When someone asks you to list a few good words to describe yourself, which ones come to mind?
Because that question tends to come up a lot in job interviews and even on dates.
And when you’re interviewing for a dream job, you want powerful words — nothing overused or ambiguous.
You want words that communicate your value with impact.
Choose your words carefully from the lists below.
And use them with confidence.
The Art of Describing Yourself
Want to know how to best describe yourself on dates, interviews, and in conversation?
How you answer the question, “Describe yourself in a few words,” will probably depend on who’s asking and why:
- A date — to find out whether a second date is a good idea
- A potential roommate — to learn more about the kind of roommate you’d be
- An interviewer — to determine whether you’re right for a job
We show different sides of ourselves to different people, hoping they’ll see what we want them to see.
Eventually, if things go well, they’ll see more than that (mostly good things, you hope).
But there is an art to describing yourself in these situations.
And the success of that art depends on the words you use and how you use them.
List of 121 Words To Describe Yourself
Look through the lists below and write down the ones that honestly reflect your character, your personality, and your core values.
Best Words to Describe Yourself in an Interview
Some words are better for interviews than others.
No three words can say all there is to say about you for those who want to know you better.
No few words can say all there is to say about you for those who want to know you better.
But often, interviewers will ask the following questions about how to describe yourself. Here are some thoughts on how to answer.
Question #1: What Are 3 Words You Would Use to Describe Yourself?
This question is tricky because you must distill the appropriate qualities for the job into just a few words.
Carefully choose words that reflect what you believe this particular interviewer or future employer is looking for — as long as you genuinely possess the qualities.
Use this opportunity to expound on the three words by offering examples of how or why you think the qualities are relevant to the job you’re interviewing for. There’s more about this question below.
Question #2: What Are 5 Words to Describe Yourself?
Like the first question, you have to narrow your choices to a few words. But here you have a little wiggle room to add a couple of unique qualities that show you:
- Think outside of the box.
- Can work as a team player.
- Can be a self-starter.
- Are a keen learner.
- Have a great sense of (appropriate) humor.
Question #3: What Are 8 Words to Describe Yourself?
The interviewer wants more with this question, but you have to be careful not to talk too much or for too long. Prior to your interview, consider the top eight words that are the most relevant to the job requirements and your experience.
If you have prepared eight words, you can use the top three or five to answer questions #1 and #2 if the interviewer asks.
If they ask for eight words to describe yourself, prepare a short statement for each word that speaks to an experience, an award or recognition, or something else that shows why you chose the word.
Using the most truthful positive words to describe yourself to an interviewer will give you a definite edge over those who rely on buzzwords or spur-of-the-moment guesses. Here are some to consider.
Best Words To Describe Yourself in a Resume
On your resume, you’ll want to focus on using powerful adjectives to describe your skills and what you’ve done for previous employers or clients.
Employers have no reason to take you at your word that you’re honest, diligent, or creative.
So let them see it in the way you describe your skills and experience.
And if you must use any of the following words to describe yourself, be prepared for the follow-up question: “Give me an example of you demonstrating [a specific quality – leadership, profitability, persuasiveness, etc.].”
Three Unique Words to Describe Yourself
If you’ve been to enough interviews, you’re no doubt familiar with the question, “Describe yourself in three words.”
If you’re not prepared, you’ll probably end up spitting out words you’ll regret afterward — especially when better words come to mind.
Don’t let that happen. Consider the following words (as well as those above) and decide now which three fit you best and are most appropriate to the job you want.
It helps to think of the following three questions when choosing your words:
Question 1: How does your mind work?
Question 2: What one word best describes your character?
Question 3: What word describes a quality you admire or find interesting about yourself?
For example, you might go through the lists and answer the questions with Creative, Honest, and Empathetic — or Analytical, Well-Balanced, and Unflappable.
Whatever words you choose, if you can answer these questions honestly and with confidence, you’ll have an easier time answering other questions an interviewer might ask.
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Get to Know Yourself Better
Now that you’ve looked through the word lists in this post, which three (or more) stood out the most?
Did you imagine yourself answering the question with three words that describe your mind, your character, and your personality?
On a completely different note, how would you answer the same question asked by a new acquaintance or a potential roommate?
Whatever words you choose, I hope this helps you ace your next interview.
It also can’t hurt to practice with a list of often-used questions, like the ones described in this post.
But the usefulness of these word lists goes beyond the job interview. Growth in self-knowledge and understanding will serve you well in all areas of your life.
So get to know yourself better. And encourage those you love to do the same.