Other interview questions that are similar
- What feedback have you received from your previous supervisors?
- Can you share an example of a time when your colleagues or superiors appreciated your work?
- How would your colleagues describe the role you play on a team?
- If we were to ask your previous team about your strengths and weaknesses, what would they say?
- What do you believe your co-workers would say is your most valuable asset?
- Can you provide an example of a time you were recognized for your work by your peers or superiors?
- How have you handled disagreements or conflicts in the past with co-workers?
- How do you feel your relationships with your coworkers and managers have impacted your job performance?
- If we asked your former boss about your ability to meet deadlines, what would they say?
- Can you describe a time when your team depended on you to complete a project or task?
What the interviewer is looking for by asking this question
There are probably an infinite number of questions that the interviewer could ask you on the day. Some questions are incredibly common appearing in almost every interview you will have, while other questions you might hear once and never again regardless of how many jobs you apply for.
Fundamentally though all interview questions are really trying to find out one of 3 things:
1 – Can you do the job? (Do you have the skills/experience needed?)
2 – Will you do the job? (Do you have the drive/motivation to get the job done?)
3 – Will you fit in? (Does your personality match the workplace culture? Are you likeable?)
That’s it. Those are the 3 things that the interviewer is trying to ascertain. Every question that is asked of you will fundamentally be trying to resolve one (or more) of these 3 things.
Understanding this, it becomes clear how to strategize and tailor your responses during an interview. Let’s look at the question we are addressing “How would your boss and co-workers describe you?”
This question appears to be mainly assessing factor number 3: Will you fit in? However, it indirectly touches on the other two factors as well.
1 – Can you do the job? In your response, you could highlight specific skills or experiences that your boss or colleagues have praised. This could be your ability to meet deadlines, your expertise in a particular software, or your knack for problem-solving. By doing this, you’re subtly addressing your capabilities and experience.
For example: “My previous supervisor often praised my adaptability and proficiency with the latest design software which were crucial for our fast-paced projects.“
2 – Will you do the job? Here, you could refer to instances where you displayed a strong work ethic, dedication, or initiative, as noticed by your boss or colleagues. This not only illustrates your motivation but also your ability to go above and beyond when required.
For example: “My co-workers would describe me as being highly motivated and dedicated. For instance, I took the initiative to streamline our workflow, which improved our team’s productivity.“
3 – Will you fit in? This is the direct question being asked. Respond by focusing on interpersonal skills, your ability to work in a team, or perhaps your alignment with the company’s values that your peers have recognized.
For example: “I’ve been told by my colleagues that I have a knack for facilitating communication within the team. I always make an effort to understand different perspectives and encourage collaboration. I believe this team-focused mindset aligns well with your company’s culture.“
In essence, you’re using one question to provide a comprehensive picture of your capabilities, work ethic, and potential fit within the team and the company. Remember, understanding what the interviewer is really looking for in each question can help you structure your responses in a way that fully addresses their underlying concerns and highlights your suitability for the role.
How Best To Answer “How would your boss and co-workers describe you?”
The best way to structure your answer to the question “How would your boss and co-workers describe you?” is to break it down into three parts:
- Summarize common feedback: Start by giving a general overview of the feedback you’ve received from your boss and co-workers. It’s best to focus on your strengths that are relevant to the job you’re applying for.
- Specific Traits/Evidence: Delve into a few key traits that your co-workers and boss have pointed out. Try to connect these with specific instances that prove these traits if possible.
- Relate to the Job: Lastly, make sure to tie these characteristics back to the job you’re applying for. This would show how those traits would translate in this new role and make you a good fit for it.
What You Should NOT Do When Answering Questions
Do not avoid the question.
Do not describe a failure (unless specifically asked).
Do not downplay the situation.
Do not overhype the situation.
Do not say you have no experience with the subject matter.
Do not reject the premise of the question.
Do not have a passive role in the situation.
Do not give a one-sentence answer.
Do not overly describe the scenario and miss the action
How would your boss and co-workers describe you? – Example answer
“From my previous performance reviews and interactions, both my boss and co-workers have consistently described me as reliable, creative, and collaborative. They’ve often highlighted my strong ability to follow through on tasks and meet deadlines. For example, my manager frequently expressed appreciation for my dependability in completing tasks on time, even in fast-paced situations.
My colleagues have also noted my creativity when it comes to problem-solving. They’ve mentioned that I have a knack for thinking outside the box and coming up with innovative solutions to challenges we’ve faced.
Additionally, being a team player is something I value and this hasn’t gone unnoticed. My teammates often acknowledge my willingness to lend a hand, and the respect I show for diverse viewpoints.
I believe these qualities, being reliable, creative, and collaborative, align well with what’s needed in this position and would allow me to contribute effectively to your team.”
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