How To Answer "What Motivates You?" In An Interview

By Hannah Morgan | Career Sherpa - Reprinted with permission

"What motivates you?" is an incredibly common interview question that stumps job-seekers all the time. It might seem simple, but there are many layers to an effective answer. This guide will teach you how to answer "What motivates you?" so you can use this question as an opportunity to make a great impression. The Reason Interviewers Ask This Interview Question. During a job interview, you'll hear many open-ended questions that don't have an obvious connection to the available position. "What motivates you?" is just one of them! Most people expect to get asked questions that relate to the job. However, one focuses more on who you are as a person and what you... Read more

Veterans can now file an appeal online with the Board of Veterans' Appeals

By VAntage Point Contributor | U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs © 2022, Reprinted with permission

The Board of Veterans' Appeals (Board, BVA) continues to modernize to meet Veterans' needs. The Board recently updated and improved its website to make sure all the information you need is available and easy to understand. It also includes what the Board does and what to expect during an appeal. Biggest news of all? Veterans can now file their request to appeal to the Board online! How do you request a Board Appeal online? If you disagree with a decision VA made on your claim, you can log into VA.gov and electronically file the VA Form 10182. The process is simple! Navigate your browser to https://www.va.gov/decision-reviews/board-appeal/. Select "Request a Board Appeal" to go to the VA.gov login screen. You must have a VA.gov account.... Read more

Answering "How Would You Describe Yourself?" In Interviews

By Hannah Morgan | Career Sherpa - Reprinted with permission

"How would you describe yourself?" is a common interview question that trips up many applicants. It seems simple at first, but it requires a lot of self-reflection to answer effectively! This guide will teach you how to describe yourself during an interview in a way that improves your chance of getting the job. Why Interviewers Ask "How Would You Describe Yourself" There are many questions you expect to hear during an interview. However, "How would you describe yourself" is one of the most common interview questions out there! It's a favorite for hiring managers and interviewers, regardless of the position. From interviews for back-of-house workers at a fast food place... Read more

Convenience and self-service appointment check-in at your fingertips

By Doré Mobley, communications specialist for VHA's Office of Media Relations | U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs © 2022, Reprinted with permission

Check-in for your next VA appointment might be different next time you come in. Beginning this summer, some VA facilities will allow Veterans to do one or both of these: Start the check-in process up to seven days in advance of the appointment. Check in at the clinic using your smartphone on the day of your appointment. As part of how VA is modernizing the way Veterans receive care, VA received extensive feedback from Veterans and caregivers about how the checking-in process can be made better, especially for those who use assistive technologies to access their benefits online. VA's Office of Information and Technology, partnering with VHA, has applied this feedback to the design of the new, modernized patient check-in application coming soon to your location.... Read more

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How To Answer "What Motivates You?" In An Interview

By Hannah Morgan | Career Sherpa - Reprinted with permission

"What motivates you?" is an incredibly common interview question that stumps job-seekers all the time. It might seem simple, but there are many layers to an effective answer.

This guide will teach you how to answer "What motivates you?" so you can use this question as an opportunity to make a great impression.

The Reason Interviewers Ask This Interview Question

During a job interview, you'll hear many open-ended questions that don't have an obvious connection to the available position. "What motivates you?" is just one of them! Most people expect to get asked questions that relate to the job. However, one focuses more on who you are as a person and what you have to bring to the table.

So, what are interviewers trying to learn by asking this question?

It's all about your personal and professional motivators. The hiring manager wants to learn more about your work style and the driving motivators behind your success.

Your answer to "What motivates you?" provides valuable insight that goes beyond pre-rehearsed answers or generic responses. It digs deeper and shows the interviewer what makes you feel enthusiastic about your work. Everyone has intrinsic motivators that keep them going and push them to do the best job possible. Asking this question helps the interviewer figure out what yours are!

The goal of this question is to ensure that your motivations align with the company culture and the open position. You can have the best qualifications in the applicant pool. But if you're not motivated to do the job, you might not be a good fit.

For example, someone who thrives most when solving workplace challenges isn't the best fit for a monotonous data entry position. It's a question that can show interviewers your preferred work style and personality.

Your passions and motivations are essential pieces of the career puzzle. Finding the right fit makes all the difference, and interviewers want to make sure they choose someone who will excel in the open position.

How to Answer "What Motivates You?

There are many ways to answer "What motivates you?" in a job interview. While there's no right or wrong answer, how you respond could change the direction of the interview and significantly impact your chances of moving forward in the hiring process. Interviewers are looking for a specific type of person to fit the opening in their company, and there are ways to answer this question strategically to put yourself in a good light.

This question requires ample research and plenty of self-reflection. It isn't one that you should "wing." Interviewers often catch applicants off guard with a question like this, so use the following tips to prepare yourself and have an answer ready should it come up.

Think About Your Successes & Strengths

It's important to think of your strength when planning how to answer "What motivates you?" Reflect on your previous jobs and focus on the major successes.

Make a note of all the problems you've solved and successes you've had. Then think about the skills you offer a team, and what are you good at doing.

Those questions can help you develop a fantastic answer. Remember that this is still a job interview. You want to answer the question and provide the details the interviewer wants to hear. However, it's also an excellent time to talk about yourself and let the hiring manager know that you're a worthy candidate with a lot to offer.

Talking about your strengths can help you connect the dots while driving the point home.

For example, maybe your biggest successes have been team projects. You might have taken the helm on significant projects in the past, acting as the glue to keep collaborative assignments together all the way to the finish line. If you have a history of success in that type of work, it likely means that you're motivated by opportunities to work in a collaborative setting.

If the job entails teamwork, don't be afraid to talk about it!

On the other hand, you could have excelled working alone to support a company's bottom line. If that's the case, bring it up.

Use your strengths as a jumping point to talk about what motivates you and the type of work you do best.

Be Truthful

It can be tempting to bend the truth a little and say what you think the interviewer is looking for the most. But honesty is always the best policy with personality questions like this.

There are a couple of reasons you want to avoid lying when answering "What motivates you?" First, it does you no favors to smudge the truth. The whole point of this question is to determine if you're the right fit for the job and company culture. While lying could get you further, you'll likely realize that the job is not right for you later.

Why waste your time or anyone else's?

Secondly, lying can make you sound inauthentic. The truth will come out eventually, and lying will only come back to haunt you. Being untruthful on a question like this is a major red flag for hiring managers.

Even if they choose to proceed and ignore that bending of the truth, they might question everything you say moving forward.

Be authentic and answer truthfully. Focus on developing thoughtful answers instead of trying to paint yourself as someone you're simply not.

Provide an Example

When talking about what motivates you, provide real-world examples. It's easy to list many vague ideas that drive your success. However, interviewers want to hear about how those motivations made a difference in your work performance.

Illustrate the ideas that motivate you through a compelling story. It doesn't have to be this huge narrative, but providing examples that you can refer to is a great way to talk about your motivations. The "what motivates you" question lends itself well to showing what you're made of and how much you want this job.

Tell a story and provide real examples of how your motivations helped you reach your full potential on the job. Don't be afraid to show your enthusiasm! It also makes your answer more memorable and authentic.

Explain What Made You Choose This Field in the First Place

One great way to answer "What motivates you?" is to talk about what drove you to the profession in the first place. Everyone has a reason they entered their field. For example, a nurse might have joined the healthcare industry because of an innate desire to help others. Meanwhile, a teacher might have pursued education because they love to watch students excel.

Whatever your reasons for getting into your field of work, talk about them! Dig deep and reflect on your past. Things might have changed in the years since you started your career. But think back to what initially inspired you to go down this path.

This tip requires self-reflection. While not always easy, it's a great way to reconnect with your purpose. Getting in touch with your early motivations can help you answer truthfully and maybe even reignite a passion you forgot you had!

Connect Your Answer with the Company Culture

Our final tip is one that can make a significant difference when answering this question. Don't just talk about yourself. Find ways to tie your motivations and inspirations back to the company culture!

Here's where doing ample research comes in handy. Do your due diligence to learn more about the company's mission and work culture. Understand why the business exists and what the specific role entails.

With that information in mind, you can tie everything together and make a solid connection between your successes and the company. For example, say that the organization's mission is to be an industry innovator. The company culture is likely full of boundary-breaking creativity and constant inspiration.

A great way to talk about what motivates you is to bring up an experience related to the company's mission. You could talk about a time when thinking outside of the box led to major success.

Whatever the case might be, forge connections with the company. Paint a picture of how you easily fit into this position and the company at large.

What to Avoid Saying

Now that you know how to answer "What motivates you?" in an interview, let's talk about what you shouldn't say! An open-ended question like this doesn't have an obvious right or wrong question, but the interviewer is looking for a specific type of answer.

Saying the wrong thing can hurt your chances of getting hired. Ultimately, the point of this interview question is to give hiring managers a reason to give you a shot. It's about compelling them to hire you and putting yourself in the best light possible.

Here are a few things that you want to avoid saying. They could severely hurt your chances and do irreversible harm to how the interviewer perceives you.

Money

Don't say that money is your biggest motivator!

A great salary is an excellent motivator, and it could be the thing that pushes you to do your job well. But you don't need to talk about that during the interview (especially when answering this question).

Hiring managers don't want to hear about how you're salary-driven. They're looking for people that will work hard regardless of the compensation. It's about finding employees who are motivated by things beyond money.

There's nothing wrong with letting salary and benefits guide your job search. But once you reach the interview phase, it's better to focus on creating a deeper connection and showing commitment to the job at hand.

Negativity

Here's another red flag for interviewers. You don't want to waste your answer to this question talking about your previous employer. Avoid badmouthing them and lingering on negativity.

It can be tough to keep things positive. Interviewers might frame "What motivates you?" in a way that makes it easy to start expressing your grievances with your previous or current employer. For example, you might hear this question as "What motivated you to apply for this job?"

Being negative with your answer doesn't do you any favors. It's not what interviewers are looking for, and talking bad about an old employer could come back to bite you. If you're willing to badmouth the company during an interview, what's stopping you from doing the same in the future?

Word gets around fast, and being negative could harm your chances of getting a job anywhere.

Unrelated Details

One problem that many people face during interviews is staying on topic. A question like this is designed to encourage conversation. It's open-ended for a reason! The interviewer wants to give you room to tell a story or talk about things that don't typically appear in applications and resumes.

But don't take that as an opportunity to go off-topic and discuss things that aren't relevant to the question. While it is open-ended, there's still a specific type of answer that interviewers want to hear. Going off-topic only serves as a distraction, and hiring managers might think you're intentionally skirting the answer.

Practice your answer before you get into the interview. You don't need to have an over-rehearsed response. However, it pays to have a set of general points you want to make.

Thinking about what motivates you and prepping your answer early makes it much easier to stay on track.

Incoherent Ramblings

Finally, avoid the incoherent ramblings! Once again, this is something you can avoid with preparation.

If you've ever been stumped at an interview before, you know all too well how easy it is to ramble about things that don't make sense or even matter to the conversation. It's that "grasping for straws" feeling that so many people experience when caught off guard by a question they didn't prepare to answer.

Keep your focus and talk about things that matter. While it's always better to prepare a response early, always breathe and think about an answer before speaking. Pause briefly to gather your thoughts.

Speak slowly and clearly. Don't let your nerves turn you into a rambling mess.

Also, avoid being overly generic or vague. Authenticity is key. Taking a moment to breathe and collect your thoughts will make your response more put-together and coherent.

Example Answers

As mentioned before, there's no single correct way to answer "What motivates you? How you respond depends entirely on your personal work experience and motivations! There are many ways to approach this question.

Here are a few examples to inspire you.

Example 1

This example focuses on the strengths of the job-seeker. The answer harkens back to their past and draws a connection to the open position.

"I enjoy flexing my creative muscles and letting my imagination run wild. I've always been passionate about art and design, and I enjoy every opportunity to push my skills further. My dedication to superior artistic expression has guided both personal and professional endeavors, and I'm committed to continuing that push for creative excellence at [COMPANY] if given a chance."

Example 2

In our second example, the response does a few things. It highlights what motivated the applicant to enter the field and shows how their passions drive their success moving forward. It also expresses continued interest in the position while showing a commitment to the cause!

"I've always been motivated by creative projects that require regular collaboration. The reason I entered the marketing field was to have the opportunity to work with others and put many creative minds together to serve a shared goal. One of the things I loved most about my previous job was watching vague ideas come together into finished products that entire teams were proud to put into the world.

I'm eager to lead teams at [COMPANY] and create more fantastic projects. The opportunity to lead campaigns from ideation to launch was one of the reasons why I was so excited to apply for this position."

Example 3

Our final example is about more technical skills and motivations. However, it still shows the applicant's dedication to teamwork, highlighting their soft and hard skills.

"My biggest motivation is having the chance to dig into hard data. I enjoy sifting through spreadsheets and making sense out of seemingly random figures. The process of figuring out the connection between those numbers is a challenge I enjoy.

I also enjoy helping teams solve their everyday problems. At my previous job, my work was the foundation of analytics. It helped many teams make decisions and set sales goals.

I'm excited at the opportunity to do the same at [COMPANY]."

Conclusion

Now that you know how to answer "what motivates you?" all you need to do is the prep work. Take a moment to think about your answer and how you would like to phrase it. Then, rehearse a few times!

Doing this will not only prevent you from getting stuck if you're asked this question in a job interview, it will help you make a great impression and improve your chances of getting the job.

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Veterans can now file an appeal online with the Board of Veterans' Appeals

By VAntage Point Contributor | U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs © 2022, Reprinted with permission

The Board of Veterans' Appeals (Board, BVA) continues to modernize to meet Veterans' needs. The Board recently updated and improved its website to make sure all the information you need is available and easy to understand. It also includes what the Board does and what to expect during an appeal. Biggest news of all? Veterans can now file their request to appeal to the Board online!

How do you request a Board Appeal online?

If you disagree with a decision VA made on your claim, you can log into VA.gov and electronically file the VA Form 10182.

The process is simple!

The ability to file an appeal online is just one of the many technology modernizations the Board has made to ensure Veterans have easy access to the Board. This initiative supports VA's commitment to help Veterans receive faster resolutions to their disagreements with VA claims decisions.

Did you know that you can also have a Virtual Tele-Hearing?

In addition to filing an appeal online, Veterans who selected a hearing can have those hearings online. No need to report in person to a local VA office. All you need is a Wi-Fi connection. Additional information about virtual tele-hearings can be found here.

Visit www.bva.va.gov for more information.

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Answering "How Would You Describe Yourself?" In Interviews

By Hannah Morgan | Career Sherpa - Reprinted with permission

"How would you describe yourself?" is a common interview question that trips up many applicants. It seems simple at first, but it requires a lot of self-reflection to answer effectively!

This guide will teach you how to describe yourself during an interview in a way that improves your chance of getting the job.

Why Interviewers Ask "How Would You Describe Yourself"

There are many questions you expect to hear during an interview. However, "How would you describe yourself" is one of the most common interview questions out there! It's a favorite for hiring managers and interviewers, regardless of the position. From interviews for back-of-house workers at a fast food place to intense meetings for managerial office jobs, it's one of the most common questions out there.

But why do interviewers ask it?

Ultimately, the goal of asking you to describe yourself is to determine if you have the qualities, characteristics, and skills to do the job. The interviewer has a good idea of what it takes to succeed in this role. This question is a way to ensure that what you have to offer aligns with what they believe is required for success.

It sounds simple enough. But this question isn't as cut-and-dry as it seems. It's a multi-faceted inquiry that paints a detailed picture of who you are.

Like many other personality questions, your answer to "How would you describe yourself" sheds some light on what you have to bring to the table. It can show that you're the right fit for the company culture and have what it takes to genuinely excel in this position.

How you answer is important. Say the wrong thing, and you could be leaving something on the table in your interview.

Many job-seekers don't take personality questions like this seriously, but your answer is a great opportunity to improve your chances of getting a job offer.

How to Answer This Interview Question

Answering "How would you describe yourself?" requires some self-reflection. It's always best to prepare early and have some answers ready.

But despite how tricky it can seem to describe yourself in an interview, it's not as difficult to answer as many assume. It's all about understanding what the interviewer wants and knowing how to dig deep and find your qualities that closely align with what the company and role need.

Here are some tips to help you describe yourself.

Understand the Company

If you haven't researched the company, that's the first step! Research is a fundamental part of the job-seeking process. You need to know what you're getting into and what type of business you'll work for.

We're not talking about only surface-level details here. Your research should include lesser-known things that you don't see in a standard job description. It's about understanding the company's goals, its operation, and the work culture.

Ideally, you should spend a reasonable amount of time learning as much as you can about the company before your interview. Read through the corporate website and mentions in the news. You can also turn to social media to look at how they engage with other accounts and what people are saying about them.

Look at the company's LinkedIn profiles, YouTube channels, Facebook pages, and other platforms. Don't stop there. You can also look into current employees, CEOs and the people who work in your desired department.

Your goal is to get a better understanding of the company. It's a chance to put yourself in the interviewer's shoes and figure out precisely what they're looking for when they ask you to describe yourself.

Say, for example, that the job description requests someone with an entrepreneurial spirit. Your research reveals that many of the organization's leaders come from startups. Next, think about the qualities and traits of entrepreneurs and people who work in startups. Even if you have never worked at a startup, you still have traits that would be desirable.

Once you get a better sense of the company, you can figure out ways to highlight your skills and capabilities to look attractive to the interviewer. It's not about making things up or fudging the truth. Instead, it's learning how to answer "How would you describe yourself?" in a way that shows you would add value to the company and helps you progress through the hiring process.

Be Positive

One of the most important things when describing yourself in an interview is to remain positive. This sounds like a no-brainer, but it's worth mentioning.

Avoid anything that sounds remotely negative. Steer clear of those descriptors that make you sound like you wouldn't be a good fit. For example, mentioning that you're shy, anxious, or unconfident isn't a good idea.

You want to impress the interviewer! Stick to positive traits that make you an attractive applicant.

Having self-awareness is essential. But this question is asking you to highlight your positive characteristics.

Remember: The goal is to answer in a way that appeals to the interviewer and company. Think long and hard about your answers and how they might come off for this particular work environment. What seems like a super positive trait for you might not be the same for this interviewer.

For example, being an introvert who loves to sit quietly and work might sound like paradise from your perspective. But if the company thrives on frequent team meetings and ongoing collaboration, it might come off as you being a subpar fit for the position! Always be aware of what the company is looking for when answering this question.

Give an Example

The best way to stand out and leave a lasting impression when describing yourself in an interview is to provide a real-world example. Think about instances that highlight the skills and characteristics you mention. Then, talk about them and bring it all full circle!

Providing examples is a fantastic way to give a memorable answer. Everyone can say that they're detail-oriented or good at solving problems. But those are relatively generic answers that tons of other applicants have likely mentioned.

The way you stick out in the interviewer's mind is by telling a story that illustrates those traits in action.

Let's look at being detail-oriented. After mentioning that personality trait, you could talk about how that helped you in your current or previous job. Maybe you found an error in your old company's software code that no one else spotted. Thanks to your eagle eye, clients experienced fewer issues.

Stories like that make all the difference. It shows that you indeed have those traits. But more importantly, examples demonstrate how they benefit you at work and what they do to make you an ideal candidate.

Don't be too general. The key is to think about your past experiences and find the connections to the job you are interviewing for.

Tie It In With the Role You Want

Finally, find ways to tie your answer into the job at hand. Once again, doing your research, understanding the company, and knowing what the role entails is critical. Do all the necessary research before you come up with answers so that you're well-equipped to respond with something relevant and impressive.

A handy tip is to refer back to the job listing. There's a good chance that the job posting included some keywords that give you some insight into what the company wants out of a new hire. The posting may even list some useful words to describe yourself (more on that later).

Of course, you don't want to recite those words verbatim. However, they can guide you in the right direction and help you create those all-important connections to your own experiences and characteristics.

Think about what the job entails and find traits that match. For example, say that the listing says the job is fast-paced and complex. You could describe yourself as highly organized and capable of working under pressure.

You're not outright saying that you do well working in fast-paced jobs. But, the descriptors you do use point in that direction!

Words to Describe Yourself In An Interview

"How would you describe yourself? is an interview question where the words you choose matter. There are several descriptors that paint a vivid image of who you are. These words pack a powerful punch and leave a lasting impression on the hiring manager.

You might see some of these words in the job description. They can sometimes come off cliche, so it's essential to use them wisely.

The best approach is to sprinkle them into your answer and use them as a jumping-off point to provide examples.

Words to Describe How You Work

This list is all about describing how you work. The power words are adaptable, and you can use them to talk about everything from teamwork and collaboration to how you approach challenges.

  • Driven
  • Attentive
  • Diplomatic
  • Dependable
  • Visionary
  • Observant
  • Diligent
  • Flexible
  • Supportive
  • Methodical
  • Ethical
  • Resourceful
  • Leader
  • Analytical
  • Entrepreneurial
  • Dedicated
  • Disciplined
  • Inventive
  • Proactive
  • Thorough
  • Cooperative
  • Detail-oriented
  • Resilient
  • Savvy
  • Driven
  • Diplomatic
  • Hardworking
  • Organized
Power Descriptors to Talk About Your Personality

This list of questions can also describe how you work. However, they're more focused on your personality. The words have broad definitions, making it easy to incorporate them into your answer while connecting them to the job you are interviewing for.

These words are powerful descriptors, but they are fairly general by nature. When using them, make sure to draw that connection and provide clear examples of how they translate well to your work and the position.

  • Creative
  • Innovative
  • Adventurous
  • Curious
  • Enthusiastic
  • Energetic
  • Self-aware
  • Observant
  • Attentive
  • Patient
  • Direct
  • Tolerant
  • Compassionate
  • Empathetic
  • Insightful
  • Focused
  • Committed
  • Persistent
  • Confident
  • Extroverted
  • Introverted
  • Perceptive
  • Loyal
  • Flexible
  • Honest
  • Friendly
  • Influential
  • Adaptable
  • Pragmatic
  • Knowledgeable
  • Helpful
  • Orderly
  • Sincere
  • Reliable
  • Inspirational
  • Personable
  • Amiable

What to Avoid When Answering

If you're describing yourself in a job interview, there are a number of things you should avoid saying as well! Use these recommendations to help you structure your answer when you're practicing.

Don't Be Long-Winded

We've all been there. You hear a question you aren't prepared for, so you end up rambling until you find something that sticks. It's a job seeker's worst fear for interviews, but it's an everyday reality.

Don't let yourself ramble on for too long when describing yourself. The ideal response length is around 60 to 90 seconds. All you have to do is mention a few traits, provide examples, and tie them back to the job.

Here's where preparing early comes in handy. Have a few responses ready so that you're concise and read to respond.

If you ramble, you're doing more harm than good. Incoherent answers show that you're easily side-tracked, which is never good. Keep your response clear and to the point.

Don't Be Too Brief

While rambling is terrible, so is providing simple one-word answers. Please don't respond with a list of traits and leave it at that. Your interviewer expects more, and cutting the answer short will leave them staring back at you blank and bewildered!

Expand on your answers. Remember that providing a real-world example makes a significant difference. Use a specific story to back up those descriptors you provide.

Don't Lie

Don't try to pretend you are someone you're not or to fit the role. Lying is the worst thing you can do! That doesn't just apply to this question. Lying at any point in your interview isn't a good idea.

Hiring managers will do their due diligence. They'll call previous employers and references. If you provide this grand story about how you're an amazing problem-solver when the truth is the opposite, they'll find out.

Plus, once you get into the role, you want to be successful. Not being truthful about who you are can set you up for an uncomfortable situation in your new job. It's best to be truthful for a win-win.

Don't Dominate the Conversation

It's easy to monopolize a conversation when answering questions like "How would you describe yourself?" But remember, you're doing a job interview, and there's supposed to be some back-and-forth.

Interviewers often have follow-up questions they want you to answer. Steamrolling your response as if you've rehearsed it a million times doesn't leave room for the interviewer to ask additional questions.

Let your answer breathe and provide plenty of opportunities for that critical back-and-forth experience.

Example Answers

Your answer to this question will depend on your personality and work experience. There's no right or wrong answer, but you can approach your answer in a suboptimal way!

To help guide you in the right direction, we have a few examples of high-quality answers to "How to describe yourself?" that are sure to impress.

Example 1

In this first example, the trait the applicant is highlighting is customer service. Good customer service is critical to many jobs. Instead of outright saying that they excel at customer service, this example applicant focuses on the fact that they are a "people person."

"Most would describe me as a people-person. I enjoy meeting others and have no problem forming connections. Learning about someone's background and finding common ground is something I do well.

This trait is useful when working with clients and starting new projects. At my previous job, my client customer satisfaction scores were roughly 20 percent higher than the company average. I did all I could to make new clients feel comfortable through regular communication."

Example 2

In this next example, leadership is the skill that the applicant wants to highlight when describing themselves. Once again, leadership is one of those universal traits that most employers love to see. However, it can be tricky to talk about without sounding cliche. Here's an example of how to talk about it the correct way.

"My previous work colleagues would call me a leader. I slip into leadership roles naturally in a group setting. For many of the collaborative projects I completed at my former job, I took the helm and became the go-to person for questions and concerns. That eventually led to a promotion into a leadership role less than a year after joining the company.

I enjoy those responsibilities and believe that my communication skills play a big part in how I guide my teams in the right direction. I enjoy lifting my colleagues and finding ways to encourage them to harness their skills for every project."

Example 3

This final example is all about showing one's creative and innovative thinking. The applicant talks about how they think outside of the box, providing examples that are sure to excite an interviewer.

"The thing that I pride myself on most is my creativity. I like to think outside the box and find unique solutions to workplace challenges. I firmly believe that going against the norm can lead to amazing results.

In my previous jobs, I often took a more unorthodox approach than most would expect. For example, I worked with a client to do a risky social media campaign different from their standard marketing techniques. The risk paid off, and the campaign led to a significant boost in profits for that particular product launch."

Conclusion

Being able to answer "How would you describe yourself?" during a job interview requires a mix of preparation and self-reflection. While it might seem challenging at first, it won't take long before you get the hang of it!

Follow our recommendations above, practice a few times, and you'll shine during the interview.

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Convenience and self-service appointment check-in at your fingertips

By Doré Mobley, communications specialist for VHA's Office of Media Relations | U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs © 2022, Reprinted with permission

Check-in for your next VA appointment might be different next time you come in. Beginning this summer, some VA facilities will allow Veterans to do one or both of these:

  • Start the check-in process up to seven days in advance of the appointment.
  • Check in at the clinic using your smartphone on the day of your appointment.

As part of how VA is modernizing the way Veterans receive care, VA received extensive feedback from Veterans and caregivers about how the checking-in process can be made better, especially for those who use assistive technologies to access their benefits online.

VA's Office of Information and Technology, partnering with VHA, has applied this feedback to the design of the new, modernized patient check-in application coming soon to your location.

At all VA locations by the end of August 2022

VA is deploying the application at facilities geographically. Deployment within all VISNs will occur by the end of August 2022.

Five facts Veterans should know about VA's patient check-in application

  1. Veterans will always have the option to check in for an appointment with a staff member. Using the new mobile app therefore is not a requirement. VA staff are honored to check Veterans in for appointments and to answer questions.
  2. Veterans will need to check-in at the facility with a staff member on appointment day if they require changes to demographic (contact, next of kin, emergency contact) or insurance information.
  3. The patient application has two options:
    • Pre-check-in helps Veterans confirm demographic information is up to date prior to an appointment. If a clinic offers pre-check-in, Veterans will receive a link through a text message appointment reminder after confirming an appointment.
    • Mobile check-in allows Veterans to check-in for an appointment on a smartphone when they arrive at the facility. Upon arrival at a clinic offering mobile check-in, Veterans should locate the poster titled, "Have an appointment? Check in with your phone" prominently on display. They should then text or scan the QR code as directed in the poster to start the process.
  4. To use the mobile app, Veterans must have a smartphone that is connected to Wi-Fi or cellular service and the phone number on file with VA, as this is how VA verifies your identity. Veterans can update their contact information online.
  5. The national contract for VetLink kiosks will expire at the end of September 2022. After that date, Veterans should:
    • Use the patient check-in application for self-service check-in or check in with a staff member.
    • Submit your travel reimbursement claims through the Beneficiary Travel Self-Service System (BTSSS), mail, fax and/or in-person at a VA medical center.

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