When it comes to your interview, you’ve got a lot of prep work to do. While you won’t know every question you’ll get asked, the good news is that there are many common ones that most hiring managers cover. One of these is to describe yourself. If you’re not prepared to give a solid answer, this request can throw you off track. But what should you say, in five words or less? Here are a few tips from our interview prep experts to keep in mind as you’re figuring it out:

Take the question seriously.

Don’t laugh it off or act like it’s a joke or silly request. You’ll offend the hiring manager and make a bad impression in the process. Instead, make sure you’re taking the question seriously, just as you would any other question.

Be honest with your answer.

You want to position yourself in the best light. However, don’t go overboard and exaggerate your qualities or list those you know you don’t have simply because it will make you look good. Instead, think through the requirements for the job and how your unique attributes can best meet them.

Make a list.

It’s best to start writing out your thoughts when thinking about how you’d answer this question. Don’t edit yourself in any way. Continue to write until you can’t think of any other qualities you want to highlight. Then start to edit until you have the top five that best represent you for this particular job.

Avoid generic words and clichés.

Don’t include vague or boilerplate words like “good” or “superstar.” These don’t mean much and won’t impress the hiring manager. Instead, when you’re preparing your response, consider some of the following word choices:

  • Flexible
  • Hard-working
  • Persistent
  • Reliable
  • Enthusiastic
  • Responsive
  • Smart
  • Confident
  • Encouraging
  • Motivated
  • Friendly
  • Creative
  • Methodical

If you’re still unsure about which words describe you, ask a family member or friend. They might be able to offer you more insight into how others view you and how you can best describe yourself.

Need more help preparing for your next interview?

Turn to the interview prep team at ResumeSpice. We know what hiring managers expect from top candidates and can help you better prepare so you ace your next interview. Find out more by reaching out to our team at 832.930.7378 or by contacting us online.