Which three words best describe your city?

10 words you shouldn't use to describe yourself during an interview

  1. A sovereign candidate is free from the opinion of others
  2. 1. Intelligence
  3. 2nd sympathy
  4. 3. Success
  5. 4. Obsession
  6. 5. Modesty
  7. 6. Uniqueness
  8. 7. Motivation
  9. 8. World class
  10. 9. Result orientation & experience
  11. 10. Creativity
  • advice
  • An internship could later become the ideal dream job. But there are some pitfalls to avoid on the way there. Because every career start is inextricably linked with your application, which in the best case leads to an interview with the future employer. In the course of this conversation you will certainly be given the opportunity to present yourself from your personal, i.e. your human, side. If you know the words in this situation that you shouldn't use to describe yourself, you have a clear advantage and can score several plus points.

    Most HR managers are well trained to get an accurate picture of the candidate in an interview with specific questions. You have mastered the questions that are important in the process and would like to use the answers to find out how the applicant behaves and reacts in certain situations. A good portion of self-confidence and sovereignty can then do no harm. The latter in particular is related to your appearance and behavior. It should be coupled with self-confidence and the necessary calm and serenity. In summary, you prove how you deal with difficult situations or which advantages you can bundle when it comes to dealing with colleagues and superiors later.

    A sovereign candidate is free from the opinion of others

    The interview is an excellent opportunity to present yourself as a person who is able to look at situations from your own point of view, form your own opinion and then present it confidently. There it is again, the word sovereignty. What does the potential employer associate with it in conversation? He would like to know from you whether you know your weaknesses and strengths and are able to portray them accordingly. As soon as you hear the question of how other people would describe you, or how you describe yourself in a few words, this part of sovereignty comes back to the fore. And the knowledge of that Words that you shouldn't use for your own description.

    1. Intelligence

    Being smart and intelligent is undoubtedly a personal asset. However, referring to yourself as an intelligent person is counterproductive in a job interview. Because intelligence is simply assumed by the employer. The reference to intelligence usually has an arrogant effect on the personnel manager. It is therefore significant that the employer is almost invariably looking for intelligent interns or employees for his company. Identifying yourself as extremely intelligent should even be a minus point on the rating list. Replace intelligence with the term "mindset". For example, describe yourself as someone who thinks logically, who loves fast learning and a quick grasp. Practical statements instead of personal assessments are the key messages.

    2nd sympathy

    In normal life you are of course the most likeable person possible that everyone likes. However, describing this to the recruiter in flowery words puts you behind the scenes. It is better to let the team player take precedence and introduce you as an open and enthusiastic employee than someone who is quite capable of using this page in everyday working life. Did you organize the graduation party? Have you set up a new concept for your club? With such examples from practice, you will leave a more positive impression on the HR manager.

    3. Success

    Whether you can actually achieve success will only be decided later in the course of the internship, i.e. in daily practice. At this point, however, the job interview is again about the correct assessment. To describe yourself as generally successful is leading in the wrong direction. Then it could be that sympathy turns into antipathy. Comprehensible or verifiable successes from your past, however, which you explain in detail, will definitely go down well with the HR manager.

    4. Obsession

    Basically, the positive reference to wanting to do the future internship with obsession has exactly the opposite meaning. Which HR manager would like to have employees who are completely in control of their tasks and don't think about anything else? However, if the personal passion for the internship turns into your focus on completing it with diligence, willingness to learn and detailed knowledge, the recruiter will definitely make a positive note.

    5. Modesty

    “Modesty is an ornament, but you can get further without it!” Almost everyone has heard this saying before. A certain modesty in professional life may well be appropriate, but it is better to have clear ideas in connection with the desired career. Facts are therefore required when dealing with a HR manager. Is there an example? What was the result? And how was the response? In case of doubt, the second part of the saying should apply and the word about your modesty should not even be mentioned.

    6. Uniqueness

    There are many people who have done or invented something unique. Athletes, inventors, engineers, painters ... Describing yourself as unique to a human resources manager tends to be a gross exaggeration, which should also be perceived as such. Another minus point would therefore be preprogrammed. Instead, think about which strengths make you look more interesting and better than your competitors for the same position. The hiring manager will then most likely listen to you very intensely.

    7. Motivation

    Experts describe motivation as the totality of all motives that made you decide to apply for an internship. So it would not be a good idea to want to distinguish yourself in general with your motivation. What should lead to a positive assessment here would be the reasons that motivated you to make a targeted decision for the current company. Detailed background knowledge would therefore be goal-oriented and bring you decisive steps closer to the internship.

    8. World class

    Without being able to put clear evidence or evidence on the table, your personal description of being a world-class employee would probably only be one thing: arrogant. So before you get your nose very high, you'd better avoid the world-class word altogether. Or be able to present a medal, an award or corresponding press releases to the HR manager.

    9. Result orientation & experience

    To speak of extensive professional experience even after two or three internship positions would probably not go down well with the recruiter. Likewise, the advice to work exclusively results-oriented, which only leads to one question: “Yes, what else?” After all, neither description says anything about how bad or how good you will actually be later in the job. It would be preferable for the HR manager to have specific task descriptions that you have already solved and that can be transferred to the current job environment.

    10. Creativity

    Have you already demonstrated your ability to create something that is original, useful or usable? Have you already been creative or creative? Insisting too clearly on your creativity could quickly drift you into the realm of a genius, which you are hardly allowed to be. It makes sense not to use the term to describe your personality in the first place. Unless it is about an artistic or similar internship. Even then, you'd better stick to comprehensible facts and solutions that make a hiring manager sit up and take notice.


    These are by no means all the words that you should avoid when describing yourself to a recruiter. You should therefore prepare meticulously how you can do it better. The self-confidence you need can also be trained if it is not already one of your strengths.

    Sabine F. (1 article) Last articles