"Are you a big picture thinker or detail-oriented?"

There are....

Sesame street characters dancing happily then they look up and the camera shows a number 2 above them.

....2 main things an interviewer is looking for in your response.

#1 - Following Instructions

Flight attendant demonstrating how to buckle a seatbelt with the words

Avoiding a question never looks good. This goes for any question an interviewer asks, but especially a simple "this or that" question.

Choose one and tell them. Saying, "I'm both," isn't following the instructions and will only make you look bad.

#2 - Self-Awareness

Adorable kitten looking in mirror at its reflection and playing with the kitten in the mirror.

The most important thing to show when answering this question is self-awareness. Experienced interviewers likely already know which one you are from your answers to other questions and will look for an answer that fits with their overall impression.

Everyone has some qualities of both, but which fits you best and why?

Big Picture Person

  • Flaticon Icon Creative

  • Problem solver

  • Risk taker

  • Optimistic

  • Spontaneous

Detail-Oriented Person

  • Flaticon Icon Organized

  • Prepared

  • Proofreads

  • Highly efficient

  • Asks critical questions

Now Make Your Choice Shine!

Happy face star shining brightly. You've thought about yourself and made a choice. Now explain how your personality type fits the job. Spoiler alert: both types are needed on a team!

Examples for a customer service position:

Flaticon Icon

"If I had to choose one, I would say I'm a big picture person. When working with customers, it's important to me that their entire experience is good from start to finish. Often, this means stepping back to make sure that the whole team is happy and communicating effectively."

Flaticon Icon

"I'm a detail-oriented person. Customers appreciate when every detail of their experience is attended to with care. Making sure that things are carried out according to the company's plan ensures a consistent, positive experience for each guest."

Pretend You Are The Interviewer

The roles are now reversed and YOU are the interviewer. The position is for an entry-level administrative assistant and the person has clearly shown in other questions that they are highly detail-oriented.

Which answer would most impress you?

Flaticon Icon BOTH: "I'm really both. I'm an incredibly balanced person and offer the best of a big-picture person and a detail-oriented person with none of the flaws."

Flaticon Icon BIG: "I would say I'm a big picture thinker because I come up with creative solutions even though my last boss said I was detail-oriented."

Flaticon Icon FUSSY: "I'm detail-oriented, which suits this position perfectly. Fussy details and double-checking are my strong suits. You won't miss a meeting with me on board. "

Flaticon Icon SPICES: "Well, I think I might tend to be more detail-oriented. I like to organize my closet at home by color and have all my spices arranged alphabetically."


Which answer is effective and relates to the role?

Take Action

A woman weighing imaginary alternatives in each hand, one eventually wins.

Make a choice and make it shine.


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