You’ve done it before! You’ve successfully spun your greatest weaknesses into secret strengths. When asked to talk about a time you failed on the job, you told a glorious moral tale with a silver lining.
When the interviewer asks “Who is your biggest role model?” why are you suddenly drawing a blank? You haven’t had to think about this question since you completed an essay on the subject as a child… and at the time, your answer to the question was “my mother!” Surely there is a “right answer” to common interview questions like this one, but you have no idea what to say!
Before you begin researching some obscure giant in the field from deep antiquity, take a deep breath. This is not a question that requires a visit to the archives. Your interviewer wants to learn about you, so you probably already know the answer!
Keep reading for some tips that can help you ace the interview, even when asked “Who is your role model and why?”
Tell the Truth!
When faced with the “who is your role model?” question, your eyes might begin to search the room for clues. Is that a photo of George Washington on the wall behind the interviewer? What on earth is the CEO’s name, again?
Rather than blathering on about cherry trees, or making up a deep connection to a higher-up you’ve never met, take a second to think. Chances are, there are many people who you look up to and admire. Just because they haven’t held a government office doesn’t mean they don’t possess plenty of wonderful traits!
One of the biggest benefits of choosing someone you genuinely admire is that you will be able to speak about them candidly. Often, when you’re truly excited about a topic, it shows. Even if the person is a celebrity or doesn’t come across as “professional,” your enthusiasm will make a difference!
Don’t be afraid to choose someone you know in real life, either!
What Makes Them Admirable?
Whether you choose to talk about an internet influencer or a sports legend, there’s a reason you look up to them. What about that person makes them admirable? Think beyond money or fame and consider the attributes that helped get them where they are.
Take this opportunity to rephrase the question and imagine what the interviewer actually wants to know. It’s really another way of asking what kind of qualities you hope to develop. What skills and traits does your role model possess that you hope to kindle in yourself?
When preparing for interviews, you might want to make a physical or mental list of people with positive traits. Consider listing out a few attributes or characteristics for each person that you could speak about during the interview. Are they hardworking, philanthropic, determined, focused, kind?
Choose the person whose traits most closely align with who you want to be. If any of the people on your list have traits that resonate with the role you’re interviewing for, even better! If not, this can still be a wonderful opportunity to show off another side of you that can make you appear more human and well-rounded.
How Are You and Your Role Model Alike?
You don’t need to stick to discussing the traits you hope to possess. You can also choose a role model who shares traits that you already have. This can become another opportunity to talk about qualities that make you a unique and qualified candidate.
Consider going beyond talking about the person’s qualities and including why those qualities are important to you personally. Do you also possess leadership skills? Do you love finding ways to give back to your community?
Consider What They’ve Taught You
Important people in our lives have the power to change us in small but significant ways. You might be able to discuss what you’ve learned from your role model, or how they’ve changed your perspective.
This is especially true in cases in which an individual has inspired you to take action. Consider bringing up a specific change you’ve made or an accomplishment you’ve achieved after seeing the role model do the same. This can show prospective employers that you are open to growth and learning.
Remember that every question you encounter in an interview is the interviewer’s attempt to learn more about who you are and how you think. There is no shame in using this question to brag on accomplishments beyond the job! Talk about running the marathon, achieving those artistic goals, or raising money for a great cause!
As long as you can bring it back to your role model in some way, you’re on the right track!
Put It All Together
The interviewer doesn’t truly care about your role model’s life story. They’re asking about you! When you put your answer together, make sure you’re talking about yourself as much as you talk about your role model – if not more!
Choose someone you really admire or even someone you look up to in your personal life. Explain why they’re admirable, how you relate to them, and how you’ve applied those lessons in your everyday life.
A complete answer will teach your prospective employer more about who you are and what you care about! The only right answer is an answer that allows you to share your best traits, reveal your aspirations, and share your accomplishments!
Ace the “Who Is Your Biggest Role model and why?” Question!
Well, who is your biggest role model?
If you’re ready to ace your interview, you don’t need to go on a deep-dive or tell a lie about how much you look up to the CEO of the company – especially if you don’t know their name! Choose someone you can speak a lot about, and connect your admiration to values that might serve you on the job.
If you haven’t landed the interview yet, you’re not out of luck. Visit us at Digital Marketing Jobs and we’ll help connect you with employers in search of your skills. You’ll be talking about role models with an interviewer in no time!