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Interview Question - How Would Your Boss and Coworkers Describe You?

How Would Your Boss and Coworkers Describe You? 

When you sit down for a job interview, interviewers might ask you, “How would your boss and co-workers describe you?” This is one of the most common interview questions to ask and the person asking it is looking for more than just “good” or “nice.”

How would your boss and Coworkers describe you?


The reason this question is often asked is because the employer wants to know how well you fit into the group dynamic.

He or she wants to know that you will be able to play well with others and can work alongside other individuals to solve problems.

No matter what job you're trying to get, you'll need to interact with other people regularly and have a good enough personality that you can work with just about anyone. With a little preparation, you'll be able to answer these interview questions out of the park.


Some other formulas


There are many formulas around the question “How would your boss and co-workers describe you?” that this article will give you the answer to, including:

  • How do your co-workers describe you?
  • How do your friends describe you?
  • What will your boss say about you?

Why does the interviewer ask you this question?

Employers ask questions about how your co-workers describe you to get a general sense of your personality and self-awareness. 

Some employers may compare your answer to the way your references describe you as a way to test the accuracy of your self-assessment.

They seek detailed answers that explain how your various personality traits can help you adapt to a position at their company and provide examples of times when those characteristics have contributed to your success in the workplace.

Since this question is open-ended and requires you to think of yourself from someone else's perspective, a comprehensive and thoughtful answer demonstrates strong interpersonal skills and awareness.

Use detailed, relevant anecdotes and thoughtful word choice when sharing how others describe you in order to show the employer exactly how these attributes will benefit their business.

How to prepare for the answer


When preparing for an interview, spend some time researching and practicing answers about how you and others would describe your key characteristics.


Thinking about your best qualities beforehand and deciding how to relate them to the job can give you confidence when similar questions arise in an interview.

Before going to your interview, develop a solid answer to questions about how your co-workers describe you by following these steps:

  • Think about your strengths.
  • Actions match descriptions.
  • benchmark performance reviews.
  • Think about previous conversations.
  • Talk to your co-workers.
  • Job posting review.
  • Write and practice the possible answers.
  • Be honest when possible.
  • Choose one or two attributes to make your answer simple and easy to deliver.
  • Explain why you chose those attributes, ideally with an example.

Examples of answering the question

Sample responses can help you understand how to carefully answer the question “How would your boss and co-workers describe you?” Consider these sample answers to help inspire you to prepare your own answer:

In fact, in my most recent performance review in April, my immediate supervisor described me as someone who takes initiative and isn't shy about tough issues. My role involves a lot of on-site implementation, and when things go wrong, it's usually up to me to fix that. Instead of returning the problem to the team, I always try to do what I can first. I know she appreciates it about me.

One of the things I've noticed is that I'm always the one people turn to for recommendations on how to tackle a new event or program—the last fundraiser I just told you about is going to be one. I have a lot of institutional knowledge, and it helps, but I think the reason people come to me is because I'm working through what the new program might look like very systematically. If you ask my colleagues, I am sure they will describe me as logical, organized, and meticulous.

I don't want to speak for anyone else, but I am absolutely sure my colleagues will describe me as a very thoughtful person - the one who works in the office and remembers everyone's birthdays - and hard-working, as I can always count on me to get a big project on the finish line. My boss in particular will say that I am very familiar with audience development - which is why I continued to take on more and more responsibilities in this area.

My co-workers describe me as an organized and thoughtful person who works well under pressure. Much of what I enjoy doing administrative work is creating a well-organized environment and anticipating the needs of my co-workers to make office life run as smoothly as possible. My colleagues regularly comment on my positive attitude and problem-solving abilities when we have a difficult client on the phone, and I never forget to organize surprises when someone in the office has a birthday.
My boss will say that I'm better as an individual contributor than a leader, because I haven't formally led a team yet in my career, and done little to project leadership in my last role. It's something I'm starting to work on. In my last position, I had the opportunity to coach two new team members, both of whom had become senior producers by the end of the year in our division.

See: Interview Question “Are You Willing to Relocate?”

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