Many things in life we cannot choose. Family is no exception to the rule, and basically we are just lucky if we were born in a good one. What we can choose, however, are our friends, connections, acquaintances. Simply people we spend time with, hang around with, and have something in common with. True friendship is a rare thing, but if you are fortunate enough and have experienced it at least once in life, you will agree with me that such a friendship is as good as true love….

Anyway, having friends is one thing, and talking about them in an interview another. To describe your friends is not always an easy task, for a few reasons. First of all, the most important things often cannot be described with words. Shared connection, mutual support, laughs only you two understand… And secondly, especially when you face this question in an interview at a school, or even in a job interview, certain things you perhaps prefer not mentioning. Such as that you like your friends because they never say no to a party invitation, and enjoy getting wasted every Friday.

Anyway, in your description you should focus more on personal characteristics and things you admire on them, instead of shared memories or hobbies. Without prolonging this introduction any longer, let’s move on to 7 sample answers to this atypical interview question. I tried to include on my list variety of answers, including answers for people who have no friends. Some philosophical responses also made the list, and you can perhaps pick one of them if you want to say something unique. Enjoy the answers, and do not forget to check also the hints below the list.


7 sample answers to “Describe your friends and why you like them” interview question

  1. My friends are reliable, supportive, and good listeners. And exactly that is why I like them so much. When I need help, or just feel like pouring my heart out in front of somebody, I can just call one of my two best friends. We go for a coffee, talk about stuff, and I immediately feel better. We have known each other for over 15 years, and though we do not visit the same school anymore, and each of us has their own life, we still keep in touch and meet regularly. I feel truly blessed to have such good friends, and of course I also try to contribute to the friendship, being attentive to their needs and taking initiative when it comes to meetings and phone calls.
  2. It is hard to describe my friends collectively, since I have always aimed for diversity in my connections. To give you an idea, my friends range from former prisoners and patients of psychiatric clinics to Ivy League students and millionaires. But the diversity isn’t limited to money and social status. My friends have various characters, intellects, hobbies, everything. I believe it is enriching to have such connections, and I also sincerely hope that they feel the same towards me. What’s more, I really believe my friendships will help me get along with people in your company, since I know you have a diverse international team in place here in the finance department. I am looking forward to get to know them and learn something from each one. There is beauty in diversity.
  3. To be completely honest with you, I do not have many friends. Of course, one has Facebook and Instagram and what not, but the people there aren’t real friends, are they? I just feel that such platforms do not give the word friendship justice. But I also realize I’ve been living in such superficial relationships for years. And I sincerely hope that at your school I can find real friends, people I can confide in, people I can help, people I can trust. I feel that it is never too late to find real friends in life, and each new place of study or work is an opportunity to do so.
  4. My friends consist mostly in my former schoolmates, and colleagues from my last job. But how to describe them? Well, each one is unique, since each human being is unique. And I do not like to give people monikers and categorize them, as if they were books or something similar. If you ask me to describe a particular friend, for example Angela, and what I like about her, I can tell you. I like how hardworking she is, and I admire how she combines the role of a mother with a role of a teacher, excelling in both. But I cannot generalize, saying I like my friends because of this or that, since each one is different, and I admire each one for something else.
  5. My partner is my best friend. And since I am pretty busy at work and also with my studies, I do not really have time to maintain other friendships. I know it probably isn’t the best thing to do–after all, you never know how long a relationship will last–and nobody is immortal, but that’s how I feel about it now. We support each other, enjoy laughing together, cooking and eating together. We are both avid readers, and love to talk about books and what we have read. To summarize it, I would say I love the connection we have, and how each of us try our best for the other one.
  6. My best friend is my dog. We spend a lot of time together, and she is just the best companion one can have. Always happy to see you, enjoying being outside in every weather, not demanding much from you. I feel that dogs personify unconditional love, and for that reason I often prefer spending time with my dog, instead of spending it with people. Now that doesn’t mean that I do not like people. And I definitely hope to find some friends in my new job. Ideally dog lovers, so we can share walks in the nature, with our beloved companions…
  7. I like my friends for their authenticity. I’ve never looked for people who will flatter me, people who will try to win me over with compliments. On the contrary, I have always looked for friends who tell the truth, authentic people who can both praise and criticize, people who help you move forward in both your personal life and professional career. And I am glad to have found such friends, and hope that they feel the same about me…


Try to mention also your role in a friendship

It is one thing having a good friend, and another one being such a friend. While praising your friends and saying why you like them, I suggest you to mention also your role in the relationship. Ensure the interviewers that you try your best to be attentive to the feelings and emotions of your friends, and that they can rely on you. Sure, you have your weaknesses like everyone else, and realize that a “perfect friend” doesn’t exist, and you cannot become one. But you try your best to be a good friend, and do what you can for those around you.

Partner, dog, or no friends–out of the box answers to showcase your honesty

It is no secret that the advertising industry tries to convince us of a model of a perfect family, something we should aspire you achieve. Everybody is happy, healthy, everybody has amazing friends, people spend time together, and so on. In reality, their image cannot be further from the truth, at least when we look at society as a whole… People have problems, and it is completely normal to struggle in your friendships, or perhaps even not having friends at all. And you should remember that honesty is a rare quality nowadays, and interviewers at both schools and companies love honest applicants.

So, if you feel that your dog or cat or some other animal is your best friend, or you do not have friends at all–at least not true friends, or that your partner is your only friend, and you do not have time for other relationships of any kind, be honest and say so. Interviewers will love your honesty. Just make sure you do not sound bitter, or resigned on relationships with other human beings. Perhaps you do not have a good friend now, or any real friend, but that doesn’t mean you cannot find one soon, and each new job or school is an opportunity to do so…

Ready to answer this one? I hope so! Do not forget to check also sample answers to other tricky interview questions:

Matthew Chulaw
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