Describe yourself in three words

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Main Question or Discussion Point

I feel like I just bombed an interview, because I stumbled badly over the following question:

Describe yourself in three words, and explain why you chose each word.

I could only come up with two words when put on the spot like that.

So, I present the challenge to you all: describe yourself in 3 words, explain why you chose each word, and do it in the context of an interview.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
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"No I can't."

I think that speaks for itself. But really, these questions are very silly. These sound like questions you would find on those cheesy dating shows. I think you are better off not working for a company that asks such stupid questions.
 
  • #3
lisab
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Currently on PF.
 
  • #4
jhae2.718
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Not these words.
 
  • #5
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ambitious (this insinuates both hard working and passionate, two great qualities. it also gives an impression of a level of initiative that you will bring)
personable (to me this means that you will be easy to work with, and you bring to the table a positive effect on the workplace atmosphere. No one wants to hire someone that the rest of the people in the office won't like)

and for the third one, I would make it very job dependent. If you're going to be programming or something like that I would say go with analytical.

actually an idea just came to me. Maybe you could go with something like "sharp". This is a really interesting answer, one that they wouldn't expect. To me, someone who is sharp is smart, quick, punctual, well dressed, and critical in terms of problem solving. I think this choice brings a lot to the table.
 
  • #6
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"No I can't."

I think that speaks for itself. But really, these questions are very silly. These sound like questions you would find on those cheesy dating shows. I think you are better off not working for a company that asks such stupid questions.
I resent this comment. Taking the approach that the questions you are being asked in an interview are silly makes you look silly. And that attitude will undoubtedly show through whatever answer you give, pretty much assuring that you don't get the position. Your interviewer has a certain approach that he/she wants to take, and asking questions that put you on the spot can tell you a lot about someones character. People rarely get hired based solely on meeting technical requirements. If you're going to be interviewing 10 people with similar credentials, you need something to set someone apart.
 
  • #7
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not your mamma
 
  • #8
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Questions like this are the result of to much corporate HR research combined with a person who conducts interviews simply because it is their job and they don't really like interacting with people. To me, you know you had a good interview when you carry a conversation about the job and your work history without having to answer stupid stock questions on a sheet. Start with small talk and try to keep the conversation related to the job and just be a nice person. Worked so far.
 
  • #9
Dembadon
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I'm incredibly diligent; I've always taken a great deal of pride in my work and am always looking for ways in which I can improve what I do. I have a high value for efficiency, and it shows in my work.

I'm also motivated; you don't have to micromanage me to see whether or not I'm on task. I'm highly adept at time management and have no issues staying on top of my work so that deadlines are met.

I'm professional; I have exceptional interpersonal and communication skills and am honest, courteous, and effective when communicating with others.
 
  • #10
FtlIsAwesome
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Possible responses:


"You need me."

"I am awesome."

"Where am I?"

"I'm a supervillian."

"Is this on?"

"Is it over?"

"Ouch that hurt."

"Asteroid hits Earth."

"Today we die."

"I am insane."

"Weird things happen."


Its not that hard to come up with them. :tongue2:
 
  • #11
BobG
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Generally, you should have certain things you want to say about yourself in an interview and shouldn't rely on the interviewer to ask the right questions.

In other words, don't try to describe yourself. Pick three things about your past work history that you think would be relevant and use adjectives that lead into the things you wanted to tell them, anyway.

I developed a spread sheet where, given just a few general guidelines, workers could copy a color-coded and labeled box that represented a certain piece of equipment and paste it to a certain frequency and keep doing so until all of the boxes/frequencies were covered and a different box would indicate Green (you definitely had enough power for that configuration), Yellow (uh, don't count on it, since environmental conditions will probably prevent it from working at least some of the time), Red (no way it will work even in the best conditions). Between the general guidelines and trial and error, a worker could determine an effective configuration for all of his equipment in just minutes.

Analytical or, perhaps creative given the visual interface I used, could be used for that story.

And so on for each story you want to tell.

Some day I want to interview an employee and ask him/her how high they can count. The one that responds that they need a calculator to figure that out will probably get the job - unless a different candidate can figure that out using a slide rule plus a little mental math (a slide rule will only get you 3 to 4 digit precision, depending which end of the slide rule you wind up on).
 
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  • #12
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musician, physicist, psychologist.
 
  • #13
Doc Al
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me so pretty?
 
  • #14
jhae2.718
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Some day I want to interview an employee and ask him/her how high they can count. The one that responds that they need a calculator to figure that out will probably get the job - unless a different candidate can figure that out using a slide rule plus a little mental math (a slide rule will only get you 3 to 4 digit precision, depending which end of the slide rule you wind up on).
That's actually an interesting question. (Looks like I know what I'll be doing tonight...)
 
  • #15
arildno
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Lazy crazy daisy?? :confused:
 
  • #16
BobG
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Some day I want to interview an employee and ask him/her how high they can count. The one that responds that they need a calculator to figure that out will probably get the job - unless a different candidate can figure that out using a slide rule plus a little mental math (a slide rule will only get you 3 to 4 digit precision, depending which end of the slide rule you wind up on).
That's actually an interesting question. (Looks like I know what I'll be doing tonight...)
Looks like I left out part of that. It's how high can they count on their fingers and toes? That would get most people wondering if I was looking to hire only mutants. Or discriminated against people with a tendency for lawn mower accidents.
 
  • #17
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I think you are better off not working for a company that asks such stupid questions.
NASA? I think I'd take the internship even if they asked me the color of my bowel movement that morning.
 
  • #18
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I resent this comment. Taking the approach that the questions you are being asked in an interview are silly makes you look silly. And that attitude will undoubtedly show through whatever answer you give, pretty much assuring that you don't get the position. Your interviewer has a certain approach that he/she wants to take, and asking questions that put you on the spot can tell you a lot about someones character. People rarely get hired based solely on meeting technical requirements. If you're going to be interviewing 10 people with similar credentials, you need something to set someone apart.
It's odd to say you resent my comment. Are you an interviewer who uses such questions?

Of course if you want a job then you should suck up and play their silly games. But sucking up is sucking up. Maybe you think the question is not silly. Then we have a more fundamental disagreement.

I will admit I went too far when I said "I think you are better off not working for a company that asks such stupid questions". The person interviewing you might not even work for the company, they could be hired to do the interviewing. And even if he or she does work for the company, a sample of 1 person is no reasonable basis to extrapolate. On the other hand, the company must have chose someone they trust to do the interview. So take it how you like.
 
  • #19
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NASA? I think I'd take the internship even if they asked me the color of my bowel movement that morning.
So even NASA can ask stupid questions :p
 
  • #20
BobG
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NASA? I think I'd take the internship even if they asked me the color of my bowel movement that morning.
Heck, for an internship at NASA, I'd even be willing to sing for them.

http://www.astrocappella.com/IYA/shoulders.shtml [Broken]

Well, at least the group used to all be NASA employees when it was first formed. I don't think that's the case anymore.
 
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  • #21
BobG
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On the other hand, the company must have chose someone they trust to do the interview. So take it how you like.
You'd be shocked how little some job interviewers know about interviewing prospective employees. A person in HR might be qualified to interview applicants, but then they're probably not qualified to understand the qualifications needed for a job in a more technical department. A person working in a technical department will know what qualifications are needed for the job and can probably narrow down the field pretty well just by looking at past experience and education, but that doesn't mean they have a clue about how to conduct a job interview.

One of the program leads I've worked with always hated doing job interviews. He always felt more awkward than the interviewee, especially if he had to conduct it with one of the other program leads I've worked with. The second guy always asked bizarre questions, such as "What Calculus book did you use in college?" ("Uh, I think it was yellow, but I'm not sure seeing as how I took Calculus 10 years ago." "Wrong! The right answer was .... and that year's edition was blue!" "Uh, maybe?")
 
  • #22
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It's odd to say you resent my comment. Are you an interviewer who uses such questions?

Of course if you want a job then you should suck up and play their silly games. But sucking up is sucking up. Maybe you think the question is not silly. Then we have a more fundamental disagreement.

I will admit I went too far when I said "I think you are better off not working for a company that asks such stupid questions". The person interviewing you might not even work for the company, they could be hired to do the interviewing. And even if he or she does work for the company, a sample of 1 person is no reasonable basis to extrapolate. On the other hand, the company must have chose someone they trust to do the interview. So take it how you like.

I had just finished writing what I thought was a very good and well thought out response to the question when I saw your post, so thats where the resentment came from. From my post, it is obvious that I don't think the question is silly. When going into an interview scenario, you have to have respect for the person you're being interviewed by. If you have that respect, and you get asked what you think is a "silly" question, you have to give them the benefit of the doubt. You put a childish spin on it when you called it "sucking up", and I see that you have a closed minded approach to the question in the first place. Can you honestly tell me you don't see any potential value in that question?
 
  • #23
social and anti-social
 
  • #24
drizzle
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Acts > Words

:biggrin:
 
  • #25
fluidistic
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Ask me again.
 

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