The “how would your friends describe you?” interview question is a standard one that most job seekers will face at some point. While this question seems simple enough to answer, it can be difficult because interviewers want a well-rounded picture of you as an individual. Answer this question the right way and you can prove that you are a valuable employee who would be an asset to the company’s culture and team. Answer it the wrong way, and you may come off as unprepared, arrogant or self-inflated.
When answering this question, you should be honest and relate your positive personality traits directly to the position in which you are applying. This is an important question because interviewers will use your answers to get a feel for your soft skills, which are the characteristics that make you a good fit for a specific role.
If you are applying for a managerial position, you can highlight your leadership skills in an oblique manner. However, you should also stress your ability to work with a variety of people and the fact that you are flexible in the face of failure. This will demonstrate that you have the ability to adapt quickly and learn from your mistakes, a skill that is essential in any workplace environment.
You can also highlight your compassion and creativity when responding to this question. If you have any past experiences that highlight your creative side, such as a class project or volunteering experience, you can share them with the interviewer. You should try to limit your response to no more than two or three words, and focus on the traits that are most relevant to the position.
Be careful not to overemphasize any particular trait, as this can paint a caricature of you. You can also risk coming across as narcissistic, which can be damaging to your chances of getting the job. Narcissistic personality disorder is characterized by a grandiose sense of self-importance, an exaggerated view of your own accomplishments and an unrealistic idea of what other people think of you. Those with severe NPD often act aggressively or become angry when they do not receive the attention they crave.