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From cover letters and job interviews to personal essays and social media posts, there are tons of reasons you need good words to describe yourself. The best descriptive words for personality characteristics are positive ones. Explore a variety of positive descriptors to find the words that best describe you.
positive words to describe yourselfIdeal Words to Describe Yourself for Professional Purposes
If you are writing a cover letter, resume, or professional bio or you have a job interview, these words can help you describe yourself in a positive and professional way.Awesome Words to Describe Yourself for School Assignments
For things related to school, such as personal essays or college applications, you can use more exciting words to describe who you are.Great Words to Describe Yourself for Dating
Words for guys to use in dating profiles or messages and words for girls to use in dating are pretty much the same. Look for unique and playful ways to describe how you embody highly desirable mate qualities.Brainstorm Your Best Qualities
If you think back to grade school you will find that whenever you had an essay to write, you were told to brainstorm. Think about yourself from every angle and ask yourself questions like these.
What are some of the positive personality traits that people have told you about time and again?
What are your strengths?
What makes you shine at what you do?Do a Self-Assessment
There are plenty of ways to do self-assessments. There are quizzes online, some of which may also be available from your employer. Taking self-assessments will help you come up with the perfect descriptive phrases that describe you.Interview Friends and Family
One of the best ways to get a great idea of the impressions people have of you is to ask them. Sometimes, people you know can tell you things that you do not know about yourself. They can give you good examples of what they see in you.Describe Your Best Attributes
While it might feel awkward to think about yourself so much, describing yourself in positive ways is good for your mental health. Choose three to five words to describe yourself and try writing a personal statement that includes them all.
“Describe Yourself In 3 Words”
Describe yourself in 3 words – How to answer this interview question
May 03, 2023
Author: Give A Grad A Go
We know from answering the interview question tell me about yourself that attempting to describe your personality in a graduate job interview can be tricky – and this is especially true when you are limited to just a few words.
It might seem simple, but the 3 words you choose to describe yourself can reveal a lot to a graduate employer about your personality, working style and priorities; so it is important to prepare your answer beforehand.
Read on to discover the reasons why employers ask this job interview question, and to brush up on your ‘describe yourself in 3 words’ best answers. When you are fully up-to-scratch on how to answer this common graduate interview question, check out our complete guide to Interview Questions - or find out what graduate jobs we have live on our site.
Scroll straight to the bottom of the page to see a quick, summary video of how to answer!
Why do employers ask you to describe yourself in 3 words?
1. To find out how you think
Potential employers will be interested to find out how your mind works, and therefore which 3 words you choose to describe yourself when put on the spot. Unlike the question ‘tell me about yourself’ being asked to describe yourself using a limited number of words will require you to elaborate on your answer much less.
However, the 3 words you choose to describe yourself will help the employer gain a sense of what you think are the most important qualities (i.e. may indicate that you are business-minded, a people person, or a team player).
The 3 words you select to describe yourself will help the employer or hiring manager better understand the way that you think, and gain insight into what you see as the most important qualities in an employee.
2. To see whether you would be a good culture fit
Graduate employers will be keen to find out whether the characteristics you describe align with their team and general company culture.
The adjectives you choose to describe yourself will give them a good insight into your working style; helping them decide whether you would be the right fit for the role and the company.
Check out 10 things graduate employers find more impressive than your grades.
3. To find out your best qualities
Naturally, the 3 words you choose to describe yourself to a graduate employer will reflect what you believe to be your best attributes or characteristics.
The employer will want you to use this opportunity to show off your leading qualities, and those which will set you apart from other candidates.
When you are deciding how to describe yourself in an interview, the 3 words you choose will also indicate whether you understand the role; and should show that you have researched the employer, the team, the company, and what they are looking for.
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Join Go Graduate NetworkDescribe yourself in three words best answers
When you are preparing for a graduate job interview and deciding how to describe yourself in an interview, try to choose words that are positive, professional, and easy-to-understand.
You will want to select the words that describe your personality, working style and priorities in the very best light; and it can be tempting to choose out-of-the-box adjectives that will make you stand out from other candidates interviewing for the role.
It is usually better, though, to stick to words that are uncomplicated, unpretentious, and that will present you as a well-rounded professional who will add value to their company.
Here are some great examples that will help to boost your employability and improve your chances of job interview success:
List of words to describe yourself in an interview
When planning your answer to describe yourself in 3 words, it is a good idea to choose more than 3 words so that you can ensure you are fully prepared in the interview. Try to choose 5 or 6 possible answers, so that then in the interview you can choose the 3 best answers and most relevant attributes for the job you’re applying for.
Analyst / Tech
- Organised - Focused - Analytical - Problem-solver - Methodical - Thorough - Observant - Hard-Working - High-achieving
Technology & Digital JobsClient Facing
- Outgoing - Approachable - Friendly - Caring - Thoughtful - Sociable - Down-to-Earth - Trustworthy - Positive
Property & Retail JobsSales / BDE
- Independent - Ambitious - Proactive - Determined - Committed - Driven - Motivated - Respectful - Upbeat
Business Development JobsMarketing / Creative
- Entrepreneurial - Inventive - Creative - Artistic - Musical - Imaginative - Team player - Innovative - Collaborative
Marketing JobsPR and Comms
- Open minded - Laid back - Reflective - Enthusiastic - Reliable - Attentive - Loyal - Compassionate
PR & Comms JobsCorporate
- Professional - Diplomatic - Patient - Mature - Calm - Conscientious - Confident - Adaptable
Banking & Finance Jobs
“Describe yourself in 3 words” – what to avoid!
– Choosing words that are unprofessional or irrelevant
You may believe that your best quality is your ability to sleep for 12 hours a night, or your singing talents, or your sporting knowledge; but none of these will do much to impress a graduate employer. When deciding how to describe yourself in an interview, stick to words you know are at least somewhat relevant to the role and the company, and as is the case with any interview question, remain professional at all times.
– Picking skills only because you think they are desirable
Equally, it is tempting to choose words like ‘perfectionist’, ‘self-manager’ or ‘relentless’ just because that’s what you believe the employer will want to hear. This isn’t true; if they can’t tell you’re lying in the interview, they certainly will if you do end up getting a job at their company.
– Being too modest
You’re being asked to describe yourself in just three words; don’t be too humble! A graduate job interview is your time to humblebrag – so leave adjectives like ‘nice’, ‘sensitive’ or ‘curious’ at the door. When you’re preparing how to describe yourself in an interview, think about your best qualities, and remember to explain how they can add value to their company.
Variations of the interview question ‘describe yourself in three words’
How would your friends describe you?
How would your colleagues describe you?
How would your boss describe you?
Describe yourself in a few words
How would you describe yourself with just 3 words?
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
What are 3 words to describe yourself?
Describe yourself in one word
Describe yourself in 5 words
Describe yourself in one sentence
How would you describe yourself?
Describe your personality in 3 words
Describe yourself in 3 words best answers
List 5 words that describe your personality
Summary video for “describe yourself in 3 words”
Tip: Change the playback speed in the settings at the bottom right corner, to suit your learning requirements! Please feel free to embed this video on your website (get in touch for more info), or for more great videos for graduates, subscribe to the Give A Grad A Go Recruitment YouTube Channel.
Other common job interview questions:
Read our complete guide to Interview Questions!
May 03, 2023
Author: Give A Grad A Go
Interview Question: ‘Describe Yourself In Three Words.’
Follow these steps to prepare for when employers say ‘Describe yourself in three words’:1. Create a list of words
Prior to preparing your response, start writing down any word that comes to mind when you think of yourself. Don’t think too deeply at first, and just see what you initially think of. As you write your list, you may think of more nuanced adjectives that describe who you are. If you’re feeling stuck, ask family or friends to think of a few words.2. Choose three that embody your brand
Take a look at your list and begin to cross out words that seem shallow or pretentious. Instead, highlight words that represent your personal, authentic brand. Then, look at the job description again and think of which words best relate to it. This can help you guide your answer to one that is relevant to the job while still being true to yourself.3. Explain why you chose them
After listing the three words, give a brief explanation as to why you chose each one. Find ways you can relate them to how you’ll use them in this position. This is also supposed to be a lighthearted question, so use it as an opportunity to let your personality shine.
Avoid these things when describing yourself in an interview:
Showing too much ego: Although you should show some confidence when answering this question, you should also be a bit humble. Words like amazing, or awesome don’t really mean anything and may come off wrong.
Being too timid: Likewise, you should show that you do have self-confidence when answering this question. Instead of saying I’ve never thought about it, or I’m unsure try to come up with responses that show why you’re a great person to hire.
Choosing irrelevant words: Although certain words may perfectly describe your personality outside of work, they may not offer much value to the interview. Pick words that both embody your personality and describe your professional self.
Use these examples as inspiration when replying to ‘Describe yourself in three words.’:Example 1
I would describe myself as driven, helpful, and reliable. I chose driven because I am always working toward a new goal and trying to achieve more. Even though I set out to accomplish my own goals, I make sure to stop and help others, which is why I chose that word too. I think that in order for a company to succeed, we need to lend a hand to one another. Finally, I chose reliable because I stick to my promises. If I say I’ll do it, you don’t have to remind me. I’ll get it done promptly.Example 2
First, I am thoughtful. I have a habit of always thinking of others and finding ways to make their days better or to lighten their load. Second, I am organized. I thrive off planners and sticky notes to ensure I am getting all of my work done on time. Finally, I am empathetic. I can easily understand other’s perspectives and find ways to find common ground.Example 3
I am curious, insightful, and passionate. By always exploring the world around me and researching new things, I find that I often have a lot to contribute to a conversation or brainstorming session. When I am interested in something, I become truly passionate about digging into it as much as possible. These three words are why I have so much research experience and am looking for more.Example 4
The first word I’d use to describe myself is witty. That’s why I enjoy writing so much. Finding a fun pun or reference is what I do best. I am also quite patient. If an idea isn’t coming to me, I don’t give up. Instead, I keep chewing on it until something great arises. Lastly, I am dynamic, meaning that I have a lot of skills to offer to this position.Example 6
I am communicative, meaning that I always want there to be a clear line of communication. It’s better to clarify than to be confused. I am also engaged. I love throwing myself into a project and making it an important part of my life. Finally, I am inquisitive. I am always asking questions to learn more.
How To Describe Yourself In 3 Words
Image Credits: Photo by Christina @ chúng tôi on Unsplash
How would you describe yourself in 3 words? This is an incredibly common interview question, often dreaded by applicants. Not only is it hard to describe yourself in only three words, it is hard to describe yourself in a way that is both humble and impressive! It may seem like a question that you can just breeze through. However, if you can elaborate on your answer, you will leave the interviewer with a fantastic first impression.
So, we’ve gathered some tips and examples to help you stand out when answering this common prompt. Let’s get started!
When asked to describe yourself, use your past achievements to prove why you are “XYZ.” This will leave your interviewer aware of your positive qualities and accomplishments. For example, say you have a lot of leadership experience. You can say that you are a leader because you ran two teams in the past, were the manager of your department at your last company, helped to lead a group of mathletes to a victory, or won first place in a team-based contest.
Highlighting your achievements shows the employer how you bring even more value to the company, while also giving them a closer look at your personality.
Here Are Some Examples:
I would describe myself as really creative. I have won multiple art shows in the past and grew a social media account from scratch. I really enjoy being creative.
Example: I would describe myself as very inclusive. I enjoy working in teams and collaborating with my fellow coworkers. In my past job, I was elected the team leader for my department.
Example: I would describe myself as very personable. I have vast customer service and retail experience, where I had the opportunity to assist customers daily. I loved building relationships with customers and getting to know them and help them feel welcome in the store.2. Show Off Your Range
Try to avoid using words that are synonyms. This is a common mistake when answering this question! Use words that highlight all the different aspects of your skills. For example, if your first word was creative, do not say artistic for your second word. Those two words have the same message, and your interviewer may think that you only have a few skills or qualities.
A good rule is to use two words that describe your different skillsets and then use the third word for how people describe you. Using this trick is sure to make a powerful impact.
Examples You Can Customize:
Example: I would describe myself as really creative. Winning multiple art shows in the past, and growing a social media account from scratch has let me expand my creativity. I would also say that I am a leader when given the right tools – in my last job, I led a team of three people to complete a project. Also, I have been told in the past that I’m a very generous person.
Example: I would describe myself as very creative, inclusive, and personable. I love finding innovative ways to always include everyone on the team and highlight their strengths. I mainly focus on ensuring that my team builds positive relationships with all of our customers and makes my personable energy contagious.3. Incorporate The Job Description
As with every interview question, go back to the job description. The interviewer already has an ideal candidate in mind. So, let the interviewer know that you are a great fit!
For example, if you are interviewing for a management position, describe yourself in a way that highlights your ability to lead. If you are interviewing for an art position, demonstrate your creativity.
Examples To Use During The Interview:
Example: I have a lot of experience working in customer service. My strong retail background has prepared me to handle customer complaints while keeping a professional and calm manner.
Example: I have strong problem-solving skills. I have worked on a variety of teams with people who possess different strengths and weaknesses. In my past position working in a department store, we would get slammed around the holiday season. I used my problem-solving skills to stay efficient and effective while providing the best shopping experience possible.4. Be Honest When You Describe Yourself
This question is an excellent way for you to showcase yourself. Besides experience and skills, your personality is another key component that can help get you hired. However, it is never a good idea to lie or exaggerate the truth. Be confident in your answer; there are many reasons you are a good fit for this job!
Exaggerating the truth can set you up for future failure. The company may think you are more experienced than you are and later realize you were dishonest when conducting reference checks. Use words and answers that describe the genuine and great person that you are!
Examples To Personalize For Your Response:
Example: I believe I am a good fit for this company because of my love for technology and helping others. My weakness is that I do not have a lot of experience working on a team, but I am open to collaboration and was a member of many clubs in college.
Example: I believe I am a good fit for this position because I have strong communication skills, I am very reliable, and I am skilled at problem-solving. I am a determined individual with a passion for people, and I believe I could provide excellent customer service while always being a reliable team member others can count on.
Good luck with your next interview! Check out how to answer the most common questions, and let us know how your interview goes.
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