This question is different than the 'Who is the biggest influencer in your life' because the interviewer is now referring to someone industry specific. Perhaps a manager took you under their wing at the beginning of your career. Maybe someone significant took a big chance on you and hired you for a job above your level of expertise. You may have even had someone senior to you breathe some words of affirmation that gave you a boost of confidence. If you are newer to your career, you can refer to a Professor who changed your thinking patterns, or a Career Advisor who steered you onto the right path.
"My English professor mentored me for the first semester of my initial year in University. She saw big potential in me and helped to nurture that with helpful feedback, and many resource suggestions. She even sent me this job posting, saying that she thought I would be great for the role. This professor will be one of my references when we get to that step in the interview process."
"In my first administrative role, I worked with a more senior administrator to make it her mission that I succeed. It was such a thrill to experience that level of camaraderie, and I aim to do the same favor for someone, junior to me when the opportunity presents itself."
"A few years ago I worked with an incredible Director who made it his mission to groom me into a senior leadership role. He sent me to a multitude of leadership conferences and gave me books to read. The confidence he had in me was so uplifting and molded who I am, as a leader, today."
"My current Marketing Director has shaped my career in countless ways. She has helped me succeed with challenging clients and encouraged me in ways she may never even know. She is aware that I am interviewing today as we both agree that I am now ready for my next challenge."
"It's pretty amazing what I can accomplish when I have my boss cheering me on! I have been lucky enough to have my entire career under the same leadership team. They have trained me well, and my sales coaching has been impeccable. I will be sad to leave them when the time comes but, at the same time, completely stoked for a new opportunity ahead."
"I was not qualified for my first sales job, but the manager gave it to me anyway! He said that he liked my 'grit' in the interview. Of course, he didn't want to see me fail, so for the first year of my employment, he took me on as his project. Coaching me in sales, negotiations, and writing quotes, he took the time to ensure my communication was perfect. I will never forget how generous he was with his time. It provided the start that I needed to succeed."
"The teacher that I assisted during my practicum is one of my best friends, today! We hit it off so well when I was completing my hours with her, and I knew that she genuinely wanted to see me succeed. I asked her to be my industry mentor, and she agreed. We grew a great friendship from there."