What 3 Words Describe You Best?

This question gives the opportunity to humble-brag about yourself. Use powerful adjectives like leader, organized, inspirational and creative and back them up with an interesting explanation.

Before the end of every interview, an employer will likely ask you to describe yourself in 3 words. They can phrase it differently, including “How would you describe yourself?” or “What three words best describe you?”
No matter how it’s phrased, the employer is basically looking for words that describe your work style and personality. Since this question comes very early on during the interview, you’ll want to nail it and make an impression right off the bat.

Why Do Employers ask this Question?

When a panelist asks this question, they want to get an idea of how you see yourself. They also want to hear what qualities you think are important. Lastly, the employer wants to gauge if your personality and thought process will be a good fit for that job and the company as a whole.

So, how do you respond to this question?

1.    Choose three adjectives that position you as a fit for that role
When preparing for the interview, list down ten adjectives that you think describe you. If you can’t find ten, ask your friends and family to give you words they think describe you. When you have those ten, go back to the job description and qualifications and see which ones correspond to the role.

The words you choose need to honestly embody your brand and showcase you as a good fit for the company. Some of the best words you can choose are bold, confident, decisive, extrovert, leader, inspirational, versatile, reliable, creative, and organized.

Stay away from obvious words that everyone is expected to have, including honest, punctual, talented, and committed. You should also avoid words that can come off as negative. Words like perfectionist, independent, outspoken don’t leave a good impression.

2.    Explain the Words
After settling on three or four words that best describe you, give a brief explanation of why you chose them. According to Mike Podesto, CEO of Find My Profession, you should back up your descriptive words with a story.

It’s likely that your competition also has some awesome adjectives to say and equally impressive explanations. A short, interesting story to back up your chosen words is what will set you apart from the crowd because people always remember stories.

For example, let’s say you have chosen Creative as one of the words. You can say, “I love trying new methods and introducing new ideas to everyday work. In my previous job, I was mandated with selling commercial vegetable choppers. One day, I brought cabbage and onion with me to the client and demonstrated how to use the chopper. This led to an immediate sale and 5 more on that day.”

Let’s do another one.

Assuming you have chosen the word Calm when applying for a receptionist or customer service work. You can say, “I am calm and collected when dealing with any kind of situation, especially customers. In my previous post, a client walked in yelling and threatening to sue the company. I calmly diffused the situation by hearing them out and offering a glass of juice.”

The only way to ace this question is to prepare ahead of time. Go through your answer with another professional and hear their thoughts on it.