Common Interview Question: What Are Three Words That Describe You?

MAY 16, 2011 | BY MICAH

“Readiness, Recuperation, and Conditioning.”

Boiling yourself down to a few words is annoying. Interviewers love annoying things. So there you go. Are you ready to be annoyed? What three words describe you?

How to Answer

Once again, this is an example of a question that does not have any wrong answer, provided you don’t sound like an idiot and you justify your answer well. Ideally, try to choose at least one that reflects well on your work ability, and at least one that reflects well on your work personality. The other can be either. Make sure every word you choose is professional.

Bad Answer

“Three words. Let’s see… If I had to pick three words, the first word would be ‘Funny.’ I am really, really funny. The second word… Probably ‘Sesquipedalian’ because I know a lot of big words, like the word Sesquipedalian. The third word… something like ‘Princely’ since I often find myself being waited on by others.”

Good Answer

“The first word would be ‘adaptive.’ I find it easy to adjust to new situations. The second word would be ‘Competent.’ I find that I can meet or exceed expectations in most tasks. The third word would be ‘Educated.’ As you can see from my resume, I have received BA from Yale and an MBA from Harvard, and spent many years educating myself under the guidance of Dr. Harry MadeUpName.”

The words themselves are only of moderate importance. Adaptive and Competent are both good words, and educated is not bad. Also, each one is followed up with why you think so. Say your answer with confidence and you should be fine.

Take Away Interview Tips

  • Make sure your words aren’t stupid.
  • Make sure your words focus on your professional life.
  • Make sure your words are backed up with a sentence about why.
  • Try to incorporate how you work and who you are at work into your answer, if possible.

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One Response to Common Interview Question: What Are Three Words That Describe You?

  1. Liam October 9, 2014 at 3:20 am #

    WOW, just what I was looking for. Came here searching for information

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