In a job interview, you will be asked a question by an interviewer where you have to tell them what type of person you are. Although this is not a difficult question to answer, it is a difficult question to answer well.

To impress the people interviewing you with your answer, you need to both describe your personality using words which sound professional and choose the right type of personality characteristics to talk about for the job that you are having the interview for.

To help you do this, I have created two online exercises where you'll learn 25 professional sounding words (13 in this exercise and 12 in the next) to describe your personality in a job interview.

After you have done this first part, I recommend that you then do the second part of this exercise. In this second part, you'll learn 12 more words you can use and also how to decide which personality characteristics to talk about in a job interview.

In addition to these exercises, we have a lot of other free online exercises on CVs/resumes and job interviews vocabulary and techniques.


Exercise:

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.'




Quiz:

Below is a definition/description of each of the words/phrases in bold from the above text. Now fill in the blanks with one of these words/phrases in bold. Only use one word/phrase once and write it as it is in the text. Click on the "Check answers" button at the bottom of the quiz to check your answers.

When the answer is correct, two icons will appear next to the question which you can press/click on. In the first icon, , you can find extra information about the word/phrase (e.g. when, where and how to use etc...) and a Spanish translation. In the second, , is where you can listen to the word/phrase and do a pronunciation test (to make sure you can say it correctly).


1.

Somebody who is 'creative' can also be called

         

Innovative:
(adjective) Although it is often used with the same meaning as 'creative', there is a difference. Creative is when you think of new ideas, while innovative is when you actually do something with the idea. Many people don't realise this difference. Often creative is used for artistic careers like advertising, journalism etc.. and innovative is used for general business and technology careers, e.g. 'her organisational skills are very innovative'. In Spanish: "innovador".

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Innovative:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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2.

The opposite to 'lazy', is

         

Hard-working:
(adjective) This basically has the same meaning as 'diligent', but 'hard-working' is more commonly used. In Spanish: "trabajador".

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Hard-working:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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3.

A person who is always on time and never late, is

         

Punctual:
(adjective) Most employers expect their staff to be 'punctual'. So it may not be necessary to say it in an interview. In Spanish: "puntual".

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Punctual:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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4.

A person who makes changes to resolve potential future problems, is

         

Proactive:
(adjective) This is a new and commonly used business term to describe a person who thinks ahead and resolves or introduces procedures to deal with problems/situations before they happen. The opposite is 'reactive', which means to deal with problems when they happen. In Spanish: "proactivo".

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Proactive:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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5.

A manager who is directly involved with the work of their staff, is

         

Hands on:
(adjective) A new business term that means a manager is personally involved with their staff when they are working. The opposite is 'to take a step back', e.g. 'I take a step back from the work of the team, and leave it to them to organise'. In Spanish: "práctico/participar".

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Hands on:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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6.

When a person is focused on achieving an objective, they are

         

Goal-orientated:
(adjective) This is also known as goal-oriented or goal-driven. This describes a person that in their private or professional life establish targets they want to achieve, e.g. 'to be a millionaire'. By using this adjective it suggests that you are dedicated and hard-working. In Spanish: "orientada a objetivos".

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Goal-orientated:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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7.

If somebody is a 'realist', they are also

         

Pragmatic:
(adjective) It means that the person does things or makes decisions that are sensible and realistic. They don't let opinion or feeling impact their decisions, e.g. 'Although he was a nice guy, I had to be pragmatic and make him redundant'. In Spanish: "pragmático".

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Pragmatic:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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8.

People that work in an 'ordered' and 'systematic' way, are

         

Methodical:
(adjective) This is used for people who do things in a well-ordered, organised, precise way. Normally scientists and the police have to be 'methodical' when they do their work. In Spanish: "metódico".

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Methodical:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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9.

A person that leads or controls other people easily, is a

         

Natural leader:
(noun) Also known as 'a natural born leader'. It may sound arrogant in interviews, so you could use 'I'm a very good manager' instead. It means that you can organise and inspire the people who work for you very well. In Spanish: "líder natural".

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Natural leader:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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10.

A person that is full of energy and likes change, is

         

Dynamic:
(adjective) This means that a person is highly motivated, full of energy, is confident and likes making changes. Be careful when using this, because some companies may not be looking for people who are too confident and want to make changes. In Spanish: "dinámico".

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Dynamic:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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11.

A different way to say that somebody is 'logical', is

         

Analytical:
(adjective) This describes a person that analyses things using logic when they work or make decisions. It also suggests that they are objective. It is a good adjective to use if your career involves business processes and procedures. In Spanish: "analítico".

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Analytical:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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12.

People that encourage others to do well, are

         

Supportive:
(adjective) This is not only used in the context of encouraging people, but it also suggests that you care about people. It is a very good adjective to use in an interview for a position as a manager, teacher, trainer etc... In Spanish: "de apoyo".

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Supportive:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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13.

Somebody that can be trusted to do things, is

         

Reliable:
(adjective) It means that you are a responsible type of person and you will always do what you have to do. In Spanish: "puede confiar/formal".

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Reliable:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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Practice

Now that you understand the describing your personality vocabulary, practice them by imagining you are in an job interview in English and you have to describe yourself.

Blair English online classes