thank you for sharing.

Chitrangada Sharan (author) from New Delhi, India on February 08, 2015:

Thank you aviannovice, for reading and commenting!

Appreciate you for stopping by and appreciating!

Deb Hirt from Stillwater, OK on February 06, 2015:

This really is something to think about, as it could make a difference being chosen for anything in one's life. Good topic!

Chitrangada Sharan (author) from New Delhi, India on January 24, 2015:

Thank you Audrey, for reading and commenting!

Glad you liked the tips. Thanks for sharing as well!

vocalcoach on January 23, 2015:

Very good tips and useful

This will be helpful for anyone going on an interview

Thank you. Sharing.

Chitrangada Sharan (author) from New Delhi, India on January 23, 2015:

Thank you Linda, for your kind visit and comments!

And you described about yourself very interestingly. Thanks!

Linda Bilyeu from Orlando, FL on January 22, 2015:

I'm a hot mess who tends to think before she acts and speaks while she listens. On some days. On the other days I'm a bit more calm :)

Chitrangada Sharan (author) from New Delhi, India on January 22, 2015:

Thank you Nithya, for reading and commenting!

Glad you liked this hub as informative and useful.

Nithya Venkat from Dubai on January 22, 2015:

It is tough when you are asked such a question, you have given great pointers. Informative and useful hub.

Chitrangada Sharan (author) from New Delhi, India on December 22, 2014:

Many thanks Dianna, for your kind visit and comments!

Glad you liked the hub. You are right that some questions need prior planning and thought.

Thanks and have a good day!

Dianna Mendez on December 21, 2014:

Your tips will help those who interview to present a well organized image of themselves. It is good to think of these questions and to write answers so that you are prepared.

Chitrangada Sharan (author) from New Delhi, India on December 19, 2014:

Thank you vespawoolf, for reading and commenting!

Glad you liked this hub. Answering this question within a limited time accurately and effectively is slightly tricky. One must be honest and thoughtful.

Appreciate your stopping by! Thanks!

Vespa Woolf from Peru, South America on December 18, 2014:

These are great reminders for job interviews. I do find it difficult to describe myself in such situations. I appreciate that you mention the need to be positive but also honest.

Chitrangada Sharan (author) from New Delhi, India on December 16, 2014:

That's an honest and interesting comment!

To some extent, even I am unable to answer this question with ease.

Thanks for reading the hub and your insightful comments!

Have a good day!

Denise W Anderson from Bismarck, North Dakota on December 15, 2014:

Personally, I find this a very difficult dilemma. When asked to describe myself, I tend to experiment to find out what the reaction of others will be. I will say one thing to some people, and something entirely different to others! This tends to be problematic, as my inconsistency leaves others wondering just who I am at all!

Chitrangada Sharan (author) from New Delhi, India on December 13, 2014:

Thank you Devika, for your kind visit and appreciation!

I agree this is a tricky question and most expected, still needs a little forethought to answer.

Glad you liked this hub and thanks for your votes!

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on December 13, 2014:

Interesting question and can be most difficult to describe oneself. You certainly gave me all I need to know here. Voted up!

Chitrangada Sharan (author) from New Delhi, India on December 13, 2014:

Thank you CisSp, for your kind visit and comments!

You are so right that very tricky questions are being asked in job interviews. Sometimes people prepare so much and the questions asked are too simple or unexpected. In fact there is a test of presence of mind also in unexpected situations.

Thanks for sharing your experience and thanks for voting up as well!

Chitrangada Sharan (author) from New Delhi, India on December 13, 2014:

Thank you Harishprasadji, for your insightful comments, which have added more value to this hub. Thanks for sharing your rich, practical experience.

Much of what I mentioned above is from what I hear from the young generation, especially my children who are in jobs.

I am glad that you feel it will benefit the readers. Thanks for your votes and share!

Chitrangada Sharan (author) from New Delhi, India on December 13, 2014:

Thank you Thelma Alberts, for your kind visit and comments!

Glad you liked it. Thanks for your support and you too have a great weekend.

Chitrangada Sharan (author) from New Delhi, India on December 13, 2014:

Thank you AudreyHowitt, for your kind visit and appreciation!

Appreciate you for stopping by!

Chitrangada Sharan (author) from New Delhi, India on December 13, 2014:

Thank you Audrey Hunt, for reading and commenting!

Its always a pleasure to read your comments.

Glad you liked the hub. Thanks for sharing your experience with this question and also for voting up and sharing.

CrisSp from Sky Is The Limit Adventure on December 12, 2014:

This is a very useful and informative hub. I dread going for job interviews just like what your quote said, "it's like going on a first date".

I remember when my daughter went for an interview, she told me she was asked, "if you're an animal which animal would you be". Apparently, this kind of tricky question is being asked in relations to human behavior instead of simply asking a candidate to describe himself/herself.

Voting up, useful and interesting.

Harish Mamgain from New Delhi , India on December 12, 2014:

This is very useful stuff and how we present ourselves before others is like an art. If you are a professional in any field, your main focus, while being interviewed, must be on how you would be beneficial to the firm/office/group. The more you explain and convince to the satisfaction of the guys on interview penal, the much your chances are to be selected for the job.

You may be asked about personal life, your likes, dislikes, your age, beliefs and hobbies. In this regard, you should not expand too much and restrict these to the bare minimum. While giving answers to these, you shouldn't sound chauvinistic, fanatic and egoistic.

So these matters must be spoken of tactfully and intelligently. These questions, though unrelated to the profession or job, are meant to know your mental set up. So every one should take extra caution in this regard.

Chitrangadasharan, while reading this hub, it struck me how I would be describing myself in such a situation. You have really penned a very thought provoking hub and it would be very beneficial to the guys in search of jobs. Voted up and shared.

Thelma Alberts from Germany and Philippines on December 12, 2014:

I hope I will not go to an interview again although I don´t mind being interviewed. This is a good advice. Well done! Have a great weekend!

Audrey Howitt from California on December 12, 2014:

Useful! And food for thought!!

Audrey Hunt from Idyllwild Ca. on December 12, 2014:

I don't mind interviews and usually do well. This is probably because I've been an entertainer all my life and feel comfortable with others.

Good hub with sound advice. Voted up and sharing.

Chitrangada Sharan (author) from New Delhi, India on December 12, 2014:

Thank you Mary, for your kind visit and comments!

I hope this is helpful to your son. My best wishes for his job search.

Thanks for voting up!

Mary Hyatt from Florida on December 12, 2014:

I'm happy I will never have to endure another interviews in my lifetime! I do have a 19 yr. old son who is looking right now for a job. I had him read this Hub!

Voted UP, etc.

Chitrangada Sharan (author) from New Delhi, India on December 11, 2014:

Thanks manatita44 and Rajanji, for coming back to share your thoughts.

I already feel blessed to have two noble souls visiting my hub. My respect and admiration to both of you.

Thank you so much!

Chitrangada Sharan (author) from New Delhi, India on December 11, 2014:

Thanks Rajanji, for your kind visit and positive comments!

I agree with you that we should be honest and truthful and speak in a candid manner, when answering this question.

Thanks for your valuable feedback!

Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on December 11, 2014:

Thanks, manatita. Your comments humble me. A genuine person only appreciates the other. Thanks from the bottom of my heart.

Good to see you and hope you have a wonderful weekend.

manatita44 from london on December 11, 2014:

Yes, Rajan.

A good man, if Chitrangada permits me to say this here. I totally see you in this light. Thanks for the mention.

Chitrangada once more thanks a lot for sharing your wisdom. Much peace

Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on December 11, 2014:

Great pointers to prepare an answer to the oft asked question especially in interviews. Like manatita, I am more of a heart person and I believe a genuine answer can always be picked out.

Chitrangada Sharan (author) from New Delhi, India on December 11, 2014:

Thank you Jodah, for stopping by!

Glad to read your valuable comments! Same here when the question of describing self is asked. Thanks!

Chitrangada Sharan (author) from New Delhi, India on December 11, 2014:

Thank you manatita44, for your kind visit and appreciation!

Nice to know the meaning of your name. Appreciate your valuable feedback.

Thanks!

John Hansen from Queensland Australia on December 11, 2014:

I always dreaded interviews Chitrangada. This was good advice and an informative hub. Thanks for sharing.

manatita44 from london on December 11, 2014:

Interesting and very useful ideas. I'm more of a heart person. In fact, this is what my name means. I tend to use my heart and it works extremely well. Nice Hub.

Chitrangada Sharan (author) from New Delhi, India on December 11, 2014:

Thank you MHiggins, for your kind visit and positive comments!

I have always found myself at a loss of words while trying to answer this question.

Thanks for your support!

Chitrangada Sharan (author) from New Delhi, India on December 11, 2014:

Y es, its great that we don't have to face interviews now!

I have always found it difficult to answer this question.

Thanks billybuc and appreciate your stopping by!

Chitrangada Sharan (author) from New Delhi, India on December 11, 2014:

Thanks Ericdierker, for your kind visit and appreciation!

You are right, this question is asked other than interviews and each time I find it difficult to answer.

Glad you liked the hub!

Michael Higgins from Michigan on December 10, 2014:

This is a very good hub. I am still thinking about how I would describe myself. Very good insight.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on December 10, 2014:

I am happy to announce that I will never have to sit through an interview again. How wonderful is that? :)

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on December 10, 2014:

Excellent advice and a wonderful insight as to how we view ourselves in light of the outside world. Great reading for more than interviews.