4 Answers To “How Would Your Friends Describe You”

Interviewers love to ask questions like this. It gives them the opportunity to catch you off guard and make you think about something outside of the work environment. Knowing how to answer this question can help to ensure that you come across as an experienced professional with strong verbal communication skills.

Answering this question isn’t difficult. But it requires you to keep a certain structure that makes it more impactful. We’re going to cover what that structure is, as well as how you might be able to answer this question when asked.

With all example answers, it’s important that you customize them in your own way. Using this guide, you should be able to derive the best answer for yourself, utilizing the qualities that make you unique.

Table of Contents

Knowing What The Subject Matter Is About

When the interviewer asks, “How would your friends describe you?” it’s important to remember that they are asking about your personality versus your work habits.

For example, they don’t want to know that you’re organized. This isn’t something that your friends would say, realistically. And when you answer with a story that tells too perfect of alignment to the job you’re getting hired for, they feel as though you are telling them a fib.

Instead, align your answer to contain honesty and some insecurity. But keep that honesty in alignment with your personal values. That’s what the interviewer wants to know. How your friends would describe you if they had to discuss your values.

Here are some good areas of focus for the answer:

  • Having great leadership capabilities.
  • Having great problem solving capabilities.
  • Having great patience.
  • Having great empathy.
  • Having great adaptability.

All of those qualities are perfect for the work environment. And there must be at least one or two stories in your life where you can represent your friends seeing those qualities.

Here are some bad areas to focus on for your answer:

  • Having organizational skills.
  • Having detail oriented skills.
  • Having listening skills.
  • Having work ethic.

Related: 3 Answers To "Describe Yourself" Interview Question

While these sound like great areas to bring up because you are on a job interview, for this interview question, the manager or HR representative doesn’t want to know about that. Keep away from these subjects as they sound too perfect and that causes them to lose impact.

Structural Tips For Answering This Question

When designing your answer, keep some of these things in mind:

  • Keep your answer honest and aligned with your own personal values. Anything you say that doesn’t seem as though it would fit your presentation as an employee, exclude.
  • Keep your answer short. Don’t tell long stories about how you and your friend met. You can bring up names in your answer but avoid long situational explanations.
  • Don’t align too perfectly with the job function. In this type of interview question, it’s okay to let your guard down and show some of your true colors. That will be more accepted than if you try to sound inhuman by being perfect.

Related: 80+ Best Answers To "Describe Yourself In One Word"

4 Example Answers To “How Would Your Friends Describe You?”

Here is the best example of answers to the interview question. Remember, customize these answers in a way that suits your personality and your passions. Don’t leverage them exactly.

Example one

“My closest friend is named Patrick. We’ve known each other for more than ten years. He doesn’t work in this industry. So I feel like he’s the best person to give you an example. If you had to ask Patrick, I know he would say that I’m the first person he would go to when he faced conflict. That I’m consistently supportive of him and challenges that he might face.”

Example two

“My closest friend is Sarah. She has been a friend of mine since grade school. We’ve had a similar upbringing. If you had to ask Sarah, she would tell you that I’m adaptable at the right times and stubborn at the right times. When difficult situations arise together, she’ll tell you that I try to move quickly, adapt and mold myself towards positive outcomes.”

Example three

“There’s a few really close people in my life. I would say they are people who I could depend on. Sometimes even more so than my own family. If you had to ask them, they would speak to the fact that I’ve been loyal to them, standing by their side even in difficult times.”

Example four

“My friends and I share similar values. I will say that if you asked my friends they will mention I am human, not perfect, make mistakes. But they will also mention that it comes from a place of passion, a place of understanding, a place of wanting to achieve greatness.”

author: patrick algrim
About the author

Patrick Algrim is an experienced executive who has spent a number of years in Silicon Valley hiring and coaching some of the world’s most valuable technology teams. Patrick has been a source for Human Resources and career related insights for Forbes, Glassdoor, Entrepreneur, Recruiter.com, SparkHire, and many more.


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