Classic Interview Questions and Answers

How would you describe yourself? / How would your boss/colleagues/team/family/friends describe you?

Alternative and related questions:

What do you think your references will say about you?
What kind of person are you to work with?

The meaning behind the question:

The interviewer wants to assess how you perceive yourself. Whether they ask how you would describe yourself or how others would describe you, their question is all about your perception of yourself – seeing yourself as others see you.

Your answer:

This is a very popular question and could conceivably have made my top 10. It’s vital to be prepared for it.

You will want to make sure you have a few well-chosen adjectives up your sleeve ready to answer this question, e.g. loyal, dedicated, ambitious, determined, independent, highly motivated, understanding, etc. Tell the interviewer what they want to hear! But don’t be too bigheaded; a little modesty can go a long way.

It’s a difficult balance to strike but I hope the following example will show you how to achieve this.

Example:

I would describe myself as a very determined and highly motivated person. I do take my job seriously but I’m able to see things in perspective and believe I’m quite easy-going to work with. I’m an optimist rather than a pessimist – but I’m also a realist and I cope well when the going gets tough; I’m very good at finding solutions to problems. Above all, I would say I’m a positive and enthusiastic person – and I relish a challenge.

Word of warning:

There’s no need to back up this answer with examples – such as outlining a time when you were particularly understanding with a colleague. It would be going too far.

The Interview Question & Answer Book

The Interview Question and Answer Book

Take the fear out of your interview and never be stuck for the right answer to even the toughest questions with The Interview Question & Answer Book.

The job market is fierce, competition has never been greater and it's important that you can grab every opportunity for competitive advantage and stay one step ahead. Written by one of the world's leading careers experts and bestselling author of The Interview Book, this definitive guide to questions and answers encourages every job-hunter to think on your feet and express your individuality while supplying ideal responses to interview questions so that you’re seen as the ideal candidate for the job.

 

Order The Interview Question & Answer Book from Amazon

More classic interview questions and answers

 

How would you describe yourself? / How would your boss/colleagues/team/family/friends describe you?

In what ways are you a team player?

Do you work well on your own initiative?

What techniques do you use to get things done?

What motivates you?

Are you proactive?

Are you creative?

Are you a risk-taker?

How do you handle pressure and stress?

Can you tell me about a time when you have failed to achieve a goal?

What's the worst mistake you've made at work and how did you deal with it?

How would you handle the following situation?

Can you tell me about a major project you have successfully completed?

Can you tell me about a major problem at work that you've had to deal with?

We have a problem with x. How would you resolve that?

What do you do when you disagree with your line manager?

How would you describe yourself as a manager?

Can you give me an example of when you have successfully coached a member of your team?

What is your customer service philosophy?

How did you get your last job?

What does your current job involve on a day-to-day basis?

What contribution do you make to the department in which you work?

What changes have you made to your current job role since you started?

What have you learned in your last job?

Can you tell me about your last appraisal?

How would you describe your current boss?

Why did you leave that job?

Which of your jobs was the best?

Why is there a gap in your resume/CV?

What do you know about us as an organization?

What do you know about our products/services?

What do you think are our organization's greatest strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats?

What do you know about the vacancy for which you are applying?

How do your skills and experience match the job description/person specification?

What appeals to you most about this vacancy?

Why have you chosen this line of work?

Are there any other organizations to which you are applying?

How does this job compare to others for which you are applying?

Can you describe your ideal employer to me?

What sort of person would you most like to work for?

In what ways is your degree relevant to the work you are now doing?

What have you learned and how have you developed over the last year/five years?

What sports are you/have you been involved in?

Do you know what the current headline news is?

How quickly can you adapt to a new work environment?

Would it be a problem if we asked you to work overtime/evenings/weekends?

What is your current salary package?

What salary package are you expecting for this role?

When would you be available to start?

Do you mind if we contact your current employer for a reference?

Author:

Share