Most applicants are not prepared for questions about their personality, even when certain character traits are listed as desirable in the job posting. But it’s not uncommon for interviewers to ask, “How would your colleagues describe your personality?” This question can reveal a lot about you, and what you’re like as an employee.
Here’s what you need to know to prepare a strong answer to this question.
Why the Interviewer Wants to Know
Interviewers have a few motivations for asking you how colleagues would describe your personality.
First, your response can help them get a sense of your self-perception. Plus, once they reach out to references, they’ll be able to compare what they say with your own self-assessment.
Finally, this question is a good way for interviewers to assess your soft skills to determine how well you’d fit into their group dynamic and company culture.
This seemingly straightforward question is an opportunity for you to share your best traits. Are you dependable? Trustworthy? Flexible? Focus on the skills and attributes that would make you an asset to the organization.
To answer this interview question effectively, you should know what your colleagues believe you bring to the table. Think back to any instances in which a colleague commended you, such as when you were a great team player on a project or when you demonstrated kindness by helping a struggling employee.
Next, list all the data you have collected and condense it into short bullets by looking for patterns within the feedback. Once complete, go back to the original job posting and choose one or two traits that overlap with the description.
If you cannot remember or find any specific feedback (either formal or informal) and are unemployed, list what you think your top five strengths are and expand on how you demonstrate each of them. Remember to select the traits related to the job listing.