How Would Your Friends Describe You

During the job interview, HR managers ask you mostly to tell you about yourself as a professional. But very often, they ask you one question that refers to your personal description – how your friends can characterize you. Depending on the friend, the answers to this question can be different. And at this point, we want to give you one crucial piece of advice – don’t share the full picture of how your pal can describe you.

So, in this post, we’ll discuss the things the HR managers want to get from this answer, recommendations of how to get ready for this question, plus we’ll share some response examples.

Firstly, let’s try to figure out the reasons why recruiters question this. They do it, first of all, for having a clear vision of your self-consciousness. And secondly, they want to value the correspondence of your soft abilities and the position you’re applying for.

By asking you how your pals can picture you, the HR managers want to get a full picture of you as an individual. And they’re not interested in the straight answers of your friends. In fact, a significant part of employers does not ask consciously to mention your friends as recommendations in your submission. 

In reality, the structure of this question looks like a catch. If they asked you outright to tell how your pals could picture you, they would have to read all the summaries they receive every day (and they hate constantly reading it).

The other reason recruiters ask you this question is that they want you to give a realistic description of yourself. We’re sure you’ll agree that every candidate does his best to present himself in the best light (and for this purpose, they use different ways). And by asking you this question, they want you to dive into other people's minds and give a more realistic description of yourself.

This question aims to check your self-esteem and get a picture of how the real world perceives you. Besides, it tends to define the non-professional features that you value in people the most.

In addition, some HR managers practice comparing your response to the comments about you. This way they want to see how precise your self-esteem is. And here, several simple adjectives will not be enough.

Besides the reasons mentioned above, recruiters ask you this question to see if your interpersonal communication style and soft abilities can co-exist with the organization's corporate culture.

The ways of responding to the “how-can-your-friends-can-characterize-you” question

Maybe, there is not another excellent method to show your best character traits as response to the question of “how-can-your-friends-can-characterize-you”. During the answering, we recommend you do the following things:


  • Move with the times: When describing yourself in the name of your friend, we recommend you use words that will humanize you. But remember that it’s not dating. That is why you need to be intense, practical, and modern.
  • Speak clearly and essentially – During the speech, stay away from ambiguous facts. Besides, never say that your friends would describe you as the most humble person on the whole planet.
  • Say the truth and never tell lies – Don’t say the things that do not relate to you at all. We’re sure you do not want to have the reputation of the person who always lies.
  • Be a fine workman – We can dispute this point since there’re many opinions about it. Some experts say that you need to present yourself as a wage earner during the interview, but in this case, you cannot also do all job mechanically. When you come for the job interview, the HR manager already has the picture of you as a professional. So, now it’s time to show your personal qualities.
  • Choose the most attractive personal capacities – When the company’s management decides who they’ll hire, the ability to get along with the potential worker plays one of the essential roles. During the interview, we recommend you staying mysterious if you want to keep your face. But if any other candidate comes with similar abilities and experience but he’s more attractive like an individual, you’ll see how the recruiter will treat you.
  • Emphasize the post you’re applying for – In several cases (when it’s appropriate) you need to speak about your leadership traits not directly. During the answers, you need to emphasize your response on the position you’re applying for. Depending on the position, speak about the qualities you have for this particular position.

The mistakes the applicants make when responding to the “how-can-your-pals-picture-you” question

When some candidates respond to this question, they make some mistakes that negatively affect the interview results. So, now we’ll name you these mistakes to avoid them in the future:

  • Don’t be overzealous – This question always means prejudice. And HR managers are well-aware of it. But it doesn’t signify that you have a full right to tell how great you are and so on.
  • Don’t distort information about yourself – If you’re a serious person, don’t share such information like “My friends will tell you that I’m the king of parties”. Say only true facts about yourself.
  • Never show your weak points – During the answer, you need to be self-confident and optimistic. Don’t give the HR manager a chance to doubt that you’re not easy to get on with.
  • Don’t throw around the professional words too much – The question of “how-can-your-friends-picture-you” aims to check how, in your opinion, you’re sincere to people who know you. So, that’s why when answering this question, we recommend you not to use professional words too much.

So, if it’s all clear, now we’ll share some pieces of advice on how to respond to this question:

  • Give a simple answer: Of course, you want the company’s manager to remember you, but this question is the exception. This case is not about remembering the response since if the HR manager really remembers it, it happens not because of the valid excuse. That’s why don’t give the complicated answer – make it simple.
  • Link your response to the position description – When looking through the vacancy description, you see several repeated adjectives, we advise using them or their synonyms. In case your personal qualities correspond to the vacancy. Naturally, you’ll get an advantage over other candidates.
  • Share a short story – If you have a story when your personal qualities have contributed a lot to some cases, you should definitely share this story. For instance, you’ve helped your colleague to get out of a difficult situation.
  • Remember your past experience – When responding to this question, you can remember the reviews of your productivities or talks with your colleagues. You can also remember the cases when the management has recognized your efforts. Additionally, you can request from your pals and colleagues the picture they have about you.
  • Examine the organization – While answering, you need to be sure that you picture yourself in a way that will correspond to the organization where you want to work. That’s why before the interview, we recommend you researching the organization and finding out what they like, what they need, and what workers will fir them the most. The main thing you need to show is that at this time they will not find anyone better than you.
  • Don’t demonstrate you have many ambitions – Of course, all of us want to look like great leaders with many ambitious plans for the future. But we’re you’ll agree that such a friendship where you have control over your pals and they say that they like your aspiration to be the king of the whole world is very odd.
  • Your response should be plausible to your summary and obvious individuality – We’ve already discussed it – don’t distort facts about yourself, and don’t let your friends do it. Make your answer close to reality since all the facts you share can be easily checked.

Now, we’ll share some examples of how to respond to the “how-can-your-pals-describe-you” question successfully.

  1. My friends will picture me as a very social person and ready to help at any time. I like to be always busy, so when my mate needs my help, I immediately come. Besides, I'm very open and sincere. For this reason, I’ve successfully avoided and solved many conflict situations.
  2. If you ask my mates about me, they’ll say I’m very optimistic. I don’t let anything bad break me down, and I always look optimistically to the future. When my friends and I were in the camp and did not have an axe to chop wood, I used all my communication skills to borrow the axe and chop some wood. I never panic in new situations – I’m always interested in learning something new.

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