Do you want your interviewer to feel like you're perfect for their team?

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Talking about someone you admire in your field during an interview gives you the opportunity to show your potential employer that you're a good fit for the company!

Why do employers ask this question?

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The main reasons interviewers ask this question is to find out:

  • What you value the most.

  • How you apply those values.

  • If those values fit with the company’s mission and culture.

This is also an opportunity to show that you've researched the company!

Talk about what matters to you

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Learning to include value words in your answer shows:

  • What you care about.

  • What will affect your choices and focus as an employee.

Talking about someone you admire is a great chance to throw in a little bit about your own values! You can also highlight how they will be met and exercised at the specific company and job you are applying for.

Below is a list of value-based words from (see the full list here) with the most common five workplace values in bold. Skim this list, and jot down 1-3 that are important to you!

  • Collaboration

  • Communication

  • Creativity

  • Growth

  • Innovation

  • Integrity

  • Leadership

  • Quality

  • Service

  • Transparency

5 steps to prepare for this question

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Step 1: Research people in your field, if you don’t already have a favorite, and choose someone you admire.

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Step 2: Pick out some specific skills, characteristics, and actions they took, and ask yourself:

  • What values are demonstrated?

  • How are those values aligned with your own?

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Step 3: Research the company you are interviewing for. What values do they hold based on their mission statement and other information?

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Step 4: Practice speaking about the person you admire while drawing connections between their choices and values, your choices, values and goals, and the company’s choices, values, and goals.

You might also like to highlight how this person has influenced your education and career so far.

A man clapping his hands saying, “Let’s practice, baby.”

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Put it all together in an answer that feels natural to you!

For example, if you're applying for a graphic designer role:

I really admire Manchán Magan as an illustrator because of how he blends traditional blockwork illustrations with modern graphic design fonts and layouts. This feels really authentic to me, as well as innovative and on-trend. I feel he has a lot of integrity as a fine artist and craftsman which shines through in his designs. These are all values that I focus on in my work as well as what feels so aligned to me about your agency.

Jimmy Fallon saying ,“Nailed it!

Apply your learning

Imagine you're interviewing for a learning designer position. You'd like to talk about Ant Pugh, a well-known learning design leader.

You learn that Pugh questions how things are traditionally done in the field, and has been creating meaningful, out-of-the-box solutions. He also shares his work and other resources freely with his followers.

A female teacher at a blackboard with text that reads: “Who’s ready for a pop quiz!”

Using Ant Pugh as the person in your field who you admire, which answer below best highlights the value of growth?

A: I admire Ant Pugh and how he has created a community out of sharing his work and insights as a professional.

B: Ant Pugh is someone I admire. Seeing how he has questioned the status quo and created innovative solutions is inspiring to me.

C: When I learned about how Ant Pugh began as a traditional learning designer and then went on to create a whole new sub-field of learning experience design, I realized that there are endless possibilities for how I will develop as a professional. This has kept me open to change.

D: None of the above


Choose one:

Take Action

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Practice speaking about the person you admire (with a friend if you can, but a mirror works too). Remember to highlight:


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