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While it might sound good to use words like “intelligent,” “visionary” and “talented,” those are words that can rankle a recruiter because rather than being reflective, they can come off as cocky and sound as though you’re bragging. Keep in mind that other red flag words and adjectives to describe yourself that you want to avoid include “obsessive (scary)”, “goal-oriented (generic)” and “likeable (nobody is 100% likeable and the more you say that, the more people aren’t going to like you). Now let’s circle back to how you should answer this question, starting with a quick wham-bam walkthrough just to warm you up. We’ll start with a brief job description, a quick analysis of the desired qualities/characteristics, and then our perfect tailored answer. For the last five years, I managed a team of seven engineers as we worked on four projects simultaneously.We’ll start by pretending you’re interviewing for a job as an assembly line worker for a candy company and that the job description states your responsibility will be to quickly fill different sized custom candy boxes with chocolates (sound familiar? By reading the job description, you know that the position is high-speed and that you’ll be required to quickly assess each candy box as it comes towards you to figure out exactly how to fill it. “I’m comfortable adjusting to any situation and don’t get flustered easily when faced with unexpected challenges. With that single word and simple sentence, you let the hiring manager immediately know that you’re the right person for the job. And don’t be worried if you have more than one adjective that describes a desirable characteristic. Each project fulfilled its responsibilities ahead of schedule.”“I’m experienced and detail-oriented. Don’t forget we wanted to let you know that there are over 100 other difficult interview questions you could be asked in your job interview. Don’t worry, because we created a free PDF that outlines the most common questions and gives you word for word sample answers that you can use at your next interview. Let’s start by first breaking down exactly why hiring managers ask this question.
Imagine this: you’re sitting in an interview for your dream job. You’re knocking every question out of the ballpark and the hiring manager is genuinely laughing at all your jokes. You can tell the interview is wrapping up and you’re already figuring out what thoughtful bit of insight you’re going to include in your follow up thank you note that will make the hiring manager smile and bring you in for round two. Suddenly all that certainty dissolves in a puff of confusion and fear and the only words you can think of are “screwed” and “dazed,” with a dash of “perpetually unemployed” thrown in just to really mess with your psyche. Before you slink off defeated with your tail between your legs, ready for an endless cycle of help wanted ads and disappointment, we’re here to tell you that answering the question ‘describe yourself’ isn’t the end of the world.
All it takes is a bit of prep work before you get to the interview.
I find this increases efficiency and helps the rest of the team stay on track, too.
In my last role, I created a new filing process that increased departmental efficiency 25%.” Related: Interview Question: “How Do You Handle Stress?
Finally, determine exactly how all those things relate specifically to the position you’re applying to.
Once you have all that information, you should be able to answer the question easily.
For example, I taught myself how to use Photoshop to improve the quality of our photos and graphics.
I soon became the go-to person for any design needs.” Ambition and drive are two qualities that are essential to success and growth in many jobs.
In my previous role, I was promoted three times in less than two years.” Related: Interview Question: What are Your Future Goals?
An organized candidate is a detail-oriented candidate and someone an employer can trust to meet deadlines.