While there is no one answer that fits all. Here are some tips to help you best describe yourself in an interview.
You go to an interview, all confident and only a little nervous. You know you have prepared for this interview and you are all ready for any question that they ask you. Then they ask to ‘describe yourself’ and you are just dumbstruck. What should you say? If say only good things, then it seems like that you are egotistical and are boasting, but if you say bad things then it seems like you have no self esteem. Either way, chances of your hiring may drop. So, after absolute silence of about a whole minute, you humble something incoherent and generic about being a hard worker, and dedicated, etc.
So, what is the best way to describe yourself in an interview? A way that neither seems egotistical neither bashful. Here are a few tips to help you out:
Be Honest. Never make up stuff to impress someone else, let alone your employer. It is okay to exaggerate a little, but don’t lie outright, because if you do get the job, chances are your lie will get caught sooner and later; and no one want to appear as a liar.
Know what they are looking for. Instead of just using some abstract adjectives, keep in mind the company, the company culture, the position you are interviewing for and the person who is taking the interview. Taking all of this into account, try to gauge what they looking for you and what attributes of yours would be a good fit. Then, literally tell them what they want to hear.
Give an Example. It is easy to claim something about yourself. However, actions speak louder than words, so once you tell them what they want to here, follow it up with a real life example which that attribute of your is showcased. Again as previously stated it is ok to exaggerate a little, but do not lie. It is better to not give an example at all than lie.
Be aware of the interviewer’s reaction. When you are speaking take into account the interviewer’s reaction, even if it is subtle. Even unknowingly the interviewer will be giving you cues as to what he wants to hear, what he liked to hear, and mostly what he does not want to hear. If he seems interested or amused, keep going and tell him more of the same or similar thing. However, if he seems bored, then wrap it up or change the topic.
Lead with your strengths. Even if you can’t do the above things, don’t despair. Just tell them what you think are your best attributes and just leave it at that. At most, just follow that up with a willingness to learn and adapt, so that even if that is not exactly what they are looking for, they known that you will be willing to adapt to fit better within the company and your role in it.
Practice beforehand. When you are preparing for the interview, prepare for this question as well. Most of us don’t like to talk about ourselves, and active try to avoid the situation, which is why when they do ask us to talk about ourselves, we are like a fish out of water. Just practice talking about yourself a little so that it doesn’t seem awkward or forced at the time of the interview. But make sure it doesn’t sound like a rehearsed, canned speech either.
Image Courtesy: vitalleader.org