- Why describe yourself in one word?
- How to answer “Describe yourself in one word”?
- 3 Red flags while describing yourself in one word
- Describe yourself in one-word sample answers
- Personal interview tips
Millions of words out there, but have you ever tried to describe yourself in one word?
Believe me, it is a tricky yet an extremely common interview question.
Discover the secret to describe yourself in one word with sample answers and personal interview tips to help you ace your next big interview.
As you prepare for interviews, make sure you know how to find a great place to work.
Why describe yourself in one word?
Interviewers ask you to describe yourself in one word to understand your strengths and how they could benefit the organization.
It is a lot like answering Tell me about yourself but requires you to boil all your skills, strengths and abilities down to one word.
By asking this question, the interviewer puts you on the spot to hear from you the one best quality that you identify with from your lens.
It is a great opportunity for you to talk about yourself and convince the recruiter why you are the perfect fit for the job.
When you describe yourself in one word, talk about the one trait that is most suitable to you professionally, allowing the recruiter to understand you well.
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How to answer “Describe yourself in one word”?
There is no strict rule book to answer questions about yourself, your skills and abilities.
However, there are some tricks you can have up your sleeves to impress your interviewer.
Identify your key skills and strengths
When you describe yourself in one word, focus on finding the one strong character that makes you stand out from others.
Study your resume
Every interview starts with a resume that summarizes all your achievements and skills.
To find the one word to describe yourself, make sure you thoroughly read through your resume and choose a quality it supports.
Basically, find the best skills for your resume that support the job description.
Make a list
Listing down all the qualities that you can associate with yourself will help you narrow down to a selective bunch of words and help you find that one word that describes you the best.
Make a list and jot down all the skills and characteristics you identify with that are the strongest in your personality.
Take help from people close to you
Finding one word to describe yourself can be difficult and may leave you confused and baffled.
Another way of finding words to describe yourself is by asking your family and friends to describe you.
Take help from those close to you and ask for the one word they would use to describe you.
Find a word that fits well
The word you choose for yourself should be tailored to match the job you are interviewing for and the skills required for the said role.
Read the job description thoroughly and after compiling a list based on your traits and resume, choose one word that describes you and goes with the context of the job you have applied for.
For e.g., if you are looking for a job in a sector that involves data analysis and reading the numbers, go for a word like "analytical" instead of general words that vaguely describe you.
Giving one word to describe yourself will require you to provide a detailed explanation and reasons to back it up.
STAR technique refers to talking about the Situation or Task you experienced and your Action to get the desired Result.
Using the STAR technique to justify your answer will help you impact the interviewer with a planned strategy.
3 Red flags while describing yourself in one word
While finding a word that fits you well does not seem too difficult, it is one of the hardest things to do.
Here are 3 things you should never do to describe yourself in one word.
Also read: How to Improve Communication Skills
Don't give a cliched answer
The interviewers aim at assessing your quality and perspective through this question.
Using a word that is general and often used may seem practiced and ingenuine.
Answer with the one word that you identify with and that best demonstrates your potential as an employee.
Avoid words that suggest overconfidence
When trying to describe yourself in one word, the rookie mistake is to sound overconfident.
Do not go over the board trying to sound uber cool.
Avoid using words that suggest conceit like "Amazing", "Awesome", etc.
Don't mince words
This is a perfect opportunity for you to tell the recruiter Why should they hire you?.
Use it well by explaining in detail your choice of word, situations that justify the trait and its relevance to the job you are interviewing for.
Don't mince words and give an elaborate answer.
Tip: If you are not sure about the job security offered by the company, you can gauge it with these 5 signs.
Describe yourself in one-word sample answers
Here are 10 best words to describe yourself with sample answers
Recruiters want to hire someone who has a positive attitude towards everything and is full of new ideas and energy.
Being dynamic suggests that you are open to adjusting to changes and are willing to adapt effectively.
I think the one word that describes me the best is dynamic. In my 5 years of work experience, I have been caught off-guard in many situations where the strategies and goals changed in a blink.
I have delivered well in environments where nothing was certain and plans developed with the task’s development.
I’m certain that I can adapt to any changes in the organization or strategy and ace it.
A versatile employee can change with situations and can cope with changes as they come.
Recruiters lookout to hire people who can fit well in the organization without taking a lot of time and handle rigorous situations.
I’m a versatile person with the ability to deliver results in a constantly changing scenario.
I can easily adapt to new plans, strategize and execute the tasks seamlessly.
In my experience as a project manager, I have led teams in agile circumstances and met the organizational goals for the last 2 years.
Analytical skills may sound technical but are a part of our daily lives.
Having said that, analytical is a suitable word for those working in ecosystems where analytical skills are a must.
Examples of such fields are business analyst, data analytics, programming, coding, etc.
A person with strong analytical skills can collate and assess the information to solve problems and take important decisions, positively impacting an organization's success.
Back your answer with data and numbers and discuss the entire scenario in detail.
The word that best describes me is analytical. I was previously working with the XYZ company as a senior business analyst and was responsible for the exponential growth of the new product.
In my 3 years with the company, I made strategies and business plans with respect to the market behavior and revenue generated, contributing to the company’s overall growth by 11.3%.
I believe I can effectively use my analytical skills to identify the measures that must be taken to ensure the growth of the organization.
Innovation is leading all ecosystems today, making it one of the most desired skills a recruiter looks for in their potential hire.
It is perfect for those working in positions that aim at creating new things.
A few examples of such job roles are product managers, strategists, marketing managers, etc.
I’m very innovative and love finding new things that can intrigue me.
Professionally speaking, I like to experiment with new ways to do things and achieve the desired results within the set time frame.
In my previous role, I worked on the development of ABC application and it was a huge success in the market, standing out with its distinctive features.
All the app developments were unique and had very good user response, credit to the innovative streak I shared with my colleagues working on the project.
Creative is a controversial adjective to describe yourself given everyone is creative in their way, making it one of the generic answers.
If you want to describe yourself as a creative person, make sure you quote incidents and have relevant results that support your answer.
It would be best if your resume could identify you as a creative individual and have a brief mention of the projects you led.
I believe I'm a creative individual with a different take on everything.
With 5 years of designing experience and association with over 28 companies, I believe I’m capable of designing high-quality creative designs.
My portfolio is a testament to this and in an organization like yours, I look forward to growing further and better.
Recruiters are always on the lookout for someone accustomed to working with people.
You can describe yourself as a team player if you are interviewing for a role that requires you to communicate with several people and are comfortable working in a team.
I would describe myself as a team player. I'm very comfortable working with people and understand the dynamics of working in a group.
My previous role required me to work directly with 10 of my colleagues and involved frequent inter-team interaction.
I have always been able to perform well and resolve any hiccups the team faces.
I love working in dynamic environments and I believe the best can be achieved when we work together as a team.
Ambitious is another strong yet controversial word to describe yourself.
It is a good trait to have but being too ambitious can be unhealthy and lead to the downfall of any professional.
If you think you relate to the word ambitious, discuss why so and how your ambitions towards achieving great things do not hamper your work process.
To describe myself in one word, I'm a very ambitious person. I take up all learning opportunities that enhance my skills and know-how to cope up with failures.
I like challenging myself to find creative solutions as quickly as possible and resolve any issues at hand.
Having worked in a fast-paced profile for 3 years, I'm ambitious in a healthy way and know how to make rational decisions.
Smart workers are appreciated everywhere, even more than hard workers in today’s fast-paced work scenario.
If you are someone who is always looking for effective yet quicker methods to overcome challenges and are efficient in your role, you are a smart worker.
I’m a smart worker with a sensible understanding of prioritizing tasks in order of their importance.
I have a proven record of using effective yet detail-oriented methods to achieve the targets in less time than allotted.
For example, in 2017 I took it upon myself to identify the target group for a then-upcoming project, for which I was allotted 20 days.
I was able to complete a data-oriented research on people across 17 cities with the help of 3 resources in 13 days.
I’m sure you would receive similar feedback about me if you got in touch with my bosses.
Reliable employees are an asset to any organization and recruiters look for this quality in their potential hires.
If you choose to describe yourself as a reliable person, back your statement with the situations that support your answer.
I'm a reliable person, someone who is committed to the job with all seriousness.
I have 8 years of experience where I have stood out as a dependable resource for my employers time and again.
To quote an incident, while working for ABC company as a project manager, we were short on manpower with a product launch just around the corner.
So I took it upon myself to meet the deadline without cutting any major corners.
The product was launched seamlessly without any trouble whatsoever.
This word is ideal for those in managerial positions and team leaders.
If you are interviewing for a position that involves leading a team, you can describe yourself as a leader.
Follow it up with why you think you are a leader and discuss incidents where your leadership skills helped you manage a team(s) effortlessly.
I identify myself as a leader that can manage work across teams. I worked as a team lead for 4 years, single-handedly managing a 23 person team.
We worked on various aspects of designing and my job involved getting the graphics out of the door without any delay.
I have a proven record of increased efficiency from my team and I share a close bond with all of them.
I know how to balance personal and professional relations and I believe in leading a team, not bossing it.
Personal interview tips
Here are 5 tips that will prepare you to crack all the personal interview questions like a pro.
Stay positive, keep smiling
A positive demeanor and a smiling face can appeal to anyone. Recruiters are no exception to this.
Maintain a calm and composed posture so that the interviewer finds it easy to ask you questions.
Keep smiling as you answer, even if questions catch you off guard. Not only will this help you conceal your stress but it will also leave a good impression on the interviewer.
You can also read Powerful Body Language Tips For Your Next Interview.
Make the first impression
The first impression is the last is not just a saying. Take it seriously and use the first opportunity to impress the interviewer.
Walk with confidence, maintain a good body posture and focus on being nonchalant in your actions.
Dress to impress
Wear clean formals to your interview to make the impact. Make sure you do not wear anything that makes you uncomfortable.
Choose footwear that is easy to walk in and formal at the same time.
Set your hair and groom well. Do not wear clothes with layers and drapes that could hamper your attention during the interview.
It is of utmost importance to interviewers that their candidates maintain ethical hygiene.
Reach the interview venue on time to establish strong ethics and punctuality.
Reaching on time helps you get time to feel comfortable in the new environment and tells the interviewer that you respect their time.
Discuss answers at length
Make sure that you speak in detail while answering personal interview questions.
Do not discuss vague information but talk about every relevant experience and situation in detail.
This will help you break the ice and provide a better perspective about you as a candidate.
Now that you have read all about how to describe yourself in one word, make sure you look out for signs to spot a toxic company culture , and learn how to find the perfect company culture for you.
You can read more basic interview questions and answers here .
All the best!