The medium is the message. The interviewer cares less about your answer to this question and more about the confidence, enthusiasm and passion with which you answer it.
The speed of the response is the response. The biggest mistake you could make is pausing, stalling or fumbling at the onset of your answer, thus demonstrating a lack of self-awareness and self-esteem.
Prepare for this question by phrasing your response using any of these openings
- “I can summarize who I am in three words.” Grabs their attention immediately. Demonstrates your ability to be concise, creative and compelling.
- “The quotation I live my life by is…” Proves that personal development is an essential part of your growth plan. Also shows your ability to motivate yourself.
- “My personal philosophy is…” Companies hire athletes – not shortstops. This line indicates your position as a thinker, not just an employee.
- “People who know me best say that I’m…” This response offers insight into your own level of self-awareness.
- “Well, I googled myself this morning, and here’s what I found…” Tech-savvy, fun, cool people would say this. Unexpected and memorable.
- “My passion is…” People don’t care what you do – people care who you are. And what you’re passionate about is who you are. Plus, passion unearths enthusiasm.
- “When I was seven years old, I always wanted to be…” An answer like this shows that you’ve been preparing for this job your whole life, not just the night before.
- “If Hollywood made a movie about my life, it would be called…” Engaging, interesting and entertaining.
- “Can I show you, instead of tell you?” Then, pull something out of your pocket that represents who you are. Who could resist this answer? Who could forget this answer?
- “The compliment people give me most frequently is…” Almost like a testimonial, this response also indicates self-awareness and openness to feedback.
The Bottom Line:
Preparation is key. Be prepared to answer this opening question and set the right tone for the interview.