How to Answer Interview Question - Who Are Your Heroes

How to Answer Interview Question: Who Are Your Heroes?

Interviewers are interested in knowing what candidates admire in others, especially those they call heroes. What a person’s hero does or is leaves a mark on their admirer. From philosophy to mannerisms, people tend to mirror their lives after certain esteemed individuals.

It is not necessary to have heroes who everyone else knows. As long as you have a relationship with them, that is enough cause to put them on a pedestal.

However, you need to answer questions about figures you look up to above anyone else with caution. These answers speak volumes about you. To know why you get this question about your heroes and how to answer it adequately, use these effective tips.


Why Do Interviewers Ask This Question?

To understand where you get certain values from

Besides parents and the environment people grow up in, their heroes influence them the most. In many cases, when people have heroes from a tender age, they believe them more than anyone else. Likewise, they learn certain values from these heroes.

Most of these heroes are public figures who made a mark on people’s lives at a tender age. Thus, it is not uncommon to find people indulging in activities their heroes indulge in. This applies to candidates as well regardless of their age or qualification. Whether it is in politics, sports, or their profession, candidates and professionals have people they look up to.

Not only do they have a vast knowledge of their heroes’ lives, but they also tailor their mindset after their heroes’. From their perception of certain issues to their approach to work, professionals draw values from heroes as well. Therefore, every potential employer would like to know what they are getting into before committing.


To know who you look up to

It is normal for people to hold some particular individuals or groups in high esteem. Sometimes, these heroes are the best or only way to reach out to their admirers. Thus, knowing who a candidate’s hero is would help the potential employer connect better with their employees. Besides knowing how to connect with employees, knowing their heroes gives the employer a better understanding of who candidates look up to.


To know who you are.

Although the saying “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree” relates to parents and children, the same should be said about a hero-admirer relationship. Throughout history, people have been motivated and highly influenced by those they call heroes. From habits to the faintest of whispers, admirers or mentees eat up every piece of information their heroes give out.

Thus, knowing how much influence heroes have over their fans, helps employers know what to expect. Without being stereotypical, knowing who a candidate’s hero is would give an interviewer a fair depiction of who the candidate is. If the hero is a largely controversial figure, chances are that the controversial ideologies would be found in the candidate.


How to Answer the Interview Question

Now that it’s time to answer, go straight to the details. However, you must make sure to at least follow most of these steps to arrive at the most convincing answer.

Describe your heroes.

Describe the person or people who are heroes to you. These could be people known only to you or public figures. The bottom line is that these people should have made an impact on your life. When you start talking about them, try to give the interviewer a clear glimpse of who you are referring to. That way, even though they have never seen these people, they would have an idea of what they are like.

You may mention their academic background or important details about them that many people don’t know. Also, if you both have similar traits, you may mention them. If you have studied them enough to notice their significant features, refer to them. From the way they talk to their mannerisms in public, describe what makes them unique. Also, what their philosophy of life is should be part of what you describe to your interviewer.

What relationship do you have with your heroes?

Besides what these heroes are like or where they come from, employers are interested to know your relationship with them. It is not about how well-known they are but how much of a connection you have with them.

For example, a candidate could name a high school teacher as his or her hero. In this case, without saying why this person is the candidate’s hero, employers can sense the relationship between them. Also, a candidate would need to clarify the relationship to erase all doubts about the appropriateness of the relationship.

Likewise, naming a famous person as one’s hero could be relatable. As long as there is a connection between them, it works. Being able to establish the relationship a candidate has with their hero is key to answering this question satisfactorily.

How you knew your heroes.

The impact your heroes have had on you and the connection you share is important. Yet, the interviewer would be pleased to find out how a candidate got to know them. Some accounts of how an admirer (or mentee) meets or find out about their hero are straightforward. For example, those whose parents are their heroes wouldn’t find it difficult to share this. However, those who haven’t had a personal encounter with their heroes would need to talk about this creatively.

The important thing is to state when you first discovered them and what it was like. If they became your heroes immediately or it took some time to warm up to them, explain briefly. Likewise, let the interviewer know the turning point- the moment you chose to make them your heroes.

Did you have a life-changing experience that led you to know them? Was it they who took a special interest in you when no one else didn’t? Or did their impact on society affected you so much that it made you who you are? By mentioning the event that changed the story of you and your heroes, you are making your explanation more relatable.

What drew you to your heroes.

Attraction is one of the strongest forces in the universe. When humans develop an interest in a person, profession, or sport, it is always preceded by an attraction. This also goes for having heroes whether as an individual or as a professional.

Talk about the attractive features or aspects of your heroes. Perhaps it could be their way of thinking, speaking, or heritage that makes them attractive to you. Also, their belief system could mirror yours and this makes the attraction form at a deeper level.

Did they have an impact on society? Do you share the same background story with them and you now see them as an inspiration? Whatever trait, act, or the impact they made that drew you to them, try mentioning it.

Show the correlation between your heroes and the job.

It is fair to say that interviewers care about what goes on in a candidate’s life. More importantly, they care about how a candidate’s life relates to the position they are offering. Thus, when you mention your heroes, form a direct link between them and the position you are applying for. This does not mean that they must be professionals in your discipline. Yet, it means that they should have qualities, experiences, and ideologies that relate to the job.

For example, mentioning a hero who doesn’t believe in paying taxes when you are applying for an accounting job doesn’t help. Thus, be sure that their qualities and beliefs are in tune with what you require to get the role. Not only will this help you in the long run, but it will also make the interviewer respect your selection of heroes more.

How your heroes influence you

Explain what these heroes have influenced you to pursue. The decisions you have taken so far that the heroes influenced should be in the conversation. Also, if you have set goals that are influenced by what your heroes said, did, or presented themselves, mention them.

From the smallest to the most significant decisions you have made through your heroes’ influence, let the interviewer know about it. Lastly, if your heroes influenced your decision to pursue your career, tell the interviewer.

Mention the biggest impact your heroes made on you.

People can talk about their heroes for a long spell without mentioning the most important aspects. One of such important things is the impact they have made on you. When people have heroes they look up to, they are surely impacted by them.

Now, there are many ways a hero can impact a person. Yet, instead of going on non-stop about all these impacts, focus on the major ones. To wrap up the answer you have given, mention the biggest impact these heroes have made on you.

These should either be what has changed your life or are close to changing your life. Likewise, they could be what might have saved your life. These are great impacts. If these impacts are on your academics, career, social life, or love life, they deserve a mention.

Your expectations of the relationship.

Such a question with a powerful answer deserves a befitting ending. Thus, you should end this answer by reflecting and looking into the future. Talk briefly about your expectations of the relationship you have with your heroes.

How do you want it to manifest going forward? Would you like to join forces with your heroes to make a much greater impact on others? Or do you prefer to maintain the relationship and impact they have on you as it stands?

Whatever you choose should reflect how you see the impact of your heroes and the possibilities in your relationship. Also, if you have big plans for the relationship, you may state them if you don’t mind. Lastly, if you strive to become a hero to someone, let the interviewer know. In the same way, if you already are seen as a hero to someone, it would be nice to briefly share that.


How Not to Answer the Interview Question

While there are many ways to answer an interview question about a candidate’s heroes, there are also things to not say. The following don’ts of answering this question must be adhered to for a satisfactory answer:

If you must, don’t name more than one fictional character.

While you are allowed to name characters that do not exist in real life, don’t mention more than one. One of the reasons is that fictional characters hardly relate to real life. Also, they are made primarily for entertainment, so taking them too seriously would send some bad signals to the interviewer.

Thus, keeping fictional characters at just one is advised. Also, when you mention them, let their names be the last you mention. This is because people generally feel that the most important hero is usually the first one that comes to mind.

Don’t name more than three.

It pays to have as many heroes as you can keep up with. However, when it comes to answering an interview question about heroes and their influences, keep the list small. Try to mention two or three. Any higher would be too much information which would be rather unnecessary.

Starting from the most important and most relatable, mention the two or three people you see as heroes. Also, when you start, let the interviewer know how many people you wish to talk about. Make sure to add that you would make it brief as well. This would make them know what to expect and patiently listen.



Everyone is entitled to their choice of heroes even if they must talk about them in a job interview. Yet, the heroes you mention when asked about who you hold in high regard must relate to the job. Interviewers ask this question to find out more about who the candidate is and what inspires them. The way you speak highly of your heroes and back it up with their greatest impact is key. As long as you don’t mention an endless list of names or characters that don’t relate to the job, you will do fine.

Have you had to answer an interview question about your heroes and what they mean to you? Please tell us about your experience and one or two things you mentioned about them.

Interview Questions

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