1. Why do recruiters ask "Who is your role model?"
  2. How to answer "Who is your role model?"
  3. Sample answers for "Who is your role model?"
  4. Conclusion

We all have people or personalities we look up to for inspiration.

But did you know that our choice of role models helps us to build our personalities and ethics? Thus, making “Who is your role model?” a very important HR interview question.

Before we go on to the tips to answer “Who is your role model?”, let’s first find out the reason recruiters ask this HR interview question in depth.

Why do recruiters ask "Who is your role model?"

Recruiters mostly ask this to understand who has inspired you in your journey and how you respond to tough situations at work.

Through this HR interview question, recruiters try to gauge your values and how well they align with the company’s values and mission statements. The reason for doing so is to ensure that you will be with them for the long term.

"Who is your role model?" can also help the recruiter understand your values and characteristics and how these will be used in the job.

How to answer "Who is your role model?"

Now, that we have understood the importance of the HR interview question, “Who is your role model?”, let’s move on to how to answer this interview question.

Be authentic and relevant

Avoid trying to conjure an answer on the spot when asked, "Who is your role model?"

Reason? Simple. As mentioned in the previous section, your selection of a role model can give insights about your personality, you do not want to leave a wrong impression.

Instead, answer genuinely and talk about the person you look up to. It could be anyone, like a friend, colleague, your boss, someone from your family, or even a famous personality from your field or otherwise.

Discuss the reasons why you look up to your role model

Providing reasons and learnings is the key to adding value when answering such HR interview questions. You can talk about your takeaways from the person and how that has impacted and inspired you.

For example, you can talk about a particular skill that’s relevant to your job role like, time management, handling tough situations, etc. This will help the recruiter see how you can grow in this job role by learning from the smallest of things.

Explain what qualities you admired about them

What qualities of your role model do you admire the most and why? when included in answering "Who is your role model?" can provide weightage by specifying the qualities you appreciate in a person.

This is exactly what the recruiter wants to find out to understand whether you would fit the company or not.

Relate your qualities with them

You have explained why they are your role model, but that won't be enough for the recruiter. Remember, the recruiter wants to know about You.

So, showcase your learnings and how you have inculcated certain qualities of your role model and how that has helped you in your journey.

Tip: Do not try to include all the qualities of your role model and yourself as it may sound superficial.

Talk about how you apply these qualities

Just having similar qualities with your choice of role model is not enough to convince the recruiter. To do so you need to also explain how you have applied these skills in your professional sphere.

For example, if you learned to be diplomatic from your chosen role model, provide a situation where you applied the learning and the result it reaped.

Sample answers for "Who is your role model?"

Now that we have answered how to answer this HR interview question, let’s check out some of the sample answers to “Who is your role model?”

Sample #1:

“My role model is my family, especially my mother. The way she dons so many hats and pulls off each role effortlessly is worthy of admiration. A mother, daughter, friend, and equally ambitious lady, mothers deal with so many things simultaneously, and balancing all her responsibilities shows her excellent PR and time management skills.

She has always excelled in all her roles, hardly ever slipping in temperament. Mom always managed disputes very diplomatically and even asserted her opinion with such confidence it was hard ignore. All this was done without raising her voice over the usual decibel.

I have always been awed at how gracefully she manages everything and tried to follow in her footsteps in my life as well.

I know I can’t be exactly like her, but it is extremely important to be able to handle disputes gracefully and without taking sides at work. "

Sample #2:

"One person I have always looked up to was a senior journalist in my first organization.

He used to write on stock markets and the grasp he had on it was awestruck. Whenever I was confused, he used to explain the entire matter so simply that even a school-goer could understand.

He always used to say there's knowledge everywhere and to share it without sounding condescending. This is an extremely important aspect when working in a team or even as we progress in our careers because nobody would like to feel bad for not knowing a particular thing.

So, even when I provide feedback to my team regarding a project, I ensure to follow his advice."

Sample #3:

"As a role model, I really look up to Ratan Tata. Despite being the family heir, he started to work from the bottom of the pyramid and work his way up. This clearly explains his respect for his employees irrespective of job role and learn the job like everyone else.

Another factor is his initiative of awarding the best-failed ideas in the company. We are terrified of making mistakes and failing but through this award, he taught people that it is alright to try and fail as failure teaches a valuable lesson to people... as he would say it.. 'Failure is a Gold mine!'

These are very subtle factors but when implemented can turn the person into a respected team leader.

Now, I am no Ratan Tata, but when dealing with my team, I ensure that I can encourage every member and not let them feel bad for a mistake."


To sum it up, think through and be honest while answering “Who is your role model?” as lying in a job interview is strictly not advisable. So, it is best to practice the basic interview questions before any job interview.

Also, always take a few seconds before answering any HR interview questions as it allows you to form your thoughts and not sound robotic.

Hope these tips were helpful. All the Best!

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