When you enter that job interview the interviewer could ask you “How would your co-workers describe you?”. It is one of the more common interview questions so be prepared. They are looking for much more than just one-word answers such as “nice” or “friendly”. It could also be asked in a different way such as “how would your boss describe you?”. The rationale behind asking this question is to see if you would be able to work well in a group setting. The interviewer wants to know can you work side by side with other individuals to solve problems. In any job you are going for you will need to interact with other people on a regular basis.

Ask Co-Workers what they think:

Are you sure what way co-workers would describe you? If not, then you should go about having a chat with your current co-workers and get their honest appraisal of your work ethic. Reach out to past work colleagues if you don’t currently have a job. This will give you an idea of your greatest strengths and weaknesses. It will also be useful if a company calls one of your work colleagues for a reference. At least what you said will match what they will say. Have a look back at your past performance reviews to see what co-workers have said about you. This will help you answer these interview questions to the best of your ability.

Discuss one attribute with an example:

It is all well and good to say you are reliable. How does one go about demonstrating that to someone you have never met in an interview? You really shouldn’t just list off several adjectives work colleagues would say about you. Try and let them know of one key attribute you want them to know. It may even be highlighted by them in the job description. Pick the attribute that is relevant to the job description and use an example where you implemented it. When using an example make sure it is not made up. You will more than likely be asked to expand on the story so make sure it is a real one because if it isn’t it will be easy to tell you are lying. When finishing up your example tell them what you learned from the experience. Did you help the company by getting more sales in? Being detailed is the best way to answer this question.

Discuss a few attributes with short descriptions:

If you want to cover several aspects of your personality but don’t want it to take up too much of your time then mention the attribute and then give a concise explanation as to why you think it is an accurate descriptor. Eg. If you are going to answer that you are hardworking – then you should mention that you take on more projects when asked and help out with such things like mentoring new graduate employees. Some of the time a short sentence is all you need to get your opinion across.

Sample answers:

  • If my co-workers had to describe me I am of the opinion they would say I am hard working, punctual and trustworthy. Hardworking because I also stay in work late to finish off projects even if it is a Friday evening and I really want to head home. Punctual due to the fact that from the day I started to the present day I have never been late for work. You can go ask any of my colleagues and they will tell you that. Finally, colleagues would say I am trustworthy because my boss had the trust in me to hold employee reviews. Anything discussed at these reviews needs to be kept confidential. I have never broken the trust with any work colleague.
  • I have been told that I am a strong leader and a team player. So much so that one colleague wanted to write up a personal letter of reference for me before because of my strong team leadership. My colleague was impressed by my ability to effectively lead a team while being able to listen and take on board everyone’s ideas to best map out the actions required for a very important company project.

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