Interview Tips

How To Answer: Are You Competitive?

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By: Mariah Rogers
Aug 25, 2020 • 3 min read

How To Answer: Are You Competitive?

In an interview setting, your potential employer may be curious to hear about your competitive side. They want to learn about what motivates, drives and pushes you to be your best self and the most productive employee you can be. Your interviewer is also likely asking this question to gauge how well your competitive style will fit into the current workplace culture. Your response to this question will help your employer see if the tasks required in the open position will be enough to challenge you, while also giving you the ability to grow and succeed. Here is how to answer the interview question, “are you competitive”?

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Exterior Vs Interior Motives

You’ll want to be sure to touch on both your exterior and interior forms of motivation. This means, explaining how you motivate yourself, versus how the environment around you motivates you. This might take a bit of self-discovery as you figure out these answers for yourself. As a result, you will be able to better motivate yourself.

Examples of exterior motivators:

  • Salary
  • Benefits
  • Recognition
  • Promotions
  • Praise

Examples of interior motivators:

  • Pride
  • Happiness
  • Goals
  • Joy

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Situational Competitiveness

Explaining a certain situation in which you were competitive in the workplace can give your employer a better idea if you will be the right fit for the job or not. Try to give a specific, concrete example from your previous work experience. Try to choose a time when your competitive nature was healthy and contributed to the overall success of your team. You can also give an example of a time when you were competitive with yourself, and challenged yourself to better your overall performance in the workplace. As a result, your potential employer will see that you are a self-sufficient candidate. All of these factors will give your interviewer a more specific example of who you are as an employee.

Example: We have a yearly sales competition at my current job. We work with teams that are made up of employees from all departments, in hopes of winning a cash prize to donate to a charity of our choice. Collaboration always sparks my competitiveness, and I am able to focus more clearly and achieve success for myself and my team!

Example: I always try to beat my numbers from the previous quarter. I like to think of it as a game! I take pride in knowing I am improving and growing every month on the job. Challenging myself is a great way to grow because I can always aim to achieve higher. 

Being Conscious Of Your Competitiveness

Another great attribute to mention during your interview is how conscious you are of your competitiveness. Healthy competition can be a productive way to motivate yourself and your team, however, competitiveness can quickly turn toxic. You should always be aware of how your competitiveness is being communicated to coworkers and supervisors around you. Explain how you use your competitive nature to support, motivate, and excite the team to produce a high-quality project. Interviewers love to see applicants who have the ability to self-reflect!

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