Tough Interview Questions: Describe Yourself in One Word |

By Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter
This question is designed to instill panic in less aware job hunters. It shouldn’t if you understand what they are looking for.

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Hi. I’m Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter and people hire me for no BS career advice. Today, I want to offer you one of those tough interview questions that gets asked . . . different organizations ask different things. But if you hear this question, I just want to make sure you had heard it before so the shock and panic didn’t set in.

Describe yourself in one word. That’s the question.

And most people, myself included, the first time I heard this question was, fear, panic, like one word. And I realized, like, hedge fund brain teasers, it isn’t aboutrecruiter the word per se, but it’s about the explanation of the word that’s so important.

Now, for me, the word might be textured, or layered, because I see myself as multi-dimensional. And if I were talking about that, I would speak about I’m more complicated in how people see me than most in that I have layers of experience and knowledge that most don’t have. I’m simplifying it here, but you get the idea. Again, it’s not the word per se, but what you talk about in answering this question, that’s important.

Also, take your time to think about your answer. Don’t let the stress of the silence interrupt you. Don’t let your anxiety cause you to blurt something out unnecessarily. Be patient. Think about it for a moment. You can even stall by saying, ‘hey, great question. I hadn’t really thought about it. Let me just take a moment to think about it.’ Thus, you’ll be able to buy yourself some time.

When answering again, don’t let the silence pressure you into responding prematurely. Remember, it’s not the word but the explanation of the word that’s important.

I’m Jeff Altman. Hope you found this helpful. There’s a lot more in the blog at Go there, go exploring. While you’re there, you can schedule a time for a coaching session with me, I charge for it, obviously. I can get you prepared for interviews, and help you with salary negotiations. You can also have me critique your resume through the site. There’s a lot that’s available there plus information about my courses, books, and guides. Again, the website is

Also, connect with me on LinkedIn at Have a terrific day and most importantly, be great!

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Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. He is hired to provide No BS Career Advice globally. That can involve job search, hiring staff, management, leadership, career transition and advice about resolving workplace issues. Schedule a discovery call at my website,

He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with over 2500 episodes.

I do a livestream on LinkedIn, and YouTube (on the account) Tuesdays and Fridays at 1 PM Eastern. You can send your questions about job search, hiring better, management, leadership or to get advice about a workplace issue to me via messaging on LinkedIn or in chat during the approximately 30-minute show.




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