During a job interview, you will be faced with numerous questions, many of which will ask you to reflect on your past experiences and what you’ve gained from them. There is a good chance you will also be asked to recall instances where you interacted with others, such as how a previous boss or colleague would describe you. This is your opportunity to showcase your self-awareness and demonstrate how you’ve grown from these experiences.

When taking on this question, just be yourself! Think of the skillsets and attributes you possess—ones you know a previous superior or colleague saw on display—and highlight them. Be sure to provide an example of a time you displayed these skills in the presence of your boss or colleague to give the interviewer a clear picture of how you have successfully utilized them throughout your career. It can be uncomfortable to speak of other’s praises on your behalf, but if you had a good relationship with this person, chances are they would be thrilled that you are reflecting upon your time having worked alongside them!

If you have a good relationship with the previous coworker or boss and have permission to use them as a reference, don’t be afraid to let the interviewer know. Sharing specific examples of when and where that previous colleague or boss saw you display certain skills can only help you stand out more. Having that individual serve as a reference for you can positively impact how you progress through the interview process!

Prior to the interview, take the time to practice answering this question and consider the previous colleague or supervisor you want to reference. If you’re unprepared and trying to come up with an answer on the spot, you may find yourself struggling to highlight the skills or talents that others have recognized in you and will appear distracted to the interviewer. Those who have prepared and thought about this question in advance can answer it with confidence and clarity, making a stronger impression on the interviewer.

During an interview, you are going to have different thoughts crossing your mind. We are all just human, after all. When asked how others would describe you, whether that be a previous boss or colleague, don’t be afraid to praise them on your behalf. Ahead of the interview, think about which boss or coworker saw you display the skills required for the job that you are applying to. You then can confidently answer the question while being relaxed and just being yourself!


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