“How would your boss describe you?” is an open-ended question that can feel baffling. This interview question comes up when the interviewer sees that you’re not the type to brag about your past accomplishments. That’s when you need an answer to the question of “how would your boss or coworkers describe you?” and we have the strategy to give the best answer, every time.
Why Does Anyone Ask This Question?
This question is similar to “What is your greatest strength” but from your coworkers or boss’s point of view. You want to emphasize the skills or traits that you’ve been praised for. They may also want to know if you would fit into the company culture and how you fit in at your last position. If you didn’t get along with your past coworkers, and this new position you’re interviewing for has a similar culture, then you may not be considered a good fit for this one either. This question asks about your personality, teamwork ability, and how well you interact with others.
Have a Story About When You Excelled
You need to remember this one ahead of time so that you’re ready when it comes up. This question is pretty open-ended since the hiring manager is trying to get a sense of what it’s like to work with you. That makes this a great opportunity to share something you really wanted to mention in the interview but haven’t had a chance to share yet. Or maybe you sense that there is something specific that the hiring manager is looking for, a specific trait or skill, and that opportunity hasn’t come up yet.
Choose a story that sticks: “Something I’ve noticed is how people turn to me to work on more difficult projects regarding this industry, such as dissecting when the website was suddenly having problems loading. When that happened, I was able to deep dive into the problem and solve the issue. I think the reason they ask me for help is that I methodically work through any new project. If you were to ask my colleagues, I’m sure they would say that I’m logical, organized, and detail-oriented.”
Or Quote a Performance Review
Did you get a glowing review from your boss? Make sure to mention it here, because that’s actually what others say about you! For example: “In my performance review last August, my boss described me as someone who is adaptable. My position as a healthcare worker meant that I had to adapt to both planned situations, like an outing, and unplanned situations, like emergencies or unexpected issues. My boss noted that I was able to be rational, effective, and empathetic under pressure, while also tactful, helpful and patient during the planned outings.”
Or Use Snappy Examples
Try to think of three positive traits you bring to the workplace and a short example for each one, if you think they describe you accurately:
Are you thoughtful and remember everyone’s birthdays?
Hardworking and known for doing overtime or meeting all your deadlines?
Ambitious and willing to help with any project?
Honest and the go-to for any matter requiring money or trust from the group (lottery tickets, contest results, private information)?
With any one of these three templates for your answer, you will have a solid question for this open-ended question.
Check out more of our templates and how-tos: