Perhaps one of the dreaded interview questions of every applicant is “Tell me about yourself.” Aside from being a personal question, it’s also challenging to find the right words to describe yourself without sounding conceited. You don’t want your interviewer’s first impression towards you to be that of an unbearable braggart now, do you?
Using the right words when talking about yourself is an essential yet overlooked skill you should have if you want to impress your interviewer. With that in mind, here are 6 odd words to describe yourself that you should avoid during your interview.
Aside from talking about which negative descriptive words you should avoid, I will also discuss alternatives you can use instead. After all, if you’re gonna talk about the don’ts, you should also include the do’s too, right?
Nothing says “humblebragging” to an interviewer than someone who says they’re humble. This is one of the odd words to describe yourself because it is inherently contradictory. Nobody who’s humble needs to say so.
Instead of saying you’re humble, why not prove it with your deeds? Talk about your experiences and accomplishments to your interviewer. Highlight what you’ve done for your previous company or, if you’re just getting started, what valuable skills you have that are essential to the job.
Don’t forget to also include the results of your work and how your previous client thought of it. And whatever you do, don’t lie about your accomplishments to your interviewer. You’re just setting yourself up for trouble if you do so. And is the exact opposite of being humble as well.
Another of the odd words to describe yourself that you should avoid is the word passionate. I know what you’re thinking. Doesn’t this word show you’re someone raring to go and is full of enthusiasm for your job? Why is it bad then? Saying you’re passionate about your job can sound hollow and comical, depending on the job you’re applying for.
For example, if you’re passionate about your customer service representative job, do you mean to tell me you can handle customer complaints every day? Can you work in this job for free as well?
So, what can you say instead of passionate to your interviewer? Why not try the words focus and specialization? These are tamer than “passionate” and more specific as well. And just like the word humble earlier, the best way to show you’re passionate is through deeds.
One of the most overused words applicants use to describe themselves is being creative. This has led to this word losing its impact and instead comes off as a generic description. Because of this, describing yourself as such may sound hollow to your interviewer instead of impressing them.
However, there are jobs where creativity is a must, so avoiding mentioning them may be challenging. In this case, be sure to assess what type of creative your job needs you to be and then back it up with the right qualifications. If your job requires you to be a creative problem solver, explain your process of solving an issue and show examples of you doing so.
Really? Are you seriously going to use this word to talk about yourself? You might as well tell you’re interviewer you’re qualified just because you are. Similar to the word humble, this is another one of those odd words to describe yourself one should avoid because it’s redundant. Why else would your interviewer spend their time interviewing you if you’re not intelligent, right?
For alternatives to the word intelligent, try using logical and quick-learner. Using these words instead shows your interviewer you really are smart without tooting your own horn. Remember, intelligent people don’t need to tell others they’re smart. Their skills and accomplishments already do that for them.
This is another odd word applicants love to say about themselves. Why is this odd, you may ask? Isn’t saying you’re hardworking a plus for you? The thing is, interviewers aren’t stupid. Being hardworking is already expected of you. Nobody tells their interviewer they’re lazy and gets hired.
How do you prove you’re hardworking then without saying you’re hardworking? Simple, turn to your achievements. Describe your work ethic in your previous jobs, or if you’re just starting out, what kind of work ethic they expect from you.
Quick question. Who defines whether or not you’re qualified for the job? Is it you, or is it your interviewer? If you answered the latter, saying this is like putting the cart before the horse. And since you’re in an interview, it means you possess the basic qualifications the company needs. So saying you’re qualified just makes you sound presumptuous to your interviewer.
Similar to my previous points, deeds speak louder than words. Focus on proving you’re qualified by discussing your skills and how they make you a cut above the rest.
Putting Your Money Where Your Mouth Is.
Speaking from experience, the nervousness and anxiety that being an interview can cause you to make critical errors. Knowing which words to say can be the difference between impressing your interviewer, Or watching your chances of getting hired fall flat on their face. To help you avoid this, here are 6 words to describe yourself you should avoid saying to your interviewer.
If you have been paying attention, you might notice that the best way to replace these odd words are stating your skills and qualifications. Why is that? Because concrete evidence of your credentials matters more to your interviewer than overly general and vague statements.