Enter your search term

Search by title or post keyword

10 How Well Do You Know Me Questions: [With Sample Answers]

Our website is supported by our users. We sometimes earn affiliate links when you click through the affiliate links on our website

Contact us for Questions

“How well do you know me?” questions are a two-pronged approach for interviews.

Some of these questions help assess a cultural fit, but interviewers also use them to try and figure out your judgment, how much time you’re likely to devote to the company, and similar matters.

Although usually not quite as important as technical skills, many companies value their internal culture and won’t hire anyone they expect to be too disruptive.

Here are some common interview questions they ask, plus explanations, sample answers, and other things you should know.

10 Common “How Well Do You Know Me?” Interview Questions

Here’s a quick look at the ten questions we’ll discuss below.

Remember, companies may phrase these as direct statements (“tell me about…”), rather than posing them as questions.

However, regardless of format, they’re still just interview questions:

  • Tell me about yourself.
  • Can you describe yourself in five words?
  • Who inspires you?
  • Do you have any hidden talents?
  • Do you like traveling?
  • What’s something you’re really bad at?
  • What’s a skill you’d like to improve on?
  • What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received?
  • What three items would you take to a deserted island?
  • Do you have any mentors?

Beyond these questions, we have a few more common things people ask about later in this article.

For additional help, check out our peer interview questions and our guide to culture fit interview questions.

What Should I Say in a “How Well Do You Know Me?” Interview?

Here are some things that interviewers are looking for in ideal candidates, as well as traits that can make them reject an application.

What Skills are How Well Do You Know Me? What Interviewers Are Looking for in a Candidate?

  • Openness: Interviewers usually like people who are open to new ideas and experiences. This demonstrates flexibility and a willingness to try new approaches if things don’t work.
  • Preparation: Answering questions promptly and professionally tends to go over much better than hesitation or confusion.
  • Leadership: Companies are always looking for signs of leadership and initiative in candidates. Knowing you’re a leader outside of work can be quite persuasive.
  • Passion: Interviewers like people who genuinely care about things, rather than those who just go through the motions. You may need to change your answer to this contingent on the type of interview you’re in.
  • Success: Nothing persuades quite like success. That includes questions about you as a person, where talking about overcoming challenges is always interesting.

What Traits Are How Well Do You Know Me? What Interviewers Are Looking to Avoid in a Candidate?

  • Recklessness: Enjoying sports and outdoor activities is one thing, but interviewers tend to be cautious about deliberate risk-seeking behavior. That can come across as a liability instead of a benefit.
  • Lack of Direction: Even if you don’t know where you’re going in your career, act like you do. If you seem aimless or lacking in goals, companies may find it hard to trust you with anything.
  • Arrogance: Any stories about being negative or domineering can be an instant disqualification, regardless of your confidence or skills. Most companies prefer candidates who are capable, but humble.

Sample “How Well Do You Know Me?” Interview Questions and Answers

Here are ten questions that are commonly asked in interviews.

“Tell Me About Yourself.”

Why This Question Is Asked

This is the most common question for getting to know you.

Interviewers want to know how you evaluate and rate yourself, and how you prioritize things.

What to Focus on When Answering This Question

Use a present, past, and future formula to tell a brief story about yourself.

Go from your current role to how you got there, then transition into how you want to move through things in the future.

What To Avoid When Answering This Question

Don’t focus on your full employment or personal history.

Chances are the interviewer already knows about that, and they’re looking for other information.

Example Answer

I’m currently an accountant at Generic Business Incorporated, where I primarily work with accounts receivable. Before that, I worked with billing for law firms.

I’ve enjoyed both roles, but I’d really like to work on handling international transactions, and since you’re a worldwide company, it sounded like a great chance to do that.

“Can You Describe Yourself in Five Words?”

Why This Question Is Asked

This is a much shorter version of the previous question.

Here, interviewers want to know what’s most important to you when you present yourself to others.

Interviewers are also testing your creativity and how well you can condense relevant information.

What to Focus on When Answering This Question

Focus on key personality traits that benefit the business.

Keywords from the job description and things that fit the company culture are also good.

What To Avoid When Answering This Question

Avoid any negative comments about yourself, including anything that sounds like risk-taking behavior.

Try to avoid sounding like you’re bragging, too.

Example Answer

Motivated, friendly, creative, proactive, and capable.

“Who Inspires You?”

Why This Question Is Asked

This is a question about your values and the kinds of ideals you hold as an employee.

What to Focus on When Answering This Question

Try to mention someone interesting and relatively prominent in your field.

If you suspect the interviewer doesn’t know them, you can give a one-sentence biography for context.

What To Avoid When Answering This Question

Don’t mention politicians or widely-controversial figures, regardless of their fame.

Also, try to avoid anyone who’s famous but has no real relation to your interests or career.

Example Answer

I’m always impressed by Luca Pacioli, who came up with the double-entry bookkeeping system we use in accounting today.

The part I find most inspirational is the reminder that we keep using certain principles for a reason, but we shouldn’t be afraid to invent new things when it makes sense to use them.

“Do You Have Any Hidden Talents?”

Why This Question Is Asked

Companies like to see if you have any additional skills that could benefit them, beyond the primary aspects of your job.

Well-rounded candidates can have surprising talents.

What to Focus on When Answering This Question

Try to create a narrative with your answer, explaining something surprising and tying it into qualities that workplaces like.

Discussing effort and success tends to work well here.

What To Avoid When Answering This Question

Avoid any talents associated with illegal activities or that may be culturally insensitive.

Similarly, make sure you tie it to qualities your company will like.

Example Answer

Believe it or not, I’m a certified scuba instructor.

Scuba diving is much more process-oriented than it looks from the outside, and there’s some danger if you do it wrong, so remembering and following the rules came naturally to me with my focus on detailed work in accounting.

“Do You Like Traveling?”

Why This Question Is Asked

Employees who like traveling tend to be well-rounded, but may also emphasize taking vacations, so there are positive and negative attributes here.

Beyond that, companies may ask this to see if you’re a good fit for sending on business trips, as it’s usually better to send someone who enjoys traveling and has experience with it.

What to Focus on When Answering This Question

Try to figure out what the company values and frame your answers around that.

What To Avoid When Answering This Question

Don’t give any answers that sound like they’ll be disruptive to regular company operations.

Remember that traveling is common in the corporate world, but it is possible to have too much of a good thing.

Example Answer

I do, and I enjoy visiting both Europe and Japan.

I usually take my trips around late June, when there’s downtime between tax filing season and any extensions we needed, and after the quarterly filings are done.

Late June trips give me plenty of time to finish up the next quarter’s work on time, too, so it tends to work out.

“What’s Something You’re Really Bad At?”

Why This Question Is Asked

Interviewers are looking for self-awareness here.

Confidence is good, but so is an ability to recognize your flaws and work to overcome them.

In companies that actively mentor employees, they may record this to help plan out future learning opportunities.

What to Focus on When Answering This Question

Focus on something you’re currently bad at, not something you were bad at in the past but learned to overcome.

The trick here is to sound like a relatable person, but not in a way that threatens your ability to work.

What To Avoid When Answering This Question

Avoid claiming that you’re not bad at anything.

That only makes you sound arrogant and untrustworthy.

Example Answer

I’m not very good at expressive art.

As an accountant, I focus heavily on detailed work, so I like to plan out the things I create instead of doing a freeform style.

“What’s a Skill You’d Like to Improve On?”

Why This Question Is Asked

Interviewers always like hearing about personal growth and improvement.

They want to know that you have the self-awareness to identify problems and the initiative to improve on areas where you’re lacking.

What to Focus On When Answering This Question

Try to focus on work-related skills or at least something that can otherwise bring value to the company.

If you aren’t sure what to mention, discussing leadership skills is a safe default.

What To Avoid When Answering This Question

Avoid skills that have no relevance to your work.

While it’s nice to develop them, they don’t promote you in the same way.

Example Answer

I’ve been taking some classes to develop my public speaking skills.

I’ve taken more senior roles over the last few years, and I think there’s a good chance I’ll end up presenting things to executives and possibly important clients.

I want to make sure I can represent the company well when that happens.

“What’s the Best Compliment you’ve Ever Received?”

Why This Question Is Asked

This question helps identify what you value most.

Interviewers want to know what motivates you to act and what types of things you’ll remember.

What to Focus on When Answering This Question

The best answers here focus on work-related things, especially those from earlier in your career.

Compliments from mentors or executives are also good.

Who gave the compliment matters more than what they said.

What To Avoid When Answering This Question

Avoid focusing on things like your appearance or personality unless they’re central to the role.

Example Answer

I once met Greta Countant, who has a Nobel Prize in economics, at an industry convention.

I was there talking about some uses of software in our field, and they said they liked my approach to explaining the requirements of accountancy to software developers.

“What Three Items Would You Take to a Deserted Island?”

Why This Question Is Asked

This is another question that tests your values and creativity.

Answers like food and water suggest you’re focusing on your personal needs and survival, while things like satellite communications suggest you’re a problem-solver.

What to Focus on When Answering This Question

Try to respond with items that match the ideals of the company and your position.

If you’re not sure where to go with this, things that sound like leadership and problem-solving are good options.

What To Avoid When Answering This Question

Don’t answer with anything ridiculous or that makes you look selfish.

Example Answer

Well, that depends on whether it’s a vacation or I’m stranded.

If I’m stranded, then I’d love an emergency supplies kit, a GPS, and a satellite radio.

If I’m just there for fun, I’m happy with a chair, a hammock, and a blanket.

“Do You Have Any Mentors?”

Why This Question Is Asked

Companies like employees who take the initiative to develop skills.

They don’t need to know the mentor, although it helps if they do.

What to Focus on When Answering This Question

Ideally, you can respond positively, and describe a little about your mentor.

Try to emphasize the mentor’s experience and how they’ve taught you.

What To Avoid When Answering This Question

Don’t mention anyone from outside your industry as a mentor.

Similarly, avoid any controversial figures, as that can make you sound less trustworthy by association.

Example Answer

I still talk to Expy Rienced, one of the senior accountants from my first firm.

They do a lot of work for Macrosoft these days, and I’ve found that they usually have excellent advice about changes in regulations.

Naturally, I don’t share confidential data, but I really value their help with some of the trickier accounting problems I’ve encountered.

Other Questions You Could Be Asked

Here are some other common “how well do you know me?” questions that you may hear.

  • What Makes You Unique?: Most companies want to know why they should hire you over anyone else applying for the position. Other people also have relevant industry experience, so mentioning soft skills and other ways you can help the company usually goes over well.
  • What Are You Passionate About?: Passion implies emotion and interest, both of which are valuable to companies. The best answers are those you can tie to your work or overall company objectives.
  • What Do You Like to Do For Fun?: Describing what you do for fun is a great way to emphasize your personal qualities. Remember to avoid mentioning anything too risky, and try to avoid focusing too much on this if it seems like the job has long hours.
  • What Are Your Hobbies?: Hobbies are another way to demonstrate your interest in things. Answers that focus on personal development or things that match the company’s ideals tend to go over better.
  • If You Were an Animal What Would You Be?: This question focuses on what you value most. If you reply with something known for being too lazy, that can reflect negatively on you, so look for something with a positive reputation.

Additional Tips for How Well Do You Know Me? Interviews

Here are some quick tips to help you prepare for your interviews.

Don’t forget to use proper interview etiquette.

How Do You Prepare for a “How Well Do You Know Me?” Interview?

These questions often come in the first interview or two, so you don’t need to answer them separately at most companies.

The best way to prepare for an interview like this is by rehearsing your answers and having a list of several names you can rattle off in response to questions.

Remember, your primary goal here is convincing an employer that you’re a good fit for their company.

They don’t truly care about you or your interests, but they do care about how your views, experiences, and social connections may affect your work.

What Should You Wear to a “How Well Do You Know Me?” Interview?

Wear the same things you’d normally wear to an interview with the company.

For more serious and upscale companies, wear a suit.

Otherwise, professional slacks and a button-down shirt usually suffice.

Women can wear blouses and, in some cases, a professional sweater.

Limit your color choices to neutrals.

If you’re not sure which way to go, be a little overdressed for the occasion. Interviewers will notice that you put in the effort.

How Should You Introduce Yourself in a “How Well Do You Know Me?” Interview?

The best way to introduce yourself for these interviews is the standard present-past-future format.

This format works because it offers an easy way to tell a story in an interview, and that’s almost always better than rattling off some facts.

All you need to do is explain where you are, how you got there, and how working for this new company will help you get where you want to be in the future.

What Questions Should You Ask at the End of a “How Well Do You Know Me?” Interview?

Here are some questions you can ask at the end of an interview.

“How would you describe the company culture here?”

People who love their company’s culture are happy to talk about it.

A quick, positive response is generally a good sign for any employment there.

However, if your interviewer is hesitant, uncertain, or unwilling to provide details, the company is probably a lot worse than it looks from the outside.

If the company’s a bad fit for you, it’s best to find out early so you can pursue a different opportunity instead.

“What do you think a candidate needs to succeed in this position?”

This question is a chance to help figure out what an employer prioritizes, or at least what the interviewer thinks they prioritize.

In many cases, answers to this can provide a much better understanding of company culture and what you can expect from them.

For example, if the interviewer mentions teamwork, then you can expect a lot of cooperation on work.

If they mention something like stamina or flexibility, that’s a sign that things may be crunch-heavy and bad for your work-life balance.

What is your company’s management style?

There’s an old saying that people don’t quit bad jobs, they quit bad managers.

That’s certainly true for some, so it helps to get a good understanding of how they manage employees and what you can expect.

One thing to note is that there isn’t necessarily a right or wrong answer here.

Some companies are routinely strict in managing things because precision is vital to the job.

Other companies are looser and let people do what they want as long as the work gets done on time.

Basically, the key thing to figure out here is whether you can mesh well with their style.

Wrapping Up

“How well do you know me?” questions are one of the main ways that companies evaluate potential employees.

In most cases, they can easily find people who have the right skills for the job, so their goal here is to see which applicants are the most likely to work well within the company.

Just remember that and you’ll be fine.

Leave a Comment

Back to all Posts

Explore More within MyJobSearch

My Job Search
Get to work faster with jobs for felons curated for you.
post explore
post explore

Explore Resumes

Browse our templates to find one that matches your personality.