Job Interview Question: How Do You View Yourself?

How Do View Yourself? Whom Would You Compare Yourself To?

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In order to assess your strengths and weaknesses during an interview, an employer might ask you to describe yourself. This type of question can take various forms, from "How do you view yourself?" to "Whom would you compare yourself to?" A question like this also allows employers to see how you perceive yourself.

How to Answer

The best way to answer is to share some of your strengths, particularly those that match the qualifications for the job.

In addition to discussing strengths that are central to the job, you may also include some other interesting personal qualities that are perhaps only indirectly related to the position, but will provide an authentic feel to your presentation. You can then briefly explain how that strength connects to your career.

For example, for a job in advertising, you might mention how you view yourself as a creative type of person and then also mention that you are a risk taker who enjoys skydiving or bungee jumping. You can then add that you bring some of that risk-taking into team projects, and are unafraid of trying new, creative ideas to achieve new levels of success.

Be Prepared for Follow Up Questions

Be ready for follow up questions, such as a request for you to cite examples of whatever qualities that you mention.  Be prepared to reference situations where you applied that strength and the impact which you had.

For example, if you say you are a creative person, you can mention a particular project in which you thought outside of the box, and how that project helped you land a new client.

Another line of follow up questioning might be to ask about your weaknesses if you have supplied a totally positive view of yourself.

The best way to answer is to mention a weakness that won't directly hinder the outcome of the interview. For example, mention one that is not central to the job could be construed as a strength or one that you've worked on to the point that it is no longer actually a weakness. For example, you might mention that you have worked on your oral presentation skills tirelessly over the past few years so that you can now give confident, articulate, and visually engaging presentations to clients.

Comparing Yourself to Other People

Some employers might ask you to compare yourself to someone else in order to determine more clearly how you view yourself. Generally, you should take a modest approach and avoid comparing yourself to iconic figures in business, politics or the entertainment world.

A better tact can be to mention a personally inspiring individual such as an older sibling, parent, teacher or mentor.  The key will be to point out some positive, common quality that makes you similar, and that matches the job qualifications.  For example, you might say "I'm a lot like my Dad; he is an artist who instilled in me my sense of creativity and my passion for creative risk-taking.”

In answering this question, the key is to arrive at an answer that presents you in a positive light but is at the same time humble and authentic.

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