Whenever you go to an interview, some dreaded, self-reflecting questions come up. The purpose of these questions is to figure out how open-minded and self-aware you are, especially about your flaws and strengths. They are also a testament to your honesty.
It is impossible to know what others will say about you, as people place value on different things. One coworker may comment on your appearance, as they value someone who appears to be well dressed and professional. Another may comment on your work ethic. A third may comment on your overall personality and ability to get on with others in the office.
If you’d like to find out what the Best Answers to “How Would Your Coworkers Describe You?” are, keep the following in mind:
Do Not Lie
Any blatant lies will unravel all credibility once they call your references. Someone could say something they are not supposed to. We are often told that ethical businesses will not slander or give a negative reference. However, we can never really count on this as guaranteed.
They may lie about you, or they may highlight your weaknesses, honestly. However, you must never lie in an interview and provide the opportunity for a poor reference to ring true.
Turn Your Weaknesses Into Strengths
Yes, even a bad trait can become a positive one. If you know that your co-workers perceive you as chatty and distracting, there are many ways to counter this as a positive:
Chatty and distracting:
“I get along with others easily and often bring humor and positivity to the workplace.”
Introverted and quiet, sometimes this can be perceived as rude:
“I tend to hyper-focus on tasks to be completed and sometimes zone out of office conversations.”
Your appearance is not as formal and corporate as others:
“I like to express my personality in my appearance; I will often wear eccentric and fun accessories that some may enjoy.”
You prefer a formal appearance even in casual settings, but do not want to seem snobby:
“I am more comfortable in sophisticated and professional work-wear, although this is a personal preference and do not expect everyone to dress as I do.”
You are a workaholic and take your work very seriously. But you do not want others to perceive you as a stick in the mud or someone that is all work and no play:
“I have a strong work ethic and want to get things done, so we may all celebrate a deadline achieved or a project completed, as a team.”
You often need to be reminded of deadlines or tasks:
“Team planners are a great help when there is a production line among coworkers to get a task done. I work well with others when there is clear communication and a strategy plan, with milestones and deadlines.”
You get bored easily:
“I enjoy being constantly challenged and presented with opportunities to learn new skills.”
Now Put Your Answers Together!
Choose a few answers from the ones mentioned above, and formulate an answer that entails no more than three of the best qualities you feel pertain to the job at hand, and are most likely to be commented on by your references.
That way, your answer will not become a monologue and will not contain too much information. If you ramble on for too long, they may perceive you to be vain or nervous, depending on your body language.
What If They Ask About Your Weakeneeses, Specifically?
Always mention something as distant as possible concerning your job. For example, if you are interviewing for a position in IT, it is perfectly acceptable to mention that you get uncomfortable if you have to speak in front of large groups and would prefer to send out a newsletter or memo to all staff.
In this case, your work-around is something that is already a common practice, and no one will expect you to speak to all the staff anyway.
It is wise to think of possible answers for every interview, as different job requirements will require different skills – and one answer will not fit all.
How Would Your Friends Describe You?
This is a bit of dangerous territory. People tend to forget that the world is getting smaller by the day in terms of technology and social media. Your prospective employer may have mutual friends on social media or have joined the same local groups. Word of mouth is still a huge way of networking, especially in smaller or more elite communities.
For this reason, it is of utmost importance to have your personal life on social media as clean and private as possible. Choose what you say and post carefully. This would tie in with the points in the “do not lie” section.
Keep professional and personal life separate…
The workplace is not meant to interfere with your personal life, but personal traits can influence how you conduct yourself at work and the type of relationships you form. This may even be a point of self-reflection of what you do in your personal life.
Should your friends say that you are “charismatic, like to paint, and are generous to your community, supportive to friends,” the employer will view this as: “likable, creative, will go the extra mile, will be a team-player.” Again, keep this answer as brief as possible, and think about what personal traits you would like to bring forth and which ones you would rather not mention.
Tie It Up With A Relatable Bow
It is always good to add an example of how any of your answers may pertain to the job at hand in a positive way. Here are some examples:
- “I understand that this is an open-plan office space, and we should not distract each other, but that it is also good when there is a positive staff morale when everyone gets along.”
- “This position will require me to work with customers here, and although the dress code is not extremely formal, I still want to look neat and well-groomed.”
- “I am sure that deadlines can become pressing at times, and I like to stay ahead by a day or two, in case there are any hiccups that will cause a delay in the progression of the project.”
Even More Interview Info And Advice!
Let’s start with my advice on how to answer my Strengths And Weaknesses For Job Interviews, What Makes You Unique, and Why Do You Want To Work Here, as well as How To Answer What Are You Passionate About and of course Why We Should Hire You to help you prepare better.
Still not feeling quite confident yet? No problem, with these insightful guides, you’ll ace any interview! So, check out The Key to Landing A Job – The Interview, how to answer the High-Impact Interview Questions, or perhaps try Knock ’em Dead Job Interview: How to Turn Job Interviews Into Job Offers, all available online in 2022.
We also found the highly effective Fire Interview: The Storyteller Method, or How to Answer Interview Questions, along with 60 Seconds and You’re Hired!, and Get That Job!: The Quick and Complete Guide to a Winning Interview, and finally How to Answer Interview Questions: 101 Tough Interview Questions.
You now have some insight into how to answer interview questions well. It is difficult to have perfect answers all the time, as you may be hit with a curveball at times. So, make sure to prepare ahead of time. This allows you to be confident in your expertise and will give you the best chance at nailing an interview.
But, it’s not just about the questions, is it? Always be aware of your body language in an interview. And of course, another crucial point is how to dress in an interview. The easiest option is to keep it professional, neat, and tidy.
Good luck with your future interviews!