How to answer the interview question, ‘What would your direct reports say about you?’

Photo Illustration/Bryce Churchill

Don't be surprised if a hiring manager asks, "What would your direct reports say about you?" According to Glassdoor, it is one of the most common questions interviewers ask.

As a part of the site's 50 Most Common Interview Questions series, Glassdoor spoke with career experts to nail down what the best answer to this common question.

Zachary Painter of says that applicants should be honest and strategic in crafting their answer.

"Emphasize your strengths while acknowledging your weaknesses and how you made efforts to improve in those areas," he says. "Present a well-rounded, honest picture of yourself, while using your strengths to posture yourself as a viable and well-suited candidate for the position at hand."

Aurora Meneghello of Repurpose Your Purpose tells Glassdoor, that interviewees should think of positive experiences they have had with their direct reports. "Share a specific example if you can," she says. "Can you recall a time when you helped a direct report? And what did he or she say afterwards?"

By using a specific example, you can demonstrate your strengths as a manager without bragging. For instance, you could say, "My direct reports would say that I am organized. I have a big calendar with all of our team deadlines and I send a weekly email with our priorities. One of my direct reports used to struggle with time management, so I worked with him to schedule his time more productively."

Or you could say, "My direct reports would say that I am a good teacher. By hosting monthly career development sessions and weekly check-ins I have helped my direct reports master new skills and made my team smarter and more productive."

No matter what example you think of, being honest and specific is always the best way to nail this question and ace an interview.

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