“What is your superpower?” is an interview question that feels quite different than the others you’ll get asked. But underneath this seemingly silly question is an opportunity to make a great impression.
Read this guide to learn why interviewers ask it, and how you should approach your answer. We even provide some examples to get you started!
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Why Interviewers Ask “What Your Superpower Would Be?”
When you go into a job interview, you expect to hear questions about your skills, qualifications, and work history. So when your interviewer suddenly asks you what your superpower is, it can catch you off guard.
That’s by design!
Interviewers ask this oddball question for many reasons, and one is to test your creativity and ability to think on your feet. No one expects to talk about imaginary superpowers during a job interview, so this question often comes out of left field and forces you to come up with a compelling answer on the spot.
It’s a great way for hiring managers to see how quickly and efficiently you adapt to something you didn’t prepare for, and it also shows a glimpse of how you present yourself.
Many interviewers also use “What’s your superpower?” as a way to ease any tension in the room. Interviews can feel stressful, regimented, and over-rehearsed. This question changes the feel of the interview and allows you the chance to talk about what you do really well!
While your response matters, this is one interview question you can have a little fun with while showing who you truly are as a person.
How to Answer
Figuring out how to answer “What is your superpower?” can feel a bit challenging, since it’s quite different from the other interview questions you’ve been preparing for. But despite how out-of-the-box it feels, it actually unveils a lot about who you are and what you have to bring to the table.
Here are some tips on how you can deliver an impactful answer that’s sure to impress.
1. Prepare Ahead of Time
Now that you know about this creative interview question, you can prepare an answer ahead of time. For many job-seekers, a question about their superpower throws off their concentration and forces them to think on the spot. But you can avoid stumbling on your words and deliver a confident answer by preparing one early.
Give this question plenty of thought. Think about why the interviewer asks this question and what they want to know. Hiring managers want to know about you and how you perceive yourself.
One great way to look at this question is to reframe it more traditionally. At its core, this question is asking you to talk about your strengths and assets, but it’s framed more creatively. This invites you to show your personality and have some fun with it.
Take some time to develop an answer that sounds confident. You don’t want to over-rehearse it or recite it verbatim. But having a solid response ready when it comes up can show interviewers exactly what they’re looking for.
2. Take a Moment to Think About It
Give your answer a good amount of thought, but don’t overthink it to the point of developing a response that needs to be clarified. While some trickiness is behind asking what your superpower is, interviewers aren’t trying to stump you! They simply want to hear what you have to offer and how creatively you can talk about it!
Select a superpower that makes sense to you. Think about how you are in the workplace, what challenges you overcame at your last job, and what particular strengths you want to highlight. Ultimately, this question is about you and your skills. It’s not about randomly choosing a power you like.
Once you settle on a superpower, provide an example. Why did you choose that power, and how does it relate to your past work experiences? Explain the reasoning behind your answer and pull from real-world situations to convey your point and illustrate why you would be an asset to the company.
3. Match Your Choice to Your Strengths
One of the best ways to develop a rock-solid answer is to think about superhero abilities as your strengths in the workplace. Companies want to hire people who will make a real difference in the organization. Consider your superpowers as the tools you’ll use to make that happen!
Honestly consider what you’ll bring to the company, and choose a relevant superpower that makes sense for you.
For example, say that you want to highlight your ability to approach challenges analytically. Instead of glossing over details, you have an excellent eye and work hard to find solutions methodically. One way to talk about that in your answer would be to say that your superpower is X-Ray vision!
If you’re someone who can sense a problem early, you could say you’re like Clark Kent/Superman with the ability to quickly identify a problem and swoop in to save the day. Or if you like to face challenges and use them as an opportunity to grow could talk about that super strength!
There are so many ways to approach this interview question. The key is to think creatively, link your real-world strengths to superhero abilities, and paint a picture of a fantastic candidate hiring managers want to bring on.
4. Connect Your Superpowers to the Job
Of course, you should always connect your response back to the job you’re trying to get. It’s excellent if your past work experiences relate to this new job opportunity. But if they don’t, you must find ways to connect the dots and show why your answer is relevant.
A great way to do that is by looking at the job description. Figure out what the job entails, what skills are needed to succeed there, and what hiring managers want to see from the perfect candidate. Once you understand that information, answering “What is your superpower” will become a whole lot easier.
Don’t be afraid to provide an example. Let’s say you’re talking about super-strength and your ability to tackle intimidating work problems. In that case, you can talk about a past experience and how similar issues may arise in the new position.
Show that you’ve done your research and know what this job entails. Use your response to prove that you’re aware of what you’re getting into and have the skills to succeed.
5. Don’t Be Afraid to Have a Little Fun
Last but not least, don’t be shy! Have some fun!
“What’s your superpower? is a lighter interview question that can often ease any tension in the room. That’s partially why interviewers love to use it. You don’t have to develop a straight-faced answer.
If you’re comfortable, don’t be afraid to inject a little humor into your answer! As always, keep things workplace professional, and don’t say anything that could get taken the wrong way. But keep it light and use this opportunity to develop a good rapport with the interviewer.
Making the interviewer laugh is an underrated skill that can help you stand out and improve your chance of getting hired!
Common Mistakes When Answering This Question
There are many ways to answer this question effectively while making a good impression on interviewers and hiring managers. However, you can also mess it up.
Avoid these common mistakes to ensure that your response works in your favor!
Don’t Mock the Question
One of the worst things you can do is make fun of this question. We get it: It’s a bit silly and feels out of character in a professional setting. However, you’re not getting pranked, and this interview question is more valuable than most realize.
Don’t scoff or say that it’s unprofessional or beneath you to answer it. Doing so will only make you look arrogant, which is a great way to knock yourself out of the running.
Don’t Say You Can’t Think of Anything
Remember what this interview question is about: It serves to highlight your ability to think on your feet and react to experiences you didn’t expect to have. Saying that you don’t know what your superpower is shows that you’re not adaptable or prepared, and it’s the quickest way to fail this question.
Don’t Overthink It
“What would your superpower be?” is an interview question that many job-seekers think is a trick. But trust us, it’s not! Creative questions like this serve many purposes, and interviewers want to hear your honest response.
Give your answer thought, but don’t overthink it to the point that your response becomes unclear.
Don’t Be Ultra Serious
Finally, take a breath and relax! Yes, you’re responding to an interview question. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy yourself.
Show off your personality and make a connection with the interviewer.
In our first example, the job-seeker chooses to talk about the superpower of shape-shifting. This answer works because they relate it back to the job, highlight old work experiences, and provide a small bit of humor.
“If I could have a superpower, it would definitely be shape-shifting. Can you imagine being able to transform into an eagle or deep-sea creature? I’d get to see some amazing things!
Shape-shifting would also be a great way to have new experiences, which I love. One of the things I enjoy most about marketing is that I get to dip my hands in so many unique projects and tasks.
In my last job, I had the opportunity to shadow several people. I primarily worked in content creation, but I got to participate in many projects as several colleagues took time off. I was able to take on their responsibilities, giving me a chance to work in social media management, print advertising, and more.”
The second is about super speed. The candidate wants to show off their ability to work quickly and efficiently, so this response works well to show what they can bring to the company.
“I’ve always thought that having super-speed would be amazing. Not only would I say goodbye to traffic forever, but it’d also help me do everything I want despite limited time.
Managing a team requires constant adaptability and work efficiency. I enjoy the fast-paced nature of managing large teams. In my last job, I was in charge of keeping a department of 50 people running smoothly.
While I could have definitely used super-speed in some situations, I sometimes felt I already had it! That’s how I like to work, and it’s a great asset I can provide to your company.”
Our final example answer is a response about flying. The interviewee is trying to land a leadership role where they’ll interact with many departments and clients. They use this question to highlight their ability to shift perspectives, empathize with others, and collaborate to solve problems.
“I think one of the best superpowers you could have is flying. Seeing the world from up there would be amazing. Not only do you get the chance to go anywhere, but you can see things from a brand-new angle.
I enjoy seeing things from a different perspective. It’s one of the skills I’m most proud of. In my last job, my primary responsibility was working with clients and gathering feedback about their thoughts about our organization.
It taught me to empathize and see the experience of working with the company through a client’s eyes. I was able to take that feedback to heart and foster real change in our onboarding processes. That ultimately reduced complaints and led to a better customer experience.”
While it can feel a bit weird to discuss what your superpower would be in a job interview, there’s a purpose to this question.
If you understand what the interviewer is looking for and spend a little time preparing, you’ll be able to use your answer to stand out from the rest of the pack!
Hannah Morgan speaks and writes about job search and career strategies. She founded CareerSherpa.net to educate professionals on how to maneuver through today’s job search process. Hannah was nominated as a LinkedIn Top Voice in Job Search and Careers and is a regular contributor to US News & World Report. She has been quoted by media outlets, including Forbes, USA Today, Money Magazine, Huffington Post, as well as many other publications. She is also author of The Infographic Resume and co-author of Social Networking for Business Success.