How To Describe Yourself to a Hiring Manager

How To Describe Yourself to a Hiring Manager

It's a question every job applicant hates - "how would you describe yourself?" Nonetheless, it's also a question that you're likely to encounter during the job hunt. If you want to impress the hiring manager, you need to be ready to answer this question with confidence. With a few simple tips and some preparations, you may be able to describe yourself in a way that makes you the ideal employee.

Showcase Your Strengths

Perhaps the first thing you should do is highlight all of your strengths in the workplace. Sure, you could tell the hiring manager, "I'm married and have two kids." However, this won't showcase your value as an employee. You certainly shouldn't lead with this, or it may be the only thing a manager remembers about you.

Similarly, your hiring manager doesn't want to read an autobiography of your career. If you start talking about your high school and college education, you won't keep their attention. Your hiring manager wants to hear a few sentences about why you're the right fit for this position, and not what your favorite college course was.

Rather than talk about your home life or go into a detailed account of your history, discuss your strengths as they relate to the job. If you're applying for a sales job, talk about your charisma and your passion for

Instead of delving into your life story, talk about the qualities and traits that you possess that align with the job duties of the position that you're interviewing for. You won't waste the hiring manager's time and you will make a lasting impression.

Know and Use Your Keywords

In today's world, people have short attention spans. This is true of hiring managers, and it means you don't have a lot of time to convince the interviewer to hire you. In fact, the hiring manager probably won't listen to your entire description.

Typically, a hiring manager listens out for keywords. There might be three or four words that resonate with them and relate to the position. Before your interview, think about what those keywords might be. You can find ideas in the job description, scanning the listing for attributes or skills. If you notice any words that are repeated, add them to your list of important keywords.

Once you have a list of buzz words or keywords, think about how you can incorporate them into your description. For example, you might have the word "team player" on your keyword list. During your interview, you can say, "I'm someone who loves being a team player and enjoys working with others." Soft skills also make excellent keywords, so you may want to include a few of those. If you're not already familiar with soft skills, they're general core skills such as problem solving and leadership.

Find the Balance

With that said, you should be careful not to overuse the keywords. If you say a keyword every three words, you won't be successful. You should pick your words carefully.

As with everything, the art of the interview takes a very fine balance. You can make sure you don't overuse keywords by practicing your pitch at home. Write down your description and then say it in a mirror.

Don't be Too Humble

Another balancing act involves humility. Does a hiring manager want to hire someone who's overly cocky? Probably not, but they also don't want to hire someone who has low self-esteem. If you want a job offer, you should try to be confident.

Of course, this isn't something that's easy to do. If you're a humble person, you probably cringe at the thought of talking yourself up. You need to step out of your comfort zone and practice being confident. Some simple things you can do to boost your confidence include:

Rehearsing your interview responses

Having power poses

Using self-affirmations

Thinking about your achievements

As you think of ways to describe yourself, keep in mind that this is supposed to be about your achievements. Don't hesitate to point out your greatest accomplishments.

Make an Elevator Pitch

Although some individuals prefer to talk off-script, others can perform without a script. If you do better with a prepared answer, write out an elevator pitch. The pitch should be 30 to 60 seconds long and use anecdotes to support your statements.

Are you still not sure how to get started? Take a look at a few examples of elevator pitches:

"I'm very organized, which was needed when I worked for my previous employer. I was able to cut costs by 12% when I helped create a new system of organization."

"I love working with other people. In my last position, I participated in three different collaborative projects. All three projects surpassed company goals."

"My passion is providing excellent customer service. Last year, my company awarded me with an award for having the highest rate of customer satisfaction."

Get the Rest of the Interview Right

While the way you describe yourself matters, it's not the only thing that's important. If you deliver the perfect job description, you still won't necessarily get a job offer. You need to answer all of the other interview questions well.

Similarly, the hiring manager could overlook a poor description if you manage to handle the rest of your interview well. Therefore, you should be ready for the other interview questions. Just as you prepare to talk about yourself, you should be ready to answer other common questions.

One way to prep for the interview is to look at a list of common interview questions and create the answers. Even if the manager doesn't ask all of the questions, you'll be ready. And although there are likely to be some unexpected questions, you might have the confidence to answer them well.

Whatever you do, be sure you don't make the mistake of waiting too long to get ready for your interview. If you wait too long, you may never be well-prepared for your interview. You could miss our on your dream job.

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