We know from answering the interview question tell me about yourself that attempting to describe your personality in a graduate job interview can be tricky – and this is especially true when you are limited to just a few words.
It might seem simple, but the 3 words you choose to describe yourself can reveal a lot to a graduate employer about your personality, working style and priorities; so it is important to prepare your answer beforehand.
Read on to discover the reasons why employers ask this job interview question, and to brush up on your ‘describe yourself in 3 words’ best answers.
When you are fully up-to-scratch on how to answer this common graduate interview question, check out our complete guide to Interview Questions – or find out what graduate jobs we have live on our site.
Scroll straight to the bottom of the page to see a quick, summary video of how to answer!
Why do employers ask you to describe yourself in 3 words?
1. To find out how you think
Potential employers will be interested to find out how your mind works, and therefore which 3 words you choose to describe yourself when put on the spot.
Unlike the question ‘tell me about yourself’ being asked to describe yourself using a limited number of words will require you to elaborate on your answer much less.
However, the 3 words you choose to describe yourself will help the employer gain a sense of what you think are the most important qualities (i.e. may indicate that you are business-minded, a people person, or a team player).
The 3 words you select to describe yourself will help the employer or hiring manager better understand the way that you think, and gain insight into what you see as the most important qualities in an employee.
2. To see whether you would be a good culture fit
Graduate employers will be keen to find out whether the characteristics you describe align with their team and general company culture.
The adjectives you choose to describe yourself will give them a good insight into your working style; helping them decide whether you would be the right fit for the role and the company.
3. To find out your best qualities
Naturally, the 3 words you choose to describe yourself to a graduate employer will reflect what you believe to be your best attributes or characteristics.
The employer will want you to use this opportunity to show off your leading qualities, and those which will set you apart from other candidates.
When you are deciding how to describe yourself in an interview, the 3 words you choose will also indicate whether you understand the role; and should show that you have researched the employer, the team, the company, and what they are looking for.
Describe yourself in three words best answers
When you are preparing for a graduate job interview and deciding how to describe yourself in an interview, try to choose words that are positive, professional, and easy-to-understand.
You will want to select the words that describe your personality, working style and priorities in the very best light; and it can be tempting to choose out-of-the-box adjectives that will make you stand out from other candidates interviewing for the role.
It is usually better, though, to stick to words that are uncomplicated, unpretentious, and that will present you as a well-rounded professional who will add value to their company.
Here are some great examples that will help to boost your employability and improve your chances of job interview success:
List of words to describe yourself in an interview
When planning your answer to describe yourself in 3 words, it is a good idea to choose more than 3 words so that you can ensure you are fully prepared in the interview.
Try to choose 5 or 6 possible answers, so that then in the interview you can choose the 3 best answers and most relevant attributes for the job you’re applying for.
Analyst / Tech
Sales / BDE
Marketing / Creative
– Team player
PR and Comms
– Open minded
– Laid back