7 answers

Which celebrity or public figure do you look up to?

Asked Houston, Texas

Was asked this in an interview and was wondering how professionals would respond. What are employers/interviewers looking for when they ask this? How should I go about answering this? #interview #mock-interviews #interviews #interviewskills #interviewing-skills #rolemodel #interview-questions #interviewing #interview-preparation #employment #jobs #careers #career #internships

7 answers

Lindsey’s Answer

Hi Mireia, That's a very interesting question, and congratulations on your job interview! I hope it went well--interviews are always great practice. For this question, the first piece of advice I have is to answer honestly. You don't want to say something just because you think it's what they expect or because the answer sounds "smart." You want to answer truly for you because that's what's going to make your personality shine through. I would say the reason for this question is to likely determine what's important to you. If you say Kim Kardashian, it could come across that you value fame and fortune over other things. If you say Michael Jordan, it could come across that you value athleticism and hard work. With those things in mind, I recommend picking someone you have a good "why" for. Why is that your favorite person? What does that say about who you are? Your answer will depend on what features you want to convey to the interviewer. Good luck!
Thank you so much for your advice!

Cindy R.’s Answer

Hi Mireia, Congratulations on the job interview! Without knowing the type of job you were applying for and whether or not the question was in any way related to the position, it appears that you may have had an unstructured interview. In an unstructured interview, they want to hear from you, so a variety of different open ended questions may be asked. Unstructured interviews are more conversational and less formal than a structured interview. This type of interview is designed to put you at ease. While that is the intent, you should be friendly but still maintain professionalism when responding. In my opinion, this question is an indirect way of finding out about your beliefs, values and influences. Again, without knowing the job, I am not sure if this is important to the position or more about your personality and/or character. In answering the question, the best advice I can give you is to remember that you are there to showcase your best assets. Therefore, your response should be honest and convey your best features, skills and qualifications for the job. Best of luck!
Thank you so much for your advice!

Matthew’s Answer

Updated Oakland, California

Hi Mireira! Great question... it is important to understand that there is no right or wrong answer to this question. I think interviewers would be looking for a couple of things with this question. They are likely looking for the why you chose a particular celebrity/public figure and the how you articulate your reasons for choosing that particular individual.

Different celebrities/public figures mean different things to each individual, so after you have selected who yours is; providing detailed, thoughtful, authentic reasons for your choice is important. Be concise, confident, and clear....it is your answer! I have seen this mentioned in other responses and I cannot stress enough to be honest..the worst thing you could do is to say something (or chose someone) who you think the interviewer would deem as "cool", "creative", or "impressive". They are asking this question to understand what you are motivated by, and how you can ascertain certain traits from well known public figures that share your values.

If I were asked this question, I might choose John Lennon as we both share(d) a passion for music, human rights, and the anti-war movement. I could discuss further how my interest in music, human rights, anit-war, have shaped my values that I carry today, and how it encourages me to keep working at a variety of important goals I have in my life and career. John Lennon's legacy is something that still lives on today and encourages many people with a very hopeful message. I hope this helps! Continue to remain curious and humble, and you will be just fine. Good Luck!

Amanda’s Answer


Hi Mireia,

Congrats on the interview! Whether you felt prepared or surprised by the question, it is great that you had the experience and can now give the question more thought.

Through that question, I believe the interviewer/employer was trying to get a better sense of your values. To ultimately gather whether your values align with the values and mission of the organization. Another reason they may have asked about public figures is to assess your knowledge of current events, news/media, politics, etc.

Some best practices for future interviews would be to review the organization's website for information on their mission, history, and press/media coverage. Speak on their values, growth, and any affiliations they may have with public figures. Perhaps you can identify a public figure that you admire and equally embodies some of the values or qualities of the organization. Interviewers will be impressed by your research and your response will make it clear that you are the right fit.

Best Wishes,


Chantel’s Answer


I look up to strong advocates for human rights. I tend to research celebrities off the stage to see who they are when they are not performing. It makes it easier for me to support their art if I have a better idea that they are a good person.

Juliana’s Answer

Updated Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

I think the person you pick to answer this question says a lot about who you are as a person and what you believe in. In this scenario, I would chose someone who's morals and ethics lined up with mine as those are attributes I'd want to showcase to a potential employer and this question is a great way to convey that message.

Linda’s Answer


I agree with what Lindsey and Cindy both stated. When you are in an interview, they are never just asking questions out of idle curiosity. The interviewer is trying to find something out about you.

This question may have been asked to get an idea of your values and influences and stated above, but may also just have been to see if you can choose someone and back up your answer with a well thought out reason why you chose that specific person.

In an interview, remember that everything you do from the moment you walk in the door is part of the interview.

Some things to make your self stand out:

1. Stand up when the interviewer comes to get you from wherever you check in.

2. Shake their hand and say something to the effect of "I am very happy to meet you".

3. Bring extra resumes. You may not need them, but you'll have them if asked.

4. Answer thoughtfully. Take your time and fully answer the question.

5. Be yourself, but remember you are talking to a potential employer, not your friend.

6. Prepare by looking at the company website and searching for the company in the news.

7. Make sure you have a few questions to ask the interviewer. Ask about a recent acquisition and the impact on the company or ask about some other piece of information you found in your research.

8. Send a thank you note to the interviewer.

Good luck in your job search!