The way you relate to your coworkers can determine your ability to work as part of a team, fit into the company’s culture and also in developing a professional network.
That’s why employers find it necessary to ask this question, ” How Would Your Coworkers Describe You?”.
So In this article, I will walk you through the reasons why employers ask about how your coworker would describe you and provide examples/answers to help you prepare for this question including the necessary things to avoid while answering the question.
Article Road Map
- Why Employers Ask, “How Would Your Coworkers Describe You?”
- How To Answer “How Would Your Coworkers Describe You?”
- What To Avoid When Answering, “How Would Your Coworkers Describe You?”
- Best Answers To The Question, “How Would Your Coworkers Describe You?”
Why Employers Ask, “How Would Your Coworkers Describe You?”
How would your coworkers describe you?” is an interview question that often catches job prospects by surprise.
Asking this question during an interview is sometimes regarded as being inappropriate probably because in your resume, you have included the name of your previous co-workers and employer which it is easy for the hiring manager of the supposed organization that you are Interviewing for would have reached out to them just to inquire in full details about you and your personality.
So why asking you?…. That’s the likely question on your mind.
Just like many other personality review questions, this particular question is marked as being relevant since it also serves other purposes.
The main goal of a hiring manager when he pops up this question is to see if you’re self-aware.
Self-awareness is an essential quality that is required in any workplace. It is a quality that showcases how you come off and how your actions can affect others.
So by coming up with this answer to “How would your coworkers describe you?” forces you to step into the shoes of your former colleagues.
It also makes you look at your experience from another perspective and analyze how you have impacted either positively or negatively to your co-workers.
So when by being a person who is mindful of what he or she does, it shows that you are perceptive and capable of understanding how your actions matter.
It’s a good sign that you can grow and improve on things you don’t typically excel at.
Another reason why employers ask this question is that it helps to highlight your soft skills.
You can talk all day about your qualifications and education. But soft skills also have a lot of value.
Bearing in mind that a majority of jobs will require working closely with your co-workers in a team in order to achieve the organizational goals and objectives.
So, how you answer the employer will help to provide an insight on whether you are a team player or nothing close to that. It also shows the employer how you deal with conflict and misunderstanding.
How To Answer “How Would Your Coworkers Describe You?”
When preparing for an interview, it is expected that you should spend time researching and rehearsing answers about how you and others would describe your key characteristics and also think about your best qualities ahead of time and deciding on how to relate them to the job position which in return will give you more confidence when similar questions arises during an interview.
So before going to an interview, try and develop strong answers to questions about how would your coworkers describe you by following these steps below:
1. Brainstorm Your Strengths
Make a list of your strongest qualities and consider how you utilize them at your workplace.
Also whatever answer that you provide for this question, it is important that it focuses on the positive traits you offer at your workplace.
Choose adjectives that relate to your disposition, work ethic, and emphasizing soft skills that make you a good candidate.
2. Match Your Actions With Descriptions
Think about all the tasks you perform and the skills you use daily at your job and identify which of your characteristics help you to carry out your work effectively.
Matching each descriptive word with an action can help you explain to an employer exactly how your personality engined your success at your workplace.
Brainstorm stories or examples that you can use as evidence for the descriptions you chose.
3. Reference Performance Reviews
One of the best ways to understand how others would describe you is to look at past feedback and performance reviews by your co-workers
Co-workers reviews and manager’s feedback can both give you ideas on how your coworkers would describe you.
Look for themes in your performance reviews that represent a well-rounded description of you at your workplace.
4. Consider Past Conversations
Reviewing past conversations is another way that you can know how best to tackle this question.
Look through work emails, search your instant messages and spend time reflecting on past conversations with your closest coworkers to understand how you stand out at your workplace.
Pay attention to compliments and praise, thinking about how to concisely summarize the feedback from your coworkers in order to know how best to answer.
5. Talk With Your Coworkers
If you have trouble drafting out answers concerning this question, ask your coworkers directly how they would describe you to another employer in another organization if called upon.
Asking different people about their perspectives can help you gain insights into your work relationships and provide reliable content for your answers during interviews.
6. Review The Job Description
Look at the job description and highlight details about their prospective candidates’ qualities.
Think about how you are the best candidate for the position and how your qualities fit into the role.
It is advisable that you take notes of the keywords which will aid you in constructing a good answer when you encounter this question.
Indirectly referencing the job description while being asked to prove that you are fit for the job role shows the employer that you have done a good research on the position, required descriptions and you know why you are a perfect fit.
7. Write Down And Rehearse Possible Answers
Write out some possible answers to this question and recite them over to help you gain confidence in your interview answer.
Reading different answers in front of a mirror can prepare you to recall the topics and stories you plan to discuss to support your answers.
What To Avoid When Answering, “How Would Your Coworkers Describe You?”
Figuring out answers on how others working in the same environment with you will describe you is an answer that requires self-reflection.
Nevertheless, there isn’t any universal answer to this question or any wrong answer. Rather, all carefully provided answers to this question without the basic attitude that should be avoided is accepted before an employer.
Below are the few things that you need to avoid :
1. Providing Boastful Answers
There’s a time and a place to boastfully talk about yourself especially during an interview.
It’s always good to be confident and put yourself in the best light possible.
But bragging and being overly boastful isn’t the best approach.
No one likes to work with people constantly tooting their own horns. You obviously want to highlight your accomplishments, but do your best to avoid bragging about it. Otherwise, you’ll appear unrelatable and off-putting.
2. Faking Lies
We have already reviewed the importance of staying honest.
Never lie during your interview. It’s tempting to do that, and “How would your coworkers describe you?” is a question that makes it feel easy to bend the truth.
But like we said earlier, it’s not worth the risk. Who would want to hire someone willing to lie during a job interview?.
It doesn’t make you look good and could hurt your chances.
3. Irrelevant Character Traits
The employer is not interested in hearing about irrelevant character traits.
So, it is best to avoid anything that doesn’t involve your strengths or the job you’re trying to get.
For instance, an employer doesn’t care if the old coworkers describe you as a great prankster or an amazing joke-teller.
None of that is relevant to the job, so it’s best to avoid bringing it up altogether.
Best Answers To The Question, “How Would Your Coworkers Describe You?”
Below are best answers to the question above:
In your first example, the applicant wants to highlight their creative thinking.
Inoder to do that, they will need to talk about how they’ve helped their former coworkers and employers find solutions to seemingly impossible obstacles.
Their answer portrays a clear example that illustrates their strengths, making it easy for the employer to connect and see how they would be an asset in this role.
“My coworkers would describe me as a creative thinker and optimist. I love searching for solutions and finding innovative ways to deal with workplace issues. I remember one year dealing with budget cuts.
My entire team struggled to figure out how we would cut costs in our department. I found several ways to do just that, and we successfully implemented my ideas.
We cut back some resources while maintaining a shoestring budget that kept everyone happy”
The job-seeker is trying to get a managerial role.
So, they will talk about their leadership skills and how they directly helped former coworkers.
“My old coworkers have often told me they value my leadership abilities. I had the pleasure of leading a few projects at my former company.
In all those situations, I worked hard to keep my partners on the same page while maintaining a tight budget and strict schedule.
We always made our deadlines and often provided deliverables early.
I became the go-to for leading time-sensitive projects, and many coworkers turned to me for guidance.
I’m eager to bring some of those skills to [COMPANY.]”
In this question, the job-seeker wants to highlight their organization and time-management skills.
They’re trying to get a job as an administrative assistant, so they choose to focus on how they’ve helped maintain previous office environments.
“I believe my former coworkers would describe me as someone who is organized and calm even under pressure. My previous job was fast-paced.
The office environment was often chaotic, requiring quick work and careful organization of resources.
I enjoyed that environment and took great pride in anticipating the needs of my colleagues.
Many of my coworkers would come to me in times of need because they knew that they could rely on me to solve problems and get things done.”
As tricky as the question seems, if you can spend a little time preparing with our provided information and examples, We’re confident that your answer will not just be the highlight but also, your employment will be assured.
Feel free to air your thoughts in the comment section below.