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Career experts recommend that job candidates use adjectives during interviews to demonstrate their skills

and accomplishments. Savvy interviewers will evaluate your intelligence, cognitive skills and attitude by the
words you use. They can also determine how much you know about the job or industry through these
adjectives. Incorporate some of these common adjectives when asked to list key skills or strengths during
interviews. Convert some of them to action verbs when discussing past projects, as this can enhance your
chance of getting the job.

Communication is by far the most important skill employers desire in candidates, according to
Quintessential Careers. Professionals in any career must know how to speak, write and listen effectively to
perform their jobs. When initially relating this skill to employers, indicate how communicative you've been
in dealing with past subordinates and managers. Use action verbs when discussing specifics about projects.
For example, tell the interviewer you communicated regularly with marketing and advertising managers in
previous jobs. Action verbs are more concise and impactful and tend to flow better when relating past

You must be organized on a job to plan projects, delegate tasks and ensure you complete work on time. You
can also tell your interviewer you have organizational skills, which is another highly desirable trait in the
workforce. Both forms of the word can be used as adjectives. Organized is also an action verb you can use
to elaborate on your background. For example, you might say, "I organized company seminars as a way to
grow our customer base."

Related Reading: How to Think Fast During an Interview

People who are flexible can better adapt to challenges on jobs and take on more responsibilities. Whether
you are a doctor, teacher or business executive, your workplace is constantly changing, and you must hone
old skills and adopt new ones to change with it.

Stress that you are committed to companies you interview with. Most companies don't hire workers for
short-term stints. They want you to be dedicated to your job and eventually advance into higher level
positions. Employers spend lots of money to recruit and hire employees, and prefer keeping turnover down.

A competent employee is one who fully understands his job and can contribute to a company's success. You
can best demonstrate competence during interviews by relating your experience to that of available jobs.
However, preface your comments by saying you've been highly competent throughout your career.

Interviewers might sense you are persistent when you convince them why they should hire you. Still, it can't
hurt to mention this adjective during the interview to describe yourself and explain how you typically do
anything possible to complete assignments.

During an interview, you might preface comments about results, awards or achievements by saying you've
been recognized for exceptional work in past jobs. Employers like candidates who were considered stars by
past employers, according to "Business News Daily."

Employers want to know you've made an impact in past jobs, whether you increased sales by 15 percent as
a sales rep or achieved the state's highest grades as a middle school teacher. The word impactful can be a
bit awkward but you only need to use it once -- before discussing your litany of accomplishments.

Interview Power Words

It's important to make a good first impression, especially during a job interview. Recruiters and hiring
managers are listening, either consciously or subconsciously, for certain terms or words that are often
referred to as interview power words. These are the buzz words to say during an interview to impress the
interviewer and lock up the job.

Unfortunately, it's not all that easy. The last thing anyone wants to do is to start throwing around these
"power words" to impress someone during an interview. It's going to sound very unnatural, and even
worse, trying to remember them might add to any pre-interview anxiety.

Additional Resources

Behavioral Interviewing Technique

Job Interview Question Database
Behavioral Interview Question Database
Writing an Interview Thank You Letter
Fortunately, there are several techniques that can be used to help say the right thing during a job interview.
For example, it's possible to learn how to weave them into the conversation. Job candidates just need to
know when, and how, to use these techniques.

Power Words and Behavioral Interviews

This website has several articles dedicated to behavioral interviews. Job hunters that have never been on
this type of interview before should focus their energy on reviewing that information.

The entire technique of responding to behavioral interview questions is unnatural, and interviewees will be
asked to answer questions using a prescribed format known as a STAR response. In fact, even the way
behavioral questions are asked is unique.

The good news is that behavioral interviewing can be improved through practice. That means it's possible
to identify some of the power words to use, and practice this technique ahead of time. This will make
responses to questions sound somewhat rehearsed. But that's not a big deal during this type of interview.

The following two hints should be helpful for anyone called in for a behavioral interview:

Review all the information possible on the technique itself. It's important to understand the types of
questions asked, and how to respond to behavioral questions during the meeting.
Take a look at our article on resume power words. This article contains hundreds of examples of power
words that can be used during an interview.
Practice using these words with the STAR response method and this will maximize the chance of success
during this type of interview.

Power Words and Traditional Interviews

The approach to using power words during a traditional job interview is going to be a bit different than
during a behavioral one. That's because traditional interview questions are less intellectually demanding,
and the response can be far less structured.

For that very reason, attempting to insert buzz words into a responses or conversations with the person
conducting the interview is going to sound "forced" or "scripted." Inserting them into a conversation may
sound deliberate, and that may arouse the suspicions of the interviewer.

All these warnings aside, it's still possible to use power words during this type of meeting. But rather than
memorize a specific list of words to use, a better approach is to understand what makes a word so potent
during the conversation.


Power words are usually action words or verbs. Some interviewees believe it's important to insert these
words into their responses because they are more powerful in expressing what was accomplished. For
example, take a look at the following statement pairings:

Example 1

I kept accounting records for company XYZ.

I maintained accounting records for company XYZ.
Example 2

I got a great deal on the software used at our call center.

I negotiated a great deal on the software utilized at our call center.
Example 3

I used to figure out business cases so our company could create new products.
I was responsible for developing business cases to support our company's launch of new products.

In each of these pairings, we've used power words in the second statement; demonstrating exactly how to
use them during an interview. If someone's not used to talking in this fashion, they should practice well
ahead of the meeting. If speaking this way is completely unnatural, even after practicing, then this
approach may do more harm than good.

Be specific

What can really make an employer perk up and set you apart from other candidates? Being specific. If you
exceeded your sales goals for a previous year, how much did you exceed them by? Was it 5 percent or 20
percent? There isn't one word or phrase that can be applied universally in this situation, but by adding a
quantifying statement to explain your skills and successes you can really enhance your interview. Abby
Bedecs, account executive
at Gregory FCA

Highlight transferable skills

The interview process is the candidate's opportunity to demonstrate the knowledge, skills and ability
necessary to effectively perform the job. The candidate should take every opportunity to communicate how
prior experiences have provided the transferable skills that will likely lead to success in the particular role.
The candidate should never lose sight of this. Travis Railsback, executive director at
the University of Alabama Career Center

Be functional

Use words that convey a function that is used by your

employer. Too often, candidates pick words that are theoretical or
philosophical rather than functional and observable. Describe what it looks like when you are carrying out
this word. You want the interviewer to see and value this activity. Words that create a buzz with
interviewers include: project management, outcomes, assessment, data-driven decisions, and feedback.
Steve Langerud, workplace consultant and deputy director of
global development at Maharishi University of Management

Highlight how you successfully worked in a team

Always try and slip in the word "we" into any examples you give about work you've done. Your prospective
employer is interested in your individual achievements, but if you can reference how you played your part
within a team environment, it shows how well you work with others. It'll make you stand out. Mel
Carson, founder of Delightful Communications

Be persistent

Often during job interviews, candidates are asked to describe themselves. In such a circumstance, a good
word to weave into the response is
"persistence." A persistent employee keeps working toward a solution even in difficult situations. When
others might give up, a persistent
employee will look at the problem from different angles, perhaps asking
unconventional questions or seeking advice from an unusual source. Timothy Wiedman,
associate professor of Management & Human Resources
at Doane College


Use certainties

Words that deal in absolutes, like "always" or "never," should be

carefully used in an interview. Very few things in life are absolute, and that is especially true with people in
the business world. By
saying, "I always do this," you might give the impression that you are
not as honest and forthcoming as employers may want to hear. Also, saying, "I never do this," you may give
the impression you are not
flexible, [and flexibility] can be a positive trait to demonstrate. Make sure, if
you deal in absolutes, you are not giving a bad impression in terms of
integrity, or preventing your key skills from coming forth. Scott Rawitsche, co-founder of Collaborative
Business Solution

Be overeager

Several phrases can make employees seem overeager. They include: I love to multitask, and I have no

problem doing that. I wonder who told them to say this? Does this mean that they have been asked to
juggle a lot of projects at an internship? You are a
bright and intelligent candidate, please do not tell me you do not have a
problem doing certain tasks. Rise to all challenges. Amy Levy, president of Amy Levy PR

Use clichs

Candidates should absolutely avoid the overused lingo, clichs and biz-speak which populates LinkedIn
summaries. While job seekers may think that the usage of this garbled, imprecise wording will prove their
savviness and give them a competitive edge, the result is the opposite. The interviewers will not view job
seekers who speak in this manner as being noteworthy, memorable or worthy of hiring. Rafe Gomez,
founder of the Rehirement Coach

Talk about being a team player

I always get the assurance that "I am a team player." This is a phrase that is a double-edged sword, as I
would like to see how someone has given up something for a team member. But people are quick to talk
about how they bested others to set a winning strategy or winning tactic. Danielle Monaghan, HR
director, North Asia-Greater China, Japan, Korea of Cisco Systems

Say terms are non-negotiable

This phrase should never be used in the interview. While you have requirements, they should be used in
your internal considerations in deciding if the job is right for you. In the final negotiations, you will be better
served to state your requirements in terms of your needs in order to accept the position. Sandra Lamb,
business and career expert

Say 'I'm glad you asked that question'

This phrase can make you sound phony, overeager and

sycophantic. It's sometimes said by someone who needs time to think of an answer, and it's commonly
heard during the question and answer part of a presentation. It's much better to
answer the question without this preface. You may feel you want to give some background before

answering the question.

That's fine, but make it clear that you're going to answer the question so
you don't give the impression that you're being evasive. In any interaction, anticipate the questions that
may be asked of you.
Answer them concisely, without non-words like, "um" and "uh," which could make you sound
unsure of your answer. Bill Rosenthal, CEO of Communispond
On another note, every interview is a learning experience. Try to observe the body language and facial
expression of the interviewer as you say certain words and phrases. Does the interviewer lean in toward
you and make eye contact when you emphasize a particular word that describes you or your skill? This is
usually a good thing! Does the interviewer give a condescending smirk, lose eye contact or lean back away
from you? Probably not a good thing.

Five interview key words

1. Passionate

Be certain to convey your passion for the position, mission or company. The last thing an employer wants is
someone who is just working to "make a living" or "try something out."

2. Asset

A job is not the same as an internship. An employer does NOT want to hear that you are applying to "learn."
You better bring a unique skill set or perspective to the table that is going to greatly benefit the employer.
Make sure to express WHY you are an ASSET to the company.

3. Communicator

What's the No. 1 quality an employer looks for in an employee? Answer: The ability to communicate
effectively. The ability to articulate your ideas and perspective to both fellow members of your company
and the public is extremely valuable.

4. Quick Study

There's no hiding the fact that you're a recent college graduate. However, while you may not have the years
of experience, you only need to be shown a task once to be able to do it well, and ultimately, come to
master it.

5. Practical

Most recent college grads are excited to jump into their first position full-force! While that excitement can
be viewed as an asset, it can also turn off employers. A young person's excitement is often associated with
the potential to "act prior to thinking things through." Therefore, it's important to reassure the interviewer
that you will approach each assignment with practicality, logic and reason.

How should I say something? What wording should I use. Here are some tips.

The words you use to express yourself say more about you than you think. In fact, your vocabulary and the
use of appropriate words say more about you than the message you are trying communicate. You are
judged by the words you use. When you are looking for a job it is not only important to use the right
words and language it is essential.

It begins with the writing of your resume and continues in the way that you answer the questions asked in
an interview. Each industry uses key words or lingo for each position. In order to be prepared it will be
important for you to research these words and to use them appropriately. If you do you will sound more
knowledgeable and in-the-know.

How will I know which words are key?

Key words are found in job postings/ads. For each position there are common words that describe what is

required for a job. Job postings are a list of qualities and skills employers are looking for in a candidate
their wish list.

Here is an example of common words used in postings for an Executive Secretary position: (Six postings
were used).

Confidential (used in all six postings)

Ability to proofread and edit (used in all six postings)

Excellent written and verbal communication skills (used in four of six postings)

Organized, Attention to detail (used in all six postings)

Other words used included, Discretion, Judgment, Self-starter, Scheduling, Prioritize, and Multitasking.

If you are applying for an Executive secretary position these are the key words to include in your cover letter
and resume. Electronic resume scanners will seek out these words to select your resume as qualified for the
position. If these words are missing your resume may not be selected. These are also the words to use in
the interview that will make you sound like someone who is a good fit for the position.

Finding the Key Words for Your Position

A good place to start is with job postings. Common words are used to describe the requirements needed for
each job. By printing out several posting you will begin to see the key words repeated over and over. The
only criteria for finding these words should be that you are interested in the job and not limiting your search
by location. Make a list of the words that are used repeatedly and note how often they are used.

Another source of words is The Occupational Information Network You will

find a complete list of occupation keywords, SOC codes, Job Families. This site also lists skills required
basic skills, social skills, experience and tasks required. Check these words against the list from the job
postings you used to build a stronger list.

When you begin to write your resume or prepare your interview script you will find these words invaluable.
Of course, you would never use a word just to impress your interviewer. Knowing the definition behind the
word is what will convince the interviewer that you know what you are talking about.

The right words can make a big difference in a single statement more concise and to the point more
powerful and impressive. Finding the key words will make your statements more powerful. Speaking the
industry lingo will help you be taken more seriously as a candidate worthy of a job offer
Uplifting subliminal messages?

When Scott Adams asked his readers to look at themselves, he made an interesting discovery with the
results. According to the Dilbert creator also a trained hypnotist reading the below list of adjectives
quickly will boost your spirits. And you know what? It works:






Are you a foreign English speaker and youre fed up with your current situation at work and youd really love
to change jobs?

Are you already preparing for a job interview and youre anxious to make the best impression possible?

Or maybe youre in the process of creating a CV so that you can start applying for relevant positions?

Whichever is the case, you may want to make sure youre using relevant job-seeking related phrases and
expressions! If you do so, youll definitely increase your chances of getting picked for the position because
youll sound just like your native English speaking counterparts.

So without further ado, lets get down to business and see exactly what smart English phrases you should
use in your CV and during your job interviews!

Describing Your Profile

Im a wide profile sales/marketing/customer support professional this is a general phrase used to describe
industry/-ies youre been working in. If you say wide profile instead of just Ive been working in , it will
sound smarter and more professional!

I perform well under pressure is a phrase you can use to describe that youre an employee very well capable
of working when theres a lot of pressure and youll do your best to get things done.

Im used to working in a busy environment similar to the previous one, and you can use it interchangeably
with I perform well under pressure during an interview so that you dont constantly repeat yourself.

Customer-orientated means you value customers and youll be polite and efficient when dealing with them.
Remember customers are life-blood of every business, so this is what every potential employer will want
to hear from you!

Meeting targets is a professional way of saying getting things done in time. In terms of work and
professional environment, targets is the word thats used to describe tasks and assignments, so you should
use it to sound like a true professional.

Handle stress easily this phrase is especially relevant in customer support and other industries when
dealing directly with customers starting with catering and ending with direct sales.

Team player if youre a likeable person who gets along well with others while at the same time being able
to maintain professional relationship instead of filling your workplace with gossip then youre a team

Can-do attitude means you dont accept defeat and you dont get confused the moment situation gets
difficult and complicated at work. You just get things done, you cheer others up in your workplace and
youre the right person for the job youre going for!

Drive to succeed is one of characteristics of a typical career person, and you definitely want to mention that
during the interview or in your CV. Your future employer will look for someone whos naturally driven by
success, so make sure to describe yourself as such a person.

Results driven this phrase is somewhat similar to the previous one with emphasis on results. Success is a
more general term; results imply youre good at meeting targets, too.

Eager to learn use this English collocation to stress the fact that youre always taking opportunities to
acquire new knowledge. Its going to send a message to your interviewer that youre not afraid of new
duties and responsibilities!

Good at multitasking use this phrase to convince your future employer that youre not easy to give into
despair when things are getting hectic and you have to juggle a lot of responsibilities at the same time.

Describing Previous Experience and Your Current Position

I have years experience in the field this phrase allows you to describe your experience precisely while
using professional lingo at the same time.

Proven track record when you say, for example I have a proven track record in telecommunication it
means youve been working in the sector and you have an official employment history and related

Work against the clock this is a perfect way of describing a fast-paced work environment in your previous
or current job. Another good job-seeking related word combination to go with this one is to meet
deadlines We often have to work against the clock to meet deadlines during the busy season.

SLA (Service Level Agreement) is a standard term used across industries whenever two parties have agreed
on certain targets in terms of performance. Its especially relevant for customer support based positions
where every individual has to work towards meeting Service Level Agreements such as responding on emails within a certain period of time, logging phone calls properly and ensuring timely resolution of
customer problems. So if youve been having similar responsibilities in your current/previous job but you
didnt know its called meeting SLAs make sure you use this smart phrase in your CV and job interview!

Liaise with other departments its a fancy way of saying to communicate with other departments. If
youre willing to get the job though, you may as well learn the word liaise. When it comes to speaking
about your communication between departments in your company, youll know exactly what phrase to use!

Explaining Why You Want This Job

This question comes up during every job interview, and oftentimes interviewees arent quite sure how to
respond to it. Its essential therefore that you learn a few phrases you can use exactly for this purpose!

Also remember never speak ill of your previous/current jobs or employers! Even if youre going for a new
job because you hate your boss, never admit to it during an interview. Thats when the following phrases
come in handy:

I want to further my career in sales/marketing its a perfect way of saying that there arent any
promotional opportunities in your current job without admitting to it directly.

In line with my qualifications if you tell your future boss that you want to get this job because its in line
with your qualifications, its going to send a message that youre a person fully aware of what your expertize
is. And I dont think theyll keep probing you during the interview until they get you to confess that youre
just unhappy with your current job. Theyll take this answer as a satisfactory response and be happy with it!

I want to take on more responsibility a totally valid phrase you can use when aiming for a slightly higher
position. Just like when using the first phrase in this section you can use this sentence, highlight the fact that
youre an ambitious professional but dont say directly Nobody will promote me in my current

The Tricky Part of Any Interview Salary

In 9 situations out of 10 youre looking for a better pay when going for a new job, arent you? But what if
the advertised position doesnt have a price-tag attached to it? The problem is you cant just tell your
potential employer right upfront I want to get paid 12$/h!

Thats when you have to be smart and use the right phrases to send a message to the interviewer that
youre aware of what your experience and skills are worth.

Competitive salary you cant go wrong with this one if you say that youre expecting a competitive

salary, it means you know what the industry average is and youd like to get at least that amount of hourly

My remuneration was adequate if you dont want to reveal how much you earned in your previous
company, this is the phrase to use!

I expect experience based remuneration as I already told you mentioning numbers during a job
interview speaks of bad manners, so if youre quite an experienced professional in a certain field, its safe to
say that you expect your experience to reflect on your remuneration package.

My salary expectations are in line with my qualifications and education same thing as the previous phrase
but with an emphasis on your qualifications and education. This is a good way of emphasizing your
educational background and its role in your career of course, if you have something really relevant to
bring to the table. If you expect your bachelors diploma to work as a salary-boosting factor when applying
for a catering position better think twice!

What Sets You Apart From Other Candidates?

Its another one of those questions that can make or break your job interview. The thing is while both you
and your future employer know that youre probably not a unique person among other job-seekers out
there, youve just got to sell yourself as the best person possible for the position!

And of course dont forget that being a foreign English speaker, you have to sell your spoken English skills
as well, so thats when the following phrases come in handy:

Im self-motivated this phrase is kind of overused, but if you really mean it, it says a lot about you as a
worker. It means you dont have to be constantly supervised and youre mature enough to take on

I take pride in my work this a great phrase and I bet your future boss wants to employ someone who takes
pride in his/her job and is enthusiastic enough to make sure day-to-day tasks are run effectively.

Im very attentive to detail heres a quality that can really set you apart from others. I know from my own
experience that small mistakes can lead to big expenses down the road for your employer, so having
someone on board whos going to be meticulous when it comes data entry and similar tasks is very

Im 100% involved while performing work-related duties means youre really dedicated and your future boss
wont have problems with you not completing your tasks and assignments.

Im good at resolving problem situations dont forget to mention a difficult situation from your past which
you resolved successfully. Typically it involves dealing with a difficult customer, but it can also include
resolving other problems delivery issues, technical problems and whatnot.

Language Skills

Its of the utmost importance for you as a foreign English speaker to describe your English and other
language skills so that those descriptions properly portray your capability of using the respective languages.
Heres how to describe your English skills other than just fluent:

I have effective communication skills in English both verbally and in writing. Its a perfect way of
elaborating on the matter in your CV because it also explains that youre good both at writing and speaking.
Fluent is a term that can be stretched; this phrase, however, leaves very few questions to be asked!

Ive been speaking English for the last years you can use this sentence to alleviate any doubts that your
English mightnt be good enough for the job.

Ive been working in an English speaking environment for the last years same as the previous one, with
a slight emphasis on your work-related spoken English skills. Its going to send a strong message to your
future employer that you wont have any problems communicating with your fellow employees and

My English is competent for this industry its a way of admitting that your English mightnt be 100% fluent
yet you can deliver 100% results in the respective industry. Youre probably better off avoiding this phrase
unless you run into some English fluency issues during the interview and then this might be your last chance

to salvage the situation.

As we all know, in times of stress your spoken English may suddenly sound quite bad, and Ive written about
dealing with such and similar problems extensively. Here are a few articles you should definitely read:

Native English Speakers Dont Always Spot Your Mistakes!

How to Achieve Complete English Fluency in 4 Easy Steps
Put On a Show Every Time You Speak in English
The biggest problem you may be facing is the following your English is quite fluent, but stress is getting the
better of you during the interview which in turn results in a lot of spoken English mistakes. Now, in your CV
youve indicated that your English is fluent, but if thats the case why youre sounding like a beginner
English learner?

Therefore its best to prep up for the interview well in advance to avoid such situations, and if youve
memorized at least a dozen smart phrases like the ones in this article, your chances of sounding like a fluent
English speaker are much bigger!

You should CONSTANTLY practice with yourself during these last days leading up to the interview!

1. Create the potential interview questions and answers on paper.

2. Highlight the most commonly used expressions & industry phrases (theyre the ones in the article above!)
3. Learn those expressions off by heart and do a role-play whereby you pretend to be both yourself and the
4. Do this exercise all over and over again until you can comfortably provide an answer on all possible

And of course on the interview day simply forget about it all and try and ignore everything the mounting
pressure, everything. Just go into the interview room and allow your mouth to do the talking because the
more youll stress out, the worse youll perform! ;-)

Basically the key is to do LOADS of spoken practice beforehand and allow all those speech patterns to
literally embed themselves into your brain so that you dont have to FORCE yourself to say this or that
particular thing.


P.S. Would you like to find out why Im highlighting some of the text in red? Read this article and youll learn
why its so important to learn idiomatic expressions and how it will help you to improve your spoken

"Please describe your personality to us?"

In a job interview, this or something like this is one of the questions that you will probably be asked by an
interviewer. If you don't answer it well, then there is no point continuing the interview, you'll have lost the
job. To answer this question well, it is important to focus your answer on the personal skills you believe are
necessary to perform the job. But you also need to use professional sounding vocabulary to describe your
personality. For example, you could say that you are very 'careful' when you do your work. Which is fine.
But instead of 'careful', you could say that you are 'thorough', which basically means the same thing, but
sounds a lot more professional. After using one of these describing adjectives or nouns, it is important to
explain how you are this type of person, e.g. 'I am thorough. I always make sure that there are no mistakes
in my work'.

In this first of two online exercises on describing yourself, we will look at professional sounding adjectives
and nouns in English that you can use for describing your personality and abilities in a job interview.

Click here to see more vocabulary for describing yourself in part two of this exercise

Click here to see more of our free online exercises on CVs/resumes and job interviews

Exercise: Describing yourself in an interview


Read the following two replies in a job interview to the question, 'How would you describe yourself?'. The
first, is from a candidate for the position of a manager. The second, is from a candidate for the position of a
computer analyst.

From the context, try to guess what the meaning of the words/phrases in bold are. Then do the quiz at the
end to check if you are right.

For a manager's position:

'Well, first of all, I am very hands-on. I like to be involved in everything that my team does. It is easier to
manage staff if they see you with them a lot of the time. Also, I am very supportive. I encourage people and
that brings the best out in them. It works better than criticising them. I am there if any of my team need any
type of help, because people are not machines. In addition, I see myself as a natural leader. I have the ability
to direct, organise and inspire people. This is especially important when you are a manager, because as you
know, if your staff do not respect or trust you, then it is highly likely that the team does not work as it could
or should.

I would also say that I am very goal-orientated. I always set myself objectives or targets which I have to
meet. For example, when I started my career, I set myself a goal of being promoted to a manager inside of 2
years, and I achieved it. Also, I am a very proactive type of person. I never wait for things to go wrong. I
make sure that I identify any possible issues before they happen, and introduce changes and processes to
ensure that they do not occur. This is very important in business today.

And in addition, I am pragmatic. I am a realist and understand that change is a business necessity. And that
in the world of business you sometimes have to do things that you don't necessarily agree with.

And lastly, I am dynamic. I am very motivated and I am full of ideas of how to run a team. And I have the
energy and the confidence to do it.'

For a computer analyst's position:

'I am a very methodical person. I work in a very organised and systematic way to avoid making mistakes.
Which is very important in Information Technology (IT), where one small mistake can cost a lot of time and
money. In addition, I am reliable. You can trust me to do any work well that I am given. This is very
important when you are not under constant supervision. Also, I am hard-working. I am generally the first
person to arrive in the office and one of the last to leave.

In addition, I am very analytical, which is very important for any career in science or IT. I always use a
combination of logic and analysis when I do my work. This is really useful when you are developing a new
project or problem solving. And I am also punctual. I am never late to a meeting or to work.

But most importantly, I am very innovative. I love to create and improve new procedures and applications.
In fact, in my current company, I was responsible for the improvements in their online ordering system, that
reduced the delivery time to clients.'
Some of the most common job interview questions are the describe yourself, describe your boss,
describe your deal job and describe your management style interview questions.

This article provides the best answers for these typical job interview questions.
You can find more frequently asked questions reading the articles located in the topic frequently asked
interview questions and answers.
The article is divided to 4 parts:

Typical Interview Questions and Best Answers

How to Answer the Describe Yourself interview question
An important question that is asked during a job interview is the How Would You Describe Yourself in one
sentence or in five words? question.
When asking this question, the interviewer tries to find out what the candidate thinks about himself/herself.
It is very important that the candidate answers this question in a manner that is logical without bragging or
lessening his/her value.

In many cases, the interviewer can also phrase the question as tell us 3 words to describe yourself or give
us 3 adjectives to describe yourself.

In such a situation you can use positive words that bring about your most positive characteristics.
The words that you can use are: Hardworking, loyal, quick learner, well adjust to changes, efficient team
player, multi tasking, self-motivated and self-confident
The answer should also be ground in solid logic and should reference professional achievements.
Refer to the article what is your greatest achievement.
Another good answer to this question is, I would describe myself as a professional who is easy to get along
with, and who can handle stressful situations and a heavy work load.
Further reading

What are your Strengths?

Examples of strengths and weaknesses
More on this series:
How would you describe your ideal job?: While this question may seem inconsequential at the time of the
interview, this one can actually keep you apart from others who share the same educational qualifications
or even have the same experience.
If asked about your ideal job, you should ensure the interviewer that you wish to have a job that gives you
professional progress as well as creative satisfaction, along with providing a stability that is required by
every person.
How would you Describe Your Leadership Style? A different set of questions will be asked to a person who
would be appointed to be a team leader, a manager or even a CEO.
One of the most important questions asked during such an interview is: What type of leader are you? Or
how would you describe your leadership style or are you a leader or a follower?
How would you describe your management style? This question can be phrased: please describe your
management experience. Or what is your management style?. The article suggests an answer to this
interview question.
Describe Your Communication Skills The interview may ask you a direct question wanting you to describe
how you communicate with other or to tell more about these skills.
How Would You Describe Your Personality? The question can be asked in different ways, like: please
describe your personality in 5 words. Or how would you describe your own personality?

How Would Your Friends & Colleagues Describe You? The interviewer may ask several questions related to
the lifestyle, psyche, personal traits and general attitude of the interviewee. One of these questions is: how
your friends or colleagues would describe you? and about your relationship with co workers.
How Would you Describe your Boss? Interview Question and Answer One of the typical interview question
is: Can you please describe Your Boss? Describing your manager or your boss is another tricky question
that is generally asked by most of the interviewers.
Why do the ask this questions about your previous direct manager/boss and how to answer this question?
Your greatest achievement may be part of an answer to the interview questions tell me about yourself.
If you dont include this part in your answer, the interviewer may ask about your greatest achievements to
get a clear picture of your career.
Therefore, in order to know who you really are, the interviewer would like to assess your career

This article provides tips on answering the interview question What is your achievement? Or What would
you consider as your biggest achievement and why?

Greatest achievement job interview question and answers

What is my greatest achievement so far?
Think of:

Lets start brainstorming How did you improve things while you were working at your previous jobs?
For example:
Great initiatives and fresh ideas.
Have you shaken old methods?
Developed a new program.
Target sales, new sales.
Reached new clients?
Developed a new customer satisfaction procedure?

Improved the accuracy of budget forecasts?

New design on time-schedule.
Achieved project goals.
Established good working relationships with customers.
Great team work.
Established new quality standards.

Think of the actions that you took to achieve the goal. Every single step that you have taken for achieving
the objectives:
Tasks during the activity
Your personal management activities
The changes and difficulties that you handled effectively.

Value and performance

How was your target goal measured?
Who was the initiator you or your bosses?
What did your bosses say after achieving these goals?

What were the results of your achievement?
For example:
Better quality performance or reliability?
Did you make any difference in sales numbers, costs and profits?
What about customer satisfaction?
Did you improve support service level? What about productivity, efficiency and the companys reputation?
Did you make any difference?

After thinking about the above questions you may have a perfect answer to the question what were your
greatest achievements?
P.S. It would be wise for you to present a career achievement that reflects back to the job requirements and
to the company to which you are applying.
In this way, you gain the employers interest tell a success story where you have had a challenge with an
impressive achievement.
You want the interviewer to think: hey, if he/she did it once, he/she can do it again!
You never know when youll be faced with a question related to your strengths in an interview. Some
interviewers ask this question and some dont, but these questions are usually asked across the board.

They may want you to speak about your strengths asking an interview question What is your greatest
strength? or What are your strengths? Youd be wise to prepare your answer before the upcoming job

Job interview tips: what are your strengths?

Talking about your strengths is a tricky one. You do not want to come across as an ego driven personality
when answering about your strengths. You also dont want to sound boastful and give a wrong impression
about yourself.

Interviewers know that questions about strengths and weaknesses are difficult for the candidates as it put
them on the spot. Often they want to see if you can keep your composure while you assess your
professional strengths. Theyd want to see if you have self awareness Your answer should be grounded on
real self assessment, if you want it to be genuine.
Listing your personal strengths in a job interview gives you the opportunity to show how you are the perfect
fit for the position!

How to list your greatest strengths in an interview

You want to find strengths that are related to the job. Three simple steps are required:

Read the job description carefully and write down the skills/abilities/traits for the position you are applying
for. If those skills are not detailed enough, you can always list the must-have known ones for your

area/industry. Read hereunder.

Assess your strengths and also those skills known as competencies, which are skills you consciously posses
and gained thru your life.
Do you recognize equivalents between your strengths and the skills required for position? If you do, mark
these strengths.
Job Interview: Key Strengths Examples
Here are the three important personal strengths recognized in the business world today:

Adaptive to change: If youre not only good in adjusting to changes but can also lead a change, it is even a
better strength.
Communication skills: having verbal and written interpersonal skills, people oriented person, friendly, loyal
to friends, team player, cooperating, listener, respectful, honest, empathetic, flexible, tolerant, caring and
ready to help and always go the extra mile to help out.
Self motivated and learning agility: a headstrong personality. Someone whos not only intelligent but loves
to learn new things and to be challenged a determined personality, a quick learner that has high level of
You can categorize some strength per occupation, as follows:

- For sales/marketing, customer service, managers and leaders positions: self confident, effective
organizational and prioritization skills, negotiator, presenter, initiator, good planner, persuasive,
adaptability, patient, cooperative, goal driven, stress tolerant, effective decision maker and problem solver.

- Technical or financial positions: analytical skills, strong in math, programming and engineering, accuracy
and attention to details a handy man.

Answers to Interview Questions about Your Greatest Strengths

Here are some examples:

A leader
High level executive, who wants to describe leadership as his strength Leadership of change and
leadership abilities:

I am a leader I have the ability to share a sense of vision and common purpose. I can inspire loyalty and
commitment and believe I have an adaptable leadership style depending on individuals and circumstances. I
can create and build teams. I have transformed strategic objectives into firm actions. I work with others to
implement change and always help to clarify and avoid ambiguity. I take responsibility for driving things
forward and can identify the need of change and initiate a change.

Customer Service
People applying for customer service positions, who want to emphasize their customer awareness:
I have great customer service skills that can be demonstrated by my ability to meet and exceed customer
expectations. I can recognize the prime importance of the customer and even anticipate future customer
needs. I will always go the extra mile for the customer. I will take responsibility for developing long-term
relationships with customers and forge partnerships that contribute to future growth opportunities for both
customer and my own organization.

I can make high-quality decisions based on the information to hand using logic and analytical skills. I use to
break complex issues into component parts and can consider the outcomes of varying courses of action. I
know how to draw reliable conclusions from disparate and often conflicting sources of data and can make
sound decisions in a timely manner.
In brief: Before diving into this issue again, I would like to point out that many experienced interviewers
will try to avoid these questions, because questions about strength and weaknesses immediately keep a
person on the defensive and takes the interview into a negative atmosphere. However, if the interviewer
does ask you about your strengths and weaknesses, you may need to have some intelligent answers that
will not seem boastful or phony.

To be on the safer side, for your job interview preparations this article provides examples on how to answer the question what are your weaknesses and strengths?.

This is the third article of the weaknesses and strengths question series.

You may also read How to answer the weakness and strength question.

Job Interview: Strength Examples List of Strengths

Here are some aspects (with detailed explanation) that you may put forward as being your strengths:

Learning agility and effective personal communication skills

Most researches show that the single best predictor for who will perform well and succeed in a new job is
the one who possesses learning agility (a quick learner) and the one who can adjust himself/herself to
changes and new situations, such as a new workplace.
Also, effective interpersonal communication skill is one of the best personal traits.
Past performance or even experience, skills and intelligence are not as important as learning agility and
communications skills. HR and recruiters are aware to these facts

Self Motivated and Determined

To achieve success, one needs to be self motivated and determined to succeed. Without self motivation, it
is quite possible that even the best of employees will languish in the company without achieving any

Success Oriented and Natural Leader

All companies search for an individual who has the drive within himself or herself. Frankly, the company
would not have time to actually sit back and look out which of their employees has that next big idea, or
which of the employees is not working according to their talents and resources. Therefore, it is best that a
company have a self-appointed mentor who keeps these things in mind and speaks about them at the
appropriate time.
This characteristic is necessary for team leaders, supervisors, executive managers and project managers.

Team Player
No man is an island. And in todays world, like never before, a person requires a group of people with whom
to succeed. Therefore, being a team player in todays world is almost as important as any academic degree.

This is one of the most common traits found in a successful boss as well as a successful employee. It is said
that success is ninety percent hard work and ten percent thinking/brain activity. Any company would like to

have a hard-working employee. Therefore, you can speak about hard-work, dedication and commitment as
your strengths.

Intelligence and Self Confidence

Being intelligent does not mean being the only person in the room who can drive a plane, but a person who
has the simple logic and practical knowledge that goes with running a proper team.

Job Interview: What Are Your Weaknesses Examples & List of Weaknesses
Several interviewers will also ask whether you have any weaknesses. When it comes to weaknesses, make
sure that you describe the weaknesses that are ambiguous enough to be converted into strengths.
Here are some of the weaknesses that are generally discussed.

Getting Nervous around people

Today, with the advent of the new work culture where a person seldom meets another and where the only
time people speak to each other is during coffee breaks, there are some people who have become
introverts. This causes some people to become nervous about giving presentations and speeches.

Being a Debater
Some individuals are too passionate about work and require a reason for any change that is introduced in
the company. Though this is good for the project and the product, it might rub some people the wrong way.

Going out of ones Way

There are several people in organizations all over the world who take all kinds of work from their
colleagues, whether it is their work or not. While these people are an asset to the company, they may
create antagonism.

Lack of some skills

No person has all the requisite skills for the job profile. This is one of the greatest disadvantages that one
has, because once a person starts earning, they find it difficult to go back to their learning ways.
Remember that these are just concepts and you should back up each of these strengths and weaknesses

with an example.

Some other strengths & weaknesses (per job title) to consider:

Here is an additional strengths and weaknesses list
Leaders and managers: Ability to prioritize, planning skills, well-organized, multitasking and assuming
responsibilities and duties. Possessing the capacity to cope with failures and trying to learn from past

Customer care, Call center and sales: Communication skills, patience, having good interpersonal skills.

Programmers and R&D: A quick learner who enjoys learning new things. A team player who shares
knowledge and ideas with colleagues.

Sensitive person: Taking things to heart and getting too disappointed when things are done in the wrong

Too helpful: Crossing limits while helping teammates.

An interview is the short span of time spent with each other, in which a person has to decide whether the
employee is perfect for the job or not. To establish this, the interviewer asks several questions.
Some of the questions are quite simple and can be answered immediately, while some are not as simple
and require some thought before the answer is given. One good example of this is the question regarding
strengths and weaknesses.
A company would always like to hire a person with an all round personality for the job position that is
available in their company. Therefore, employers could ask several questions aiming to find out more about
one of the most important positive factors required in the workplace today which is interpersonal abilities
i.e. good and effective communication skills.

Though there are some profiles that require better communication skills and some that do not require that
much of communication, there is no job that does not require communicating with others at all. Therefore,
the interview may ask you a direct question wanting you to describe how you communicate with other or to
tell more about these skills.

Here is how you should answer this question:

Communication Skills Interview Questions

Are you people oriented?

If you are, than describe how well you communicate with others (colleagues, teammates and co-workers)
during your day to day work. Sell some of you positive traits, for example: How good listener you are, how
well you give an help to others when needed, how you share thoughts and ideas, how you maintain a
positive discussion, how you organize & prioritize people work, how well you convince others, how
supportive you are,how you interact/consult with others when solving problems, and how you show an
interest to what others are saying.
Read more on:

How would your friends & colleagues describe you?

Your relationship with co workers.
Are you a social person? What are you interpersonal skills?

Whether you are a social person or nor is one of the first interview questions on communication skills that
are asked. Being social does not mean just making profiles on social networks, but actually getting down
and have healthy professional and personal social relationships with most people. Being social can be
positive trait, but being too social can be detrimental to you and the company. Therefore, when answering,
you should say that while you are social and do take out time to interact with others, you ensure that it
does not disturb other important missions in you professional life.

Are you a team player? How do you work in a team environment?

This is more of a team management question, but is sometimes asked in a bid for you to describe your team
communication experience and skills, if the prospective job requires working in a team.

You would be best equipped to answer this question because effective teamwork requires good working
relationship between team members in order to increase the performance profitability and productivity.

Teams are organized for achieving company goals more effectively- more heads are better than one, as
opposed to working alone. If you are a good team player, you should express how well you collaborate,
communicate and cooperate with close friends in the team to achieve the team goals.
job interviews not just has questions related to the talent and professional experience of a person, but has
several other queries that would be asked to find out more about the candidates attribute and also to find
out whether they are a good fit for the kind of work that they suppose to be doing, the companys work
culture and the type of people who are working in the said company.

Therefore, many interviewers like to ask people about their personalities and what they think they are good
The question can be asked in different ways, like: please describe your personality in 5 words. Or how
would you describe your own personality? Or describe your character.

After reading this article, refer also to:

Personality interview questions and answers.

Examples of weaknesses and strengths.
Describe yourself Interview Question And Answer.
How to describe your personality
If you are ever asked about your personality, keep these tips in mind and you will be giving the right

Positives First
If you are asked to describe your personality, make sure that you first put across the positive traits that you
have. These positive traits can be the moralistic ones like honesty, selflessness and others, or they can also

be professional and performance based, like being a dynamic go getter, quick learner, responsive, insightful,
taking responsibility, motivated, initiates and punctual.

It would be wise to mention traits (or buzz words) that are important for the job that one applies for.
For example

Sales and marketing positions usually require the following personality traits among others: Excellent
Communicator, Negotiator, Enthusiastic, Persuasive, Outgoing, Adaptability, Cooperative and Goal driven.
People applying to customer service and help desk positions require having: Interpersonal communication
skills verbal and written, listener, Decision Maker, Effective and Learning-agility.
For accounting and banking positions: Detail oriented, Precise, Methodical, Organized, Rational and
Managers and leaders may require having: Adjustment, Extraversion, Conscientiousness, Openness to
Experience, General Self-Efficacy, Organizing, Teaching and Coaching Subordinates and Motivating Others.
Commit to Negatives
The interviewer can ask you what would you change about yourself?
No man is an island, and nobody has all positive or all negative traits. We have negative as well as positive
traits in us, and it is our responsibility to recognize both and not try to hide them, but instead acknowledge
for solving them.
Any company would like an honest employee, and if you are honest enough to speak about your negative
traits, it will only be more of a successful story for you.

For example, here are some characteristics that can be solved if recognized and are most commonly
associated with people who work together: Undisciplined, Emotional, Opinionated, Reacting, Judgmental
and Picky.

These are the two important aspects that you should keep in mind if you are asked how do you describe
your personality.

Also, you should keep in mind that telling about your true personality the positives as well as the
negatives ones will put you in a good light in the eyes of the people who are supposed to hire you.

In brief: Establishing good communication with others in the workplace is vital for an effective workers
performance and essential in todays competitive market. When hiring employees, one of the most
important personal traits that employers want to observe is the interpersonal skills, also called personal
communication skills. Therefore, some job interview questions are targeted to find out more about these
qualities, one can be how others describe you? .

During the interview, the interviewer and the company not only tries to find out whether the candidate has
the relevant experience and knowledge for the job, but will also try to find out whether he (or she) is the
best person for the job having the required complementary skills.

To this end, the interviewer may ask several questions related to the lifestyle, psyche, personal traits and
general attitude of the interviewee. One of these questions is: how your friends or colleagues would
describe you? and about your relationship with co-workers.

Asking this question, the interviewer wants to hear more about you in the eyes of others verifying if you are
people oriented person who can also speak openly/frankly about himself.

Answering the question

You want to answer to the point rather than missing it out altogether. Keep in mind the position
requirement when answering What kind of a person they are really looking for?

You can divide your answer into two parts

1. Communication skills:
Colleagues who worked close to me (or from my team) can tell that I am friendly, loyal to friends,
cooperating, listener, respectful, honest, empathetic, caring and ready to help and always go the extra mile
to help out.

People that I supervised would describe me as a coacher, ready to listen, strong advocator for their good
performance, dream/goal chaser and a person who they are ready to follow.

2. Other good strength for managing/working style:

My co-workers and friends would describe me as hard worker, determined, good planner, professional,

flexible, tolerant and a quick learner.

Tips: How would your past co-workers describe you?

Here are tips to answer the question.

Be confident:
You can never cast more doubts onto your answer, if you sound unconfident, unclear or uncertain about
what people would say about you. Dont start your answer using the phrase I think my colleagues would
tell that .. . You dont think you are sure.

Be Professional:
The interviewer most probably means that he want to know how would your colleagues describe you rather
than your friends even if asking about friends, because they wouldnt be interested in your personal life, at
least for now.

Therefore, when asked about how your friends would describe you, try to keep the description as
professional as possible. Do not try to implement any factors of your personal life, like being jovial,
adventurous, easy to get along with, etc.

Be Concise:
When asked about how your co workers would describe you, be concise and not say anything that would be
considered as ambiguous.

Remember that the person who is interviewing you could be your future supervisor, so you should definitely
give a thoughtful answer in describing how you believe colleagues would describe you.

Be Factual:
Another important aspect to remember why answering this, and any type of interview question is to
provide facts and truthful information.

You never want to place yourself in a position where you tell something that is not true and it could be
discovered later.

Most of this information would be cross checked, and some of it may even be used to take decisions about
you. For example, if you tend to describe that you have leadership qualities, there are many chances that
they might consider you for leadership positions now or in the future of working with the company.
Keep in mind that if you are asked for referrals, these questions might be asked to those referrals too. Of
course, you cannot tutor all your referrals about how they should reply to any questions and therefore you
should only give out information that would be agreeable by all.
One of the typical interview question is: Can you please describe Your Boss?
Describing your manager or your boss is another tricky question that is generally asked by most of the

Why do the ask the question about your previous direct manager/boss?
Basically, these are not questions, but ways to gauge your comfort level in discussing your previous jobs, as
well as a way to evaluate your experiences at your previous place of employment.

If you show signs of complete dissatisfaction, the interviewer may think that you need the job desperately
and it might reflect negatively toward your candidacy and/or salary package.
Therefore, if you are asked to describe your boss, you should answer the question in the most diplomatic
manner that is possible.

How to Answer question about last job managers and co-workers

You can answer the question like this:

My manager/boss was a good combination of professionalism and the personal touch. Having risen from
the entry-level of an employee, he knew most of the problems that employees faced. He was a good leader
and had strong communication skills.
He/She motivated me to come up with new ideas and always provided helpful feedback. He always set,
changed, evaluated and monitored our work goals to improve our bottom line and I learned a lot from him

The next questions could be so, why do you want to leave your job?

Here are 20 sentences that you could use when you are asked to describe yourself. Choose the ones that
describe you the best.

I am someone who:
can adapt to any situation. I thrive in a fluctuating environment and I transform unexpected obstacles into
stepping stones for achievements.
consistently innovates to create value. I find opportunities where other people see none: I turn ideas into
projects, and projects into serial success.
has a very creative mind. I always have a unique perspective when approaching an issue due to my broad
range of interests and hobbies. Creativity is the source of differentiation and therefore, at the root of
competitive advantage.
always has an eye on my target. I endeavour to deliver high-quality work on time, every time. Hiring me is
the only real guarantee for results.
knows this job inside and out. With many years of relevant experience, there is no question whether I will
be efficient on the job. I can bring the best practices to the company.
has a high level of motivation to work here. I have studied the entire company history and observed its
business strategies. Since I am also a long-time customer, I took the opportunity to write this report with
some suggestions for how to improve your services.
has a pragmatic approach to things. I dont waste time talking about theory or the latest buzz words of the
bullshit bingo. Only one question matters to me: Does it work or not?
takes work ethics very seriously. I do what I am paid for, and I do it well.
can make decisions rapidly if needed. Everybody can make good decisions with sufficient time and
information. The reality of our domain is different. Even with time pressure and high stakes, we need to
move forward by taking charge and being decisive. I can do that.
is considered to be fun. I believe that we are way more productive when we are working with people with
which we enjoy spending time. When the situation gets tough with a customer, a touch of humour can save
the day.
works as a real team-player. I bring the best out of the people I work with and I always do what I think is
best for the company.
is completely autonomous. I wont need to be micromanaged. I wont need to be trained. I understand
high-level targets and I know how to achieve them.

leads people. I can unite people around a vision and motivate a team to excellence. I expect no more from
the others than what I expect from myself.
understands the complexity of advanced project management. Its not just pushing triangles on a GANTT
chart; its about getting everyone to sit down together and to agree on the way forward. And thats a lot
more complicated than it sounds.
is the absolute expert in the field. Ask anybody in the industry. My name is on their lips because I wrote
THE book on the subject.
communicates extensively. Good, bad or ugly, I believe that open communication is the most important
factor to reach an efficient organization.
works enthusiastically. I have enough motivation for myself and my department. I love what I do, and its
has an eye for details because details matter the most. How many companies have failed because of just
one tiny detail? Hire me and youll be sure Ill find that detail.
can see the big picture. Beginners waste time solving minor issues. I understand the purpose of our
company, tackle the real subjects and the top management will eventually notice it.
is not like anyone you know. I am the candidate you would not expect. You can hire a corporate clone, or
you can hire someone who will bring something different to the company. Thats me.