How to Describe Yourself in Three Words

How to Describe Yourself in Three Words

Your interviewer will throw all sorts of questions at you to try to determine who you are and if you are the right fit for the job. One question that is often asked at the beginning of an interview is, 'can you describe yourself in three words?' This question will help an interviewer gain a quick insight into your personality as a candidate and potential employee.

Before you answer this question, however, you need to understand how to plan for it in the best way possible. You must be authentic and honest in your answer to give an accurate representation of your personal brand. Do this to begin your interview in a positive manner.

Why do Employers Ask You to Describe Yourself in Three Words?

An employer will ask you to describe yourself in three words as they want to gain an understanding of how you view yourself. The three words you choose can let an employer know if you align with their organization's culture and values. If you use adjectives that don't align with their values, then an employer may take that into account when assessing the interview as a whole.

The adjectives you use will also signify to an employer the attributes that you think are most important for an employee. They will reflect your professional side along with your personal brand. An employer can use your answer to see if they believe that you'll be successful in the role.

How to Plan Which Three Words to Use

To decide which words to use, it is best to plan. If you fail to plan, your answer may not come across well. Follow these steps to narrow down the three adjectives that you will use to describe yourself.

  1. List your valuable characteristics

    Consider which qualities describe you best. Make a list of all of these qualities and try to keep them down to only one word. If you are struggling, ask people in your family or network for any suggestions that they have.

  2. Research the organization

    Hop on the internet and research the organization that you are applying for. Browse websites and social media profiles to understand what their culture and values are like. When doing this, you should also take some time to review the job listing that you have applied for, to get a sense of what the job in question will entail.

  3. Narrow it down to three words that align with your personal brand and the organization

    Look at your adjective list and organization research. Decide which characteristics of you align with the organization and job role perfectly. Ensure that the words you choose are genuine and reflect yourself accurately. There is nothing to gain by lying to an employer during your answer to this question.

  4. Explain the meaning of each word

    Once you have your three words, write one or two sentences for each one to explain their significance. You must have chosen them for a reason, so let the employer know why. Once again, be honest and genuine in your answer and include a brief description of why this characteristic will benefit you in the job role.

Examples of Words that You Can Use

If you are struggling to think of some adjectives to use, don't worry as we've got you covered. Make sure to pick words that represent your personality and professional self closely. Remember, that a description of you outside of the workplace will be different from a description of you in the workplace.

Words to use to describe yourself

  • Adaptable
  • Adventurous
  • Analytical
  • Approachable
  • Attentive
  • Balanced
  • Broad-minded
  • Caring
  • Competitive
  • Constructive
  • Contemplative
  • Creative
  • Curious
  • Dependable
  • Determined
  • Driven
  • Dynamic
  • Energetic
  • Engaged
  • Enthusiastic
  • Fearless
  • Flexible
  • Friendly
  • Generous
  • Genuine
  • Helpful
  • Honest
  • Insightful
  • Intuitive
  • Inventive
  • Kind
  • Knowledgeable
  • Logical
  • Loyal
  • Motivated
  • Open-minded
  • Optimistic
  • Organized
  • Passionate
  • Patient
  • Practical
  • Reliable
  • Resilient
  • Resourceful
  • Responsible
  • Sociable
  • Tenacious
  • Thoughtful
  • Trustworthy
  • Understanding
  • Versatile
  • Vibrant

These are just some of the words that you can consider when you describe yourself. Once you have decided on your words, head into the interview and prepare for the question. When the question comes, let the employer know your three words and the reasoning behind each one with confidence.

Written by Career Specialist Jan 25, 2023
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