How To Answer “How Would Your Previous Manager Describe You?”

How to answer: “How would your previous manager describe you?” or “How would your previous work colleagues and boss describe you?” Check out the perfect example answer and useful interview tips!

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The interviewer might ask this question to examine a candidate’s response. Those who provide a coherent, confident and determined response are more likely to be trusted and valuable to their team in contrast to those who hesitate or show signs of uncertainty. Use the CAR technique to structure this question:

Example Answer (With Experience)

Context: “I think he’d describe me in a positive way, let me give you some context first, so, as a [Sales Assistant] working in retail, I had to cope with various situations on the work-floor. On one particular day a couple staff members were absent which left us short staffed on a busy Sunday.

Action: I took immediate action by taking on extra responsibilities. These include, but were not limited to, managing the cash register, solving problems in the stockroom and liaising between customers and coworkers. This is just one example among many challenging situations that occurred at [Store XYZ].

Result: So, I am confident that my manager and colleagues would describe me as an assertive, hard-working colleague who remains positive during stressful and challenging situations. I’ve attached some references that support this description.”

Example Answer (No Experience)

Well, I recently got some positive feedback from one of my teachers at [School XYZ] who complimented me for being organized and analytical. In regards to my friends and relatives, they often introduce me as the “fixer” because I like to solve technical problems. It’s usually something quite simple such as fixing a TV, configuring Wi-Fi or installing a particular software. So, I guess they’d describe me as someone who solves problems and gets things done.”

Interview Question Tips

  • Don’t say you ‘don’t know’ or that you are ‘not sure’. You need to come across as someone that is confident, trustworthy and a true asset to their team. If you can’t support your answer with references, then refer to your last performance review or casual discussions you’ve held.
  • Do provide an example to support your answer. You can also improve the credibility of your answer by referring the interviewer to some recommendations you’ve received on LinkedIn or references you’ve obtained over the years.
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