Determined, dedicated, passionate, reliable; they’re all great descriptive words to explain why you should be chosen for the position you are being interviewed for, the problem is they are the exact same words the person before you and the person after you will describe themselves as too. It can be difficult to sell yourself in a competitive market that’s for sure and of course it’s important to ensure the employer knows that you are all of these words and more, but in our experience the proof tends to be in the pudding. Being determined, dedicated and passionate will show in your career history or the length at which you’ve studied to learn your craft, so instead of using bog-standard catch phrases, why not try something else? We have a few alternatives that could give you some ideas!
Swap ‘I’m passionate’ for something more specific!
The word passionate is a great buzz word but it’s so over used that it barely means anything anymore. Let’s be honest, no one is really very passionate about sitting at a desk all day and working 9-5 Monday to Friday. Instead focus on what the job entails and express your eagerness to get involved, ‘I’m looking forward to engaging with a wider range of clients’, ‘I’m eager to get stuck in to some group projects’ – these are much more personable responses than ‘I’m passionate about sales’.
Instead of saying ‘I’m a people-person’ just prove it in the interview!
If you’re applying for a sales or customer service role this will be a given, the employer will have seen this to be true just by looking at your CV – Equally, you’ll be able to demonstrate how excellent your communication skills are and how personable you act throughout the interview! The employer will be able to tell how well you interact with others from the minute you step through the door from the way you greet the Receptionist and how you behave throughout the meeting.
Don’t say ‘I can do anything’ but try ‘I enjoy learning new skills and will try my hand at anything’
The unfortunate truth is you just cannot do anything and it can come across as quite arrogant to say you can. Many people who are really trying hard to find a job will tell an Agency they are ‘looking for anything’ and while this might seem like you are eager, sometimes it actually seems more like you aren’t sure what you want to do with your career. Whether you are in a job interview or meeting with a Recruiter you can express your enthusiasm for a job by saying you are keen to take on a new challenge, to learn a new skill or to take on new responsibilities, rather than ‘I’ll do anything’.
Rather than ‘I’m determined/proactive/self-motivated’ go for a more focused description of yourself.
The problem with descriptive words is they are often followed without explanation. Great, you’re proactive, how? Self-motivated? Prove it! When asked to describe yourself this is your opportunity to let your personality show, don’t follow the crowd with obvious buzz words, perhaps sit down and prepare the answer before an interview because you can pretty much guarantee you will definitely be asked. Try to stick to just a few points and explain them rather than reeling off a list of things you’re supposed to be good at or if you really must tell them how self-motivated you are, at least come up with an example of this!
Interviews are tricky situations, on one hand you want to be yourself but on the other you want to ensure you get the job through sure-fire methods! We think it’s really important to inject a little personality into good old proven tricks of the trade but let us know if you’ve had any really successful interviews and how you got the job!