In this second of two online exercises on describing yourself in a job interview, you'll learn 12 more professional sounding words in English that you can use to describe your personality in a job interview. But before you learn these, you need to know how to choose the right personailty characteristics to use.

Choosing the right personality characteristics to talk about

To successfully describe yourself in a job interview, you not only need to use right type of words/terms, but you also need to choose personality characteristics which are relevant for the job you are having the interview for.

Different jobs and positions require different types of personality. The type of personality that a person needs for a job in a sales department is different to what is needed for teaching in a school. In addition, a person will need to have different personality characteristics if they are working as a member of a team to if they are in charge of a team.

To know which personality characteristics that you should use when describing yourself in an interview for a job, you first need to know what the roles and the responsibilities of the job you are interviewing for are (will you have to write report, meet with customers, analyse data etc...).

When you know what these are, think from the perspective of the people interviewing you. If you were in their position, what type of person would you be looking for to do that particular type of job? Somebody who is caring? Somebody you can trust? etc...

By doing this, you will know which type of personality characteristics you should (and shouldn't) say you have in your answer in the interview.

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

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


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 salesman. The second, is from a candidate for a position in advertising.

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 salesman's position:

'One of the things that makes me an excellent salesman is that I am very good at reading people. I have the ability to know how people are feeling or thinking by noticing gestures that they make or by what they say. This helps me a lot in my dealings with existing or potential clients. Another thing that I am very good at, in connection with people, is that I am very diplomatic. I am very skilled at dealing with people in difficult situations and can avoid upsetting or offending them. This is especially important when you are involved in negotiations.

In addition, I am very highly motivated. I love what I do and I want to do the best that I can. For me, this is something that is fundamental for a sales executive. And another thing that is key for a sales executive to be, is to be optimistic. And I am that. This is essential, because who wants to buy a product or service from somebody who seems negative or unsure. I would say nobody.

Also, I am very flexible about when, where or how I work. In business today you have to be able to change when necessary. So, if I you tell me that I have a meeting the following day in Germany, it would be no problem to go.

And lastly, I am very cool-headed. I always stay focused in difficult or stressful situations and I never panic.'


For a position in advertising:

'I am very creative. I am always coming up with new and interesting ideas on how to convince people to buy things. This is important in an industry which constantly changes like advertising. Also, as you have already noticed, I am a very enthusiastic person. I show that I love what I do and want to encourage other people to feel the same.

I am also a team player. When you are doing an advertising project, it is essential that the team works together. If it does not, and people do not get on or are focused too much on themselves, then the project will fail and you all lose.

In addition, I am very committed to being successful in my career and I will do anything to achieve it. Plus, I am a very confident person. I do not doubt my own abilities and I am always sure that I will be successful with any project that I do.

And lastly, I am ambitious. I want to have a very successful career in advertising. I have shown this throughout my career. For example, in my current company I started there as an assistant and within four years I was a senior advertising executive.'





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.

When somebody shows that they like something a lot, they are

         

Enthusiastic:
(adjective) It means that you really like something. This has a similar meaning to 'passionate', but passionate is stronger and may be too strong to use in a job interview. In Spanish: "entusiasmado".

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Enthusiastic:

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.

When a person is adaptable to different circumstances, they are

         

Flexible:
(adjective) This means the ability to change or adapt yourself to different situations. In the modern world, being flexible is an important requirement for most jobs. So this is a good adjective to use when describing yourself. In Spanish: "flexible".

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Flexible:

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.

People who want to be successful and progress in their career, are

         

Ambitious:
(adjective) This means a person who is motivated by success or achievement. This is normally used in the context of career, money or power. In Spanish: "ambicioso".

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Ambitious:

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.

The ability to understand how people feel from watching them, is

         

Reading people:
(noun) This is an important ability to have for people who are involved in sales or negotiations. It is when you can interpret a person's feeling from body language, gestures and what they say and how they say it. When you use this to describe yourself, you have to say 'I'm good at reading people'. If you do use this, be sure that you can read people, because the interviewer may ask you to tell them how they are feeling. In Spanish: "interpretar a las personas".

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Reading people:

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.

The ability to stay calm in difficult situations, is

         

Cool-headed:
(adjective) This means that you stay calm and don't panic in demanding or stressful situations. In Spanish: "tener la cabeza fría/sereno".

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Cool-headed:

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.

The opposite of 'pessimistic', is

         

Optimistic:
(adjective) This has the same meaning as positive. It means that you believe that situations will end well, or see the positive in a negative situation/outcome. In Spanish: "optimista".

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Optimistic:

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.

A person who works very well with other people, is a

         

Team player:
(noun) This is commonly used and basically means that you work well with other people. It suggests that you are not selfish and are willing to do things you may not like for the benefit of the company or the team. In Spanish: "jugador de equipo/trabajar en equipo".

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Team player:

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.

A person who is 'innovative' can also be called

         

Creative:
(adjective) Although it is often used with the same meaning as 'innovative', 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: "creativo".

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Creative:

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.

Another way to say 'dedicated', is

         

Committed:
(adjective) In this context it means 'to be dedicated' or 'very focused' on achieving this. It has a similar meaning to 'goal-orientated'. When you express what the object of your focus is, you use the structure 'to be committed to' and 'gerund', e.g. ' I am committed to making my team the best'. In a slightly different context, it can mean 'loyal', e.g. 'I'm committed to the company'. In Spanish: "comprometido".

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Committed:

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.

People that are both 'enthusiastic' and 'determined' to succeed, are

         

Highly motivated:
(adjective) This combines the two adjectives of to be 'enthusiastic' and 'determined'(committed to do something). In Spanish: "altamente motivado".

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Highly motivated:

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.

When you have a strong belief in your own abilities, you are

         

Confident:
(adjective) It means that you don't doubt yourself or your own abilities. A very commonly used adjective in job interviews. In Spanish: "seguro de sí mismo".

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Confident:

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.

When somebody is careful not to offend somebody by what they say, they are

         

Diplomatic:
(adjective) This is an important skill for people who have to deal with sensitive or difficult situations, like giving bad news or dealing with angry customers. It means that you have the ability to not upset or offend people by what you say or do in these situations. It has the same meaning as 'tactful'. In Spanish: "diplomático".

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Diplomatic:

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.

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