Job Interview Question

How do you rate yourself as a professional?

How To Answer Interview Questions Series

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There are people who say that your automatic response to rating yourself (on a scale of 1 to 10) should be “11”.  They believe that anything less would be admitting a weakness.  I don’t agree.  An over-the-top answer like that is bragging, which is a lot different than selling yourself for the job.

I think that if you answer “11,” you’re running a strong risk of coming off as arrogant in the interview, and I don’t know too many hiring managers who relish the thought of hiring someone who thinks they’re more than perfect.  It makes for a strained working relationship.

I think that on a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the highest, that an answer of 6, 7, or 8 is a reasonable, positive, sincere-sounding answer.  It means that you recognize that you have room to grow and develop and become more and better than you are today.

If you’re a young rookie, straight out of school or with only one job under your belt, you should answer 6 or 7.

If you’re anything else, answer 7 or 8.

Rate YourselfOnly a true Subject Matter Expert with a whole lot of experience should put themselves at a 9 or a 10.

But once you give your answer (and pay attention to the surprise on their faces when you don’t give the automatic, knee-jerk, follow-the-crowd response of ‘11’), offer an explanation of why you rate yourself that way.

Say, “On a scale of 1 to 10, I see 5 as a true average, and a 10 as perfect.  I believe I’m better than average, and I don’t know that anyone could be a 10, because no one’s perfect.”

Talk about how you rate yourself based on how others perform in the same roles that you have had.

In every arena, there are 4 or 5 (at least) things that set people apart…what are they in yours?  How do you rate in each of those areas?

You really have to know yourself and your ‘market’ in order to answer this question.  If you’re in the job search, you better know these things anyway.  You can’t sell yourself for the job otherwise.  And it makes it pretty hard to negotiate salary unless you know what you’re worth.

If you can answer this question with a sincere, honest, reasoned response, you’re going to stand out from the other candidates and earn big points with the interviewer.

(Or, you could skip the whole ratings question and let your 30 60 90 day plan answer the question for you…they’ll rate you a 15.)

If you’d like to practice your interview answers with professional feedback,
or you need help with specific answers, I’d love to work with you as your interview coach.

Find out more about my special offer for personal 1:1 coaching or
my group coaching membership that meets Thursday evenings at 7:00pm CST!



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