Employers want to obtain a truly feel of your strengths and flaws, and asking, “How would your boss and coworkers describe you?” usually yields a more honest response than just asking, “How would you describe yourself?” or “Can you tell me a little bit about yourself?”
Let’s start with why this type of question is asked in an interview. Particularly with your supervisor – after all, they could ask to talk with him or her as a reference, right? So why do you want to know what they’d say?
The following outlines will be discussed in detail in this article:
- How would your boss describe you in 3 words
- What three words would your precious supervisor use to describe you
- How would your supervisor describe you examples
Steps to Answer: “How Would Your Boss and Coworkers Describe You?”
1. When feasible, be truthful.
First and foremost, be truthful and authentic in your response. When the interviewer asks the question “How would your boss and coworkers describe you”, they are genuinely interested in learning more about who you are as a worker and a person.
They won’t feel comfortable trusting you or employing you if you deliver an answer that sounds too false or manufactured!
- Pick one or two characteristics to keep your response simple and straightforward.
With interview questions like “How would your boss and coworkers describe you”, you don’t want to go on for too long with your answer, so pick one or two topics to discuss. By discussing five separate things, you’ll do more harm than good, and your answer will become disorganized and impossible to give effectively!
So choose at least one and at most three attributes that you believe are true and helpful, particularly traits that will help you in THIS employer’s position. When they ask how your coworkers or friends would characterize you, this is the ideal method to impress them.
Let’s go on to the following phases in answering, and then we’ll look at some sample responses.
- Give an example of why you chose those characteristics.
After directly answering the question, then explain why those terms might be used to describe you.
Is there a highlight from one or both of the most recent jobs that you can share?
For instance, you might say:
“I believe that both my friends and coworkers would describe me as resourceful and someone who solves problems before they are asked.” For example, in my most recent work, I saved our manufacturing department $25,000 by detecting an electrical problem before it caused any damage.”
- If possible, demonstrate how these characteristics would assist you in achieving success in your position.
This is referred to as “tailoring” your response. It’s not necessary, but it’s preferable to discuss anything that will directly benefit you in this employer’s position.
Let’s say the job description specifies that they are looking for a proven leader who can develop new procedures for the team and eventually lead personnel directly.
“My coworkers would describe me as a natural leader,” I frequently lead initiatives and encourage communication across various groups to ensure that everyone is on the same page. That’s why my supervisor put me in charge of coordinating projects between our department and two others at my last employment.”
- Keep your response to a minimum (approximately one minute)
I’d say the example replies above are about the maximum amount of time I’d propose discussing. Don’t talk for more than two or three minutes in this room.
“Did that answer your question, or do you want me to go into further detail?” you can always say if you’re not sure on the answer to give to the question “How would your boss and coworkers describe you”.
That’s preferable to chatting for three minutes without pausing because it’s likely the hiring manager was looking for a quick, basic response when they asked how coworkers or previous bosses would describe you.
How to Answer “What Would Your Boss Say About You?”
If the interviewer specifically asks how your boss would characterize you in three words, offer three good characteristics and back them up with an example.
“I believe my employer would describe me as smart, dependable, and attentive. She frequently entrusts me with a variety of high-level duties, claiming that I am one of the few persons in the department she trusts with such work. I can see she admires my work ethic and ability to prioritize my responsibilities. This type of work environment appeals to me, and based on the job description, it appears that you provide a comparable setting. “Could you tell me more about the local environment?”
If they ask for something your boss would say about you that is NEGATIVE:
It’s probable that they’ll question, “What would your boss say about you that would be negative?”
This is akin to asking, “What is your worst flaw?” or “What areas do you need to improve?”
If you don’t name something that’s not mission-critical to the position you’re interviewing for, you can lose the job offer! Also, explain what you’re doing to address that flaw.
Click here to read about a conflict or challenge you faced at work.
How would your supervisor describe your Examples
“My manager thinks I’m better as an individual contributor than a leader because I’ve never formally led a team and only did a little project leadership in my former position.” But it’s something I’m starting to work on. In my previous employment, I had the opportunity to train two new team members, and by the end of the year, both of them had become top producers in our department.”
The Biggest Mistake to Avoid When Answering
Hopefully, the suggestions and examples provided above give you a fair sense of how to construct your own response to the interview question “How would your boss and coworkers describe you”
To sum up, here are a few major blunders to avoid:
1. Never say anything that is absolutely false.
You could be tempted to say something like; “I’m sociable and outgoing,” which you believe the hiring manager wants to hear. However, the truth is that the employer is genuinely interested in getting to know you. AND, if you’re speaking a complete untruth, they’ll see straight through it.
So be real and discuss positive qualities – ideally qualities related to their profession – but don’t feel obligated to lie or seem false.
- Don’t try to be someone you’re not. Instead, be yourself.
Even when a profession appears to be well-suited to the outgoing and loud sort of person (for example, sales occupations), introverts and quiet persons are nevertheless hired! Introverted salesmen who were amazing listeners and asked a lot of questions before doing any real “selling” were some of the best I’ve encountered in my profession.
Other than that, make sure you have a response prepared in general. Saying “I’m not sure” or “I don’t know” is likewise an error. Read here to see answers on greatest achievements ever.
Use the samples and instructions above to practice your answer at home, and you’ll be ready any time the interviewer asks, “How would your boss and coworkers describe you?” or any of the other questions we discussed.
When they ask, “How would your boss and coworkers describe you?” it isn’t a trick question, and it isn’t something to be afraid of. However, you must plan ahead of time. Fortunately, you now know how to proceed.