How To Answer The Job Interview Question ‘Describe Yourself In One Word’

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It’s an ultimate elevator pitch ask: ‘Describe yourself to me in one word.’ If you’re asked this in a job interview, how can you boil down everything you can bring to this role in one single word?

The key (as with all job interview answers) is to be strategic.

It isn’t enough to choose a word that only describes your personality, no matter how correct it is. You could be any number of wonderful things… happy, resilient, warm, smart, a great friend, generous, kind, and so on… but these answers won’t do anything to help convince them to hire you. What you want to do is think about the job and what qualities would be especially good for someone to be successful in that role, and then choose one of those that applies to you.

What are some possibilities for good words to choose?

Personally, my answer would be ‘dynamic.’ For me, this is a good word because I change, adapt, and do whatever I need to do to succeed. It’s a good word that could help someone be successful in many roles. What would make you a stand out in the role you’re discussing? Here are some options:

Successful   (if you’re successful in other places, chances are you’ll be successful here, too)
Motivated   (great for roles where you’ll be working more independently)
Strategic   (great for planning roles or leadership roles)
Enthusiastic  (might be a good word for roles needing a change agent)
Organized   (good for managers or those working with a lot of moving parts)


Whatever answer you choose, be ready to follow-up with an explanation or example of how you
embodied that trait in your work life in the past. Structure your answer with the STAR technique (tell the
Situation or Task you faced, the Action you took that is an example of your trait, and the Result you got
from it).

Credit: Peggy McKee – Career Coach                                                                                                                                                       


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