How Would Your Friends Describe You? (Interview Question)

How Would Your Friends Describe You?

Have you ever been asked the question, "How would your friends describe you?" in an interview?

Chances are that even if you haven’t yet, you will someday.

It’s better to be safe than sorry when preparing for your interview.

The reason behind the question

Why is the hiring manager asking this interview question in the first place?

Here are a few things they can discover by asking, "How would your friends describe you?"

1. It shows your level of self-awareness

First of all, do you even know how your friends perceive you?

If not, you might not have high levels of self-awareness.

Having a good idea of how your friends would describe you shows that you care what your friends think.

That's a positive point for your character and personality.

2. It demonstrates how others think of you

Obviously, right?

But think about this a little more deeply before you answer.

  • Would your friends describe you as a gossip?
  • Would they say you don't really take time for them?
  • Or that social media supersedes in-person contact?

Having an accurate picture of how others would describe you can give a hiring manager plenty of insight about your personality.

3. It reveals how well you work with others

Friends do stuff together, right?

When you go bowling with your friends, for instance ...

  • Are you the highly-competitive one in the group?
  • Or maybe you are the friend who watches from the sidelines, cheering everyone on.
  • Perhaps you are the one who gets all the others together in the first place.

Each small thing you say can show the recruiter something about your work style and the way you relate to others.

How to answer

Now, this may seem like a really obvious approach, but here's the best thing to actually do before encountering this question in an interview:

Ask your friends how they would describe you.

(You might save yourself from clinical depression by asking them to only share the nice things they think about you.)

Jokes aside, asking your friend how they would describe you will enable you to have an honest answer in the interview.

It also might make you feel good and bring you closer to your friends.

Win, win!

Here are a few specific tips on how to answer this question:

1. Be positive

Hopefully, you have taken the advice from above, and you are asking your friends to tell you some positive things that describe you.

You absolutely do not want to tell a recruiter bad things about yourself!

If your friends would describe you as a selfish jerk, do not offer that piece of information in your interview.

This seems pretty obvious, right?

Sadly, I have heard people joke around in an interview and say something negative and self-incriminating about their personality.

Bad response:

Recruiter: "How would your friends describe you?"

Applicant: “All my friends describe me as the best beer chugger. Some might also call me a lady's man."

Remember, this is an interview for a professional job, not a casual dating app.

The above answer would be totally inappropriate for an interview.

2. Stay relevant to the job

If you have read other interview articles, you've likely seen this advice:

Relevance plays a huge factor.

You can have the most awesome feedback from your friends, but if it is not relevant to the job, it’s wasted breath.

Tailor how your friends describe you to the job you are applying for.

For example, let's say you are applying for a customer service job.

Then your answer to this question should thread in something related to how well you work with others.

Good response:

Recruiter: "How would your friends describe you?"

Applicant: “All my friends describe me as extremely helpful.

They know that I am always eager to assist people so they come to me anytime they need problem solving.

They would also say that I am a great communicator (perhaps a little too talkative sometimes) and kind towards others even when they are not kind back.”

3. Tell a story

Let's say you are applying for a job as a salesperson.

Good response:

Recruiter: "How would your friends describe you?"

Applicant: “My friends know that I am outgoing and energetic. They'd also say I am determined and never give up.

One time, we were all rock climbing. About halfway up everybody wanted to turn around and go back down the mountain.

I turned our climb into a competition and proposed a $100 prize for whoever was first to climb the mountain. That quickly changed their minds and we decided to keep climbing.

Side note, I won the $100!”

You probably noticed a difference between the two "good" responses above.

Both of them could be considered great answers to the question of how would your friends describe you.

Both answers will work just fine.

In my opinion, though the second one is better.

Why?

I told a story.

Anytime you can support your answer to an interview question with a story, you are going to set yourself apart from the crowd.

You will give the interviewer something unique to remember you by.

Bonus tip: stay focused

When answering this interview question, you do not need to go all the way back to grade school.

The recruiter doesn't want to hear you narrate every friendship story from your childhood and teen years.

Remain focused.

Choose a single story that ...

  • Showcases relevant qualities
  • Demonstrates positive aspects of your character

Use this opportunity to show the recruiter that you would make a great member of the team because you would make a great friend.

In closing, here’s a cool story…

Once upon a time, not too long ago, there was a company named Find My Profession.

They helped countless people craft professional resumes, prepare for interviews, optimize their LinkedIn, and so much more.

The company was filled with professionals whose primary goal is to help others find their dream job.

The end!

Oh wait, this isn’t a story; this is real life!

Check us out today and learn how we can help you find your dream job.

  • Top Tools for an Online Job Search

    Top Tools for an Online Job Search

    A Google search for “websites with jobs” comes back with over 100 million results. It is a human impossibility to go through that many websites and apply to jobs on each one. You have to know your career stage, what you want, and which job tools are best for an online job search. Here are some top tools for your online job search.

    Find My Profession by The FMP Contributor
    Read On
  • What to Send in an Email After the Job Rejection

    What to Send in an Email After the Job Rejection

    You thought you had the job all sealed up and then you get an email with some bad news. They decided to pursue other candidates, they went with someone who had better qualifications or the position was filled by someone else. So, what do you send in an email response to people you interviewed with several times?

    Find My Profession by The FMP Contributor
    Read On
  • Top 5 Resume Sections You Can't Go Without

    Top 5 Resume Sections You Can't Go Without

    Searching on the Internet for advice on how to best organize your resume sections can leave you with more questions than answers. First of all, there is no single right way to write your resume. The fact is, employers and recruiters have varying opinions on what makes a great resume.

    Find My Profession by The FMP Contributor
    Read On
See All Articles