1. Sample answer of “Describe yourself in a few words”
  2. How to answer “Describe yourself in a few words”

Interviews can be intimidating for many job seekers and jumping straight into technical interview questions can only aggravate the situation.

To help the candidate feel at ease, recruiters ask some ice-breaker HR questions like “Describe yourself in a few words” or “How would your friends describe you?”

However, do not take such basic HR interview questions lightly as your chance of bagging the job lies in every answer that you provide.

So, if you are preparing for an upcoming job interview then you might want to give this piece a read. In this article, we will cover how to answer “Describe yourself in a few words” along with sample answers so that you can find inspiration for your unique answers.

Let’s begin!

Sample answer of “Describe yourself in a few words”

Sample answer #1:

“If I have to describe myself in a few words I would say I am attentive, creative, and hardworking.

I have been working for a magazine for the past 2 years.

During this time, we not only produced error-free copies but also made sure the stories did not sound mundane and would appeal to the readers.

We received several accolades from readers in these two years.

According to the Management we had exceeded through our work and the revenues also doubled as compared to the previous terms.

I enjoy editing so I never mind putting in some extra hours to make sure that the stories turn out error-free, simple to read yet creative and interesting.”

Sample answer #2:

“If I were to describe myself in a few words then I would say I am hard working and a quick learner.

Even as an intern I hardly took much time to go about with my duties and was even awarded Intern of the Month for achieving the highest target for that month.”

How to answer “Describe yourself in a few words”

Check the company values

Next or rather simultaneously you should research the company, its values, previous work, achievements, employee review, and so on.

The reason for this practice is to ensure that your values align with those of the company. You will be spending a great part of your day at work and if your values don’t match, working in such an ambiance can become quite toxic for you.

Once you find an alignment, add it to the already existing list of skills and then sort out which skills and values you want to highlight in your answer to the HR question “Describe yourself in a few words”.

Align your top characteristics with the job description

We cannot stress enough the importance of thoroughly understanding a job description before going ahead with the job application process.

A job description is the answer key to all your queries and more. It provides all the necessary information about skills, duties, technical knowledge, etc. that a recruiter is looking for their ideal candidate to possess.

Now, when drafting a resume for the job application you can take the job description as a guide and add the relevant skills accordingly. This will help you to get your resume to pass the ATS test.

On the other hand, the skills posted in the job description can help you give an idea about the similar skill set you possess and what more you can work on. This will also help you to defend your case in case you lack a skill or two.

So, make two separate lists, one of the job descriptions and the other that you possess. Next, check how many skills are matching, and finally, select 2-3 skills that are necessary for the job role.

Always provide an example

When you are asked to describe yourself in a few words, you will need to justify your reasons for the same.

For example, if you say that you are a quick learner then you need to give them an instance where you picked up something that helped you to get the job done smoothly.

Avoid trying to put too many characteristics in a single answer

Now, just because you curated a list of skills and values that you can use to describe yourself doesn’t imply that you will use all of them when answering the basic HR interview question “Describe yourself in a few words”.

Note that it says a few words which means the answer needs to be short and sweet. If you try to talk about all the qualities with justification, there will be no time for the recruiter to talk to you about anything else.

Therefore, select a minimum of 2 or a maximum of 3 qualities you want to talk about that describe you the best and help you to stand out from other candidates. This will help you to frame a concise answer to this HR question and highlight that you are aware of the requirements for the job role.

Other tips

Apart from these, do not forget the basic yet important tips for answering “Describe yourself in a few words”.

Practice well

Being well prepared helps you feel confident, and a recruiter admires a confident well-prepared candidate. This not just helps you perform better at interviews but also proves that you are serious about the job.

Avoid sounding like a robot

Now, just because you are well prepared, try not to sound like an automated machine. This will have a negative impact on the recruiter and not reflect the depth of character.

Instead, take a few minutes to form your thoughts and answer in a conversational tone.

Answer slowly and clearly

Another important tip when answering HR questions is to speak clearly so that the recruiter can understand what you are trying to tell them.

If the recruiter doesn’t understand what you are saying, there’s a fair chance the interview will be cut short and you might even be eliminated from potential candidature.

Keep the answer to the point

A recruiter probably has more candidates to interview so try to keep all your answers to basic HR interview questions concise and don’t exceed more than 3-4 minutes when asked to describe yourself in a few words.

Hopefully, you find these tips useful when you are preparing to answer “Describe yourself in a few words.” In addition, practice other basic HR interview questions to ace your job interview.

Apart from this, remember to follow the interview dress code to leave a lasting impression on your recruiter.

All the Best!

HR Interview Questions & Answers