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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’re 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’s important to prepare your answer beforehand.
Read on to discover the reasons why employers ask this job interview question, and to brush up on some great example interview answers. When you’re fully up-to-scratch on how to answer the question ‘describe yourself in 3 words’, check out our complete guide to Interview Questions.
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.
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.
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.
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.
When you’re preparing for a graduate job interview and deciding on the best words to describe yourself, 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’s usually better, though, to stick to words that are uncomplicated, unpretentious, and that will present you as a well-rounded young 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:
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. 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.
Equally, it’s 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.
You’re being asked to describe yourself in just 3 words; don’t be too humble! A graduate job interview is your time to humblebrag – so leave adjectives like ‘nice’, ‘friendly’, ‘sensitive’ or ‘curious’ at the door.
Read our complete guide to Interview Questions!
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