Who Is Your Hero? Why?

Job Interview Question & Answer: Who Are Your Heroes in Life? And Why?

What Are Employers Looking For?

When hiring managers ask candidates “Who is your hero and why?” they’re trying to learn what traits workers value in others. As such, responses should put greater emphasis on the “why” than the “who.” Explaining the influence proves that there is depth behind the choice.

Giving a Good Answer

It’s always best to make answers relevant to the company. Before going in for an interview, review the job posting and note the traits it asks applicants to have. Additionally, do some reading about the business’s values.

When it comes time to respond to “Who do you look up to?” prepare to discuss the person’s work ethic or personality. Then, link this to the essential duties of the job. Relating the concepts helps potential employees advance in the interview process.

Things to Avoid When Answering “Who is Your Hero? Why?”

The instinct might be to quickly name whoever springs to mind. However, responding to this interview question requires a bit more thought. Job seekers should avoid the following:

  • One-Word Answers: The hero is meaningless to hiring managers without a fuller knowledge of why the person is inspiring.
  • Long Lists: Listing two heroes can be acceptable if the explanation is thoughtful, but any more than that is too much.
  • Controversial People: Choosing a well-known figure is tempting, but it may also conflict with the manager’s individual biases.


The samples here give applicants an idea of how to answer the “Who inspires you and why?” question. These are meant to guide the preparation of a unique response, not to be memorized or repeated.

Sample Answer 1 – Team Member at a Fast Food Restaurant

“I am inspired by my aunt. She was a manager at her company for decades and never once let the stress of her job get the best of her. I have learned a lot from her ability to stay calm and collected in any situation, which would serve me well in a fast-paced environment.”

Sample Answer 2 – Customer Service Rep at a Department Store

“My dad is my personal hero. Whenever my siblings or I go to him for help, he’s very patient and understanding. I believe I picked up my passion for problem solving with a level head from him. That’s why I think a customer service job would be perfect for me.”

Sample Answer 3 – Cashier at a Bookstore

“I looked up to my high school English teacher. She had a knack for recommending books based on people’s personalities, and she was organized. Her class library was pristine. I’ve always tried to copy her talent for making someone feel special, whether I’m suggesting a book or helping with another problem.”

Things to Remember

The interview question “Who is your hero?” is a great way for candidates to show off the kind of workers they’ll be. Pick somebody meaningful, provide specific reasons for the influence, and relate those traits to the job itself.

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