How to Answer 'Describe Your Personality in 5 Words'

5 word to describe yourself personality

With every job interview that you attend, you need to find a way to set yourself apart from the crowd of candidates who are vying for the same job. You want this job, and it’s important to sell yourself effectively to the hiring manager. That takes preparation with regard to constructing answers to possible questions. It involves knowing yourself well enough to sell your good qualities and expertly avoid showing yourself in a negative light. If you are asked to answer how to describe your personality in five words, you should consider the following factors.

Why a hiring manager would ask this question

A hiring manager needs to weed out the less than desirable candidates to find the one who best fits the requirements of the position. One way to ascertain this fact is to figure out if the candidate would effectively mesh with the workplace environment, the employees, the management style and the required daily job tasks.

By asking a candidate to describe their personality, the hiring manager can gain a deeper insight into how this person actually views their own qualities. This can be an eye-opening question for the hiring manager and aid in ascertaining whether or not this candidate is the perfect fit.

Understanding the best response

When preparing for your interview, you should expect that this question may be asked. So begin to think of how you would describe your personality. Are you an introvert or extrovert or somewhere in between? Are you more of a bubbly personality or someone who prefers to behave in a more reserved manner? The best response will always be one that is centered on preparation and a feel for the current conversation.

You need to prepare for how you will answer the question. However, you also need to be able to think on your feet and respond in a manner that meshes well with how the hiring manager perceives you. Always be trying to read between the lines of the conversation to ascertain where the hiring manager is coming from with regard to the line of questioning. Consider the following tips.

  • Don’t rush to respond. Think before you speak with your prepared answer.
  • Focus on your own unique qualities and tailor your answer to the job.
  • Ensure that your response will be something that the hiring manager will remember.

Some sample responses to the question

Remember that your main goal is to make your uniqueness shine through in every aspect of the interview. If the hiring manager does not remember you, then that dramatically decreases your chances of being considered for the job and being called in for a second interview. Focus on choosing the five words wisely and be prepared to explain them or expand on them with more detail if questioned further. Take a look at some of the following positive examples.

  • Energetic
  • Reliable
  • Organized
  • Leader
  • Creative

Those are some positive words that you could use to describe yourself. Remember to choose your words wisely. You don’t want to use a word that can be viewed in a negative light or have a misconstrued meaning, where it may seem positive to you, but negative to the hiring manager. Take a look at some examples of descriptive words that you should not use.

  • Challenged
  • Overly-Analytical
  • Critical-Minded
  • Fun Loving
  • Strong-Willed

You may have gotten far in life by being strong-willed, but that shouldn’t be a one word descriptive quality of your personality. Saying something softer like determined would be better in this situation. You may be asked to expand on each word. However, if you’re not, then that word will hang in the air like a dead weight if you’re not allowed to explain why you think being strong-willed is a positive quality.


Have you ever been asked this question in a job interview? Have you ever taken a personality test to reveal your type? What five words would you use to describe your personality?