Interesting Job Interview Question – What Would Your Colleagues Say About You?
Frank from accounting smelled like old cheese. Sarah from human resources had a tendency to wheeze through her nose that made it sound as though the water was boiling in the break room. John from sales provided nonstop puns that were never funny and often didn’t actually work as puns. Overall, they were generally insufferable.
Still, every day you put on a brave face, trying your best to deal with their shenanigans. So what would they say about you? That is what interviewers want to know.
How to Answer This Interview Question
Ideally, you want to do your best to stay away from common clichés. “They’d say I’m a hard worker” is a boring response. If possible, try to incorporate a story, but if that’s not possible, see if you can focus on productivity and achievements, rather than on general platitudes. For obvious reasons, stay away from anything negative.
“They’d say I was a hard worker, reliable, and able to go above and beyond at my job. They’d say that I communicate well and they could turn to me for help and support.”
“My coworkers and I had an excellent working relationship, one with a great deal of mutual respect. We often collaborated on department wide projects, such as the release of Software 2.0, where though we were each in charge of separate aspects of the release, we often shared responsibilities in order to quality check the other’s work and thought process. Based on these work experiences I believe they’d say I was someone they could rely on that delivered top notch work and easily worked within a team.”
Notice that although you did focus on some general clichés (team player, hard worker, reliable), you associated those clichés with a specific story that highlighted your expertise, giving them context. That context takes them out of the realm of clichés and into something more tangible that the interviewer can understand.
There is also a variation of this question that you may be faced with: “What would your colleagues say are your greatest weaknesses?”
That question can be more challenging to answer. Our “list of greatest weakness answers” is a great place to start, as it explores some of the examples of weaknesses that are safe to say without hurting your chances at landing the job.
With these types of questions, sometimes it helps to show some humility while also providing an answer that is not going to affect your job interview. One great answer is “They would say I interrupt too often when I get excited about a new project. I’m trying to work on hushing a bit better and not letting my excitement get ahold of me.” Notice that that is a very real weakness, and can bother a lot of people. But no employers are going to be upset with you for admitting it, especially if you follow it up with what you’re doing afterward.
Take Away Interview Tips
- Tell a story.
- Stay away from simply blindly stating clichés.