It’s no longer enough to hire someone based on resumes and cover letters, to find or discover one’s true self or disposition, certain personality interview questions must be asked during the interview process.
This method has become very pertinent to help organizations get the best hands at all times. For job seekers, mastering or being able to answer these questions is no longer an option especially now that unemployment is on a steady rise.
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that In April 2020, there was a major spike in unemployment: 14.8% due to job cuts related to the pandemic. Since then, unemployment has been in a steady decline, reaching 6.7% in December 2020.
Undoubtedly, there are numerous personality questions, each aimed at exposing a particular trait of a prospective employee. We’d be looking at some of these questions while providing answers to some, in a bid to uncover the proper personality interview questions and their answers.
Therefore, If you’re a job seeker and wondering how to tackle personality interview questions, take a few minutes and read through this article.
Meanwhile, the table of content below will guide your navigation.
Table of Contents
- Why ask personality interview questions
- How to Assess Candidates’ Answers in Personality Interview Questions
- Responses You Should Look at For (Red Flags)
- 35 Personality Interview Questions
- Client-facing Skills
- Ability to Adapt
- Time Management Skills
- Communication Skills
- Motivation and Values
Why ask personality interview questions
Soft talents aren’t often apparent on paper. In the hiring process, knowledge and experience are vital, but screening for the correct personality qualities can help you ensure that potential employees perform well under pressure and interact with their coworkers.
Personality interview questions reveal:
- Openness to criticism
- Team spirit
- Work ethics
During your interviews, ask personality questions to compare candidates with similar hard talents and choose the ones that best match your culture. These questions can also be used to identify creative potential hires.
Keep in mind that while some personality tests are designed to categorize people, applying them in your recruitment process may cause your hiring judgments to be skewed. They frequently feature generic questions with equally generic answers (e.g., “How well do you perform under stress on a scale of 1 to 5?”).
Recruiters are unable to assess candidates’ honesty or ask for additional clarifications because they are not given the opportunity to justify their selections. Ask candidates for real-life examples to understand if and how they use these qualities on the job.
How to Assess Candidates’ Answers in Personality Interview Questions
- Candidates who provide memorable responses will be noticed. It’s ideal to focus on possible candidates who excite your interest throughout your discussions, especially if you’re looking for roles that need client interaction (e.g. sales positions).
- There’s a distinction to be made between personality questions and personal interview questions. Questions about the candidates’ age, ethnicity, religion, criminal record, and plans to have (or not have) children are not permitted.
- Keep your questions job-related, and if required, have someone from HR or Legal double-check them to make sure you’re not asking any unlawful or inappropriate interview questions.
- It’s not about finding your next beer mate when it comes to personality interview questions. Don’t dismiss candidates that don’t appear to fit your company’s culture at first glance.Keep an open mind to talented people who can bring something new to the table.
- “What is your favorite movie?” and such icebreakers are not necessary. Inquire about the candidates’ personalities and how they might affect their work. Concentrate on how they apply their expertise and collaborate with colleagues.
- Candidates are evaluated on their ability to think creatively and come up with responses to non-traditional questions. However, keep in mind that many people find interviews stressful, so allow candidates plenty of time to answer.
Responses You Should Look at For (Red Flags)
Below are some of the traits you should look at for in prospective employees. If paid attention to, it will help you decipher their character and decide if they are a good fit for your organization
Candidates should maintain a professional demeanor in their responses, as they must comply with the law. If they make too many jokes, for example, it’s a sign they’re not taking the interview (and maybe your job) seriously.
Lack of enthusiasm.
People with low energy levels are less likely to be engaged at work. If you don’t notice any glimmers of enthusiasm when candidates discuss their jobs, attempt to figure out what drives them.
Self Esteem Issues
Candidates are asked to outline their most significant professional accomplishments in response to certain personality interview questions. If they can’t locate one, they either lack experience or have low self-esteem, both of which are red flags, especially for senior-level positions. They are either dishonest or not team players if they inflate their accomplishments.
The best performers aren’t typically the hardest workers. Workaholics are prone to harmful workplace practices since they have no other interests than their professions and prefer to work long hours on a regular basis (rather than addressing deadlines with their superiors).
Candidates will most likely come prepared for these types of questions if they want to impress you during the interview. If they give general responses and can’t articulate how they apply a desirable quality to the work (or in their personal lives), they may be lacking in that characteristic.
Having looked at the importance of these questions and the red flags one must avoid, let’s take a look at …
35 Personality Interview Questions
For questions like these, you want a story that illustrates your ability to work with others under challenging circumstances. Think team conflict, difficult project constraints, or clashing personalities.
- Talk about a time when you had to work closely with someone whose personality was very different from yours.
- Give me an example of a time you faced a conflict while working on a team. How did you handle that?
- Describe a time when you struggled to build a relationship with someone important. How did you eventually overcome that?
- We all make mistakes we wish we could take back. Tell me about a time you wish you’d handled a situation differently with a colleague.
- Tell me about a time you needed to get information from someone who wasn’t very responsive. What did you do?
The questions above are all aimed at discovering how much of a team player a prospective employee is. Discussing how closely they worked with someone before, a time they faced a conflict while working on a team and how they solved it would give you an insight into what to expect.
It would help you determine if such an employee is a lone wolf or a team player.
If the role you’re interviewing for works with clients, definitely be ready for one of these. Find an example of a time where you successfully represented your company or team and delivered exceptional customer service.
- Describe a time when it was especially important to make a good impression on a client. How did you go about doing so?
- Give me an example of a time when you did not meet a client’s expectation. What happened, and how did you attempt to rectify the situation?
- Tell me about a time when you made sure a customer was pleased with your service.
- Describe a time when you had to interact with a difficult client. What was the situation, and how did you handle it?
- When you’re working with a large number of customers, it’s tricky to deliver excellent service to them all. How do you go about prioritizing your customers’ needs?
As a prospective employee, you’re expected to tell the employer about your client-facing skills. This will convince them to decide if you’re suitable for such positions or not.
Ability to Adapt
Times of turmoil are finally good for something! Think of a recent work crisis you successfully navigated. Even if your navigation didn’t feel successful at the time, find a lesson or silver lining you took from the situation.
- Tell me about a time you were under a lot of pressure. What was going on, and how did you get through it?
- Describe a time when your team or company was undergoing some change. How did that impact you, and how did you adapt?
- Tell me about the first job you’ve ever had. What did you do to learn the ropes?
- Give me an example of a time when you had to think on your feet in order to delicately extricate yourself from a difficult or awkward situation.
- Tell me about a time you failed. How did you deal with the situation?
Adaptation is very crucial to surviving in today’s business, therefore, employees are expected to be flexible enough to adapt to changing business terrain.
The questions above will help employers ascertain the prospective employee’s ability to adapt to certain changes in the work environment. How a prospective employee answers this question will go a long way to determine if he or she would be considered for such a client-based opportunity.
Time Management Skills
In other words, get ready to talk about a time you juggled multiple responsibilities, organized it all (perfectly), and completed everything before the deadline.
- Tell me about a time you had to be very strategic in order to meet all your top priorities.
- Describe a long-term project that you managed. How did you keep everything moving along in a timely manner?
- Sometimes it’s just not possible to get everything on your to-do list done. Tell me about a time your responsibilities got a little overwhelming. What did you do?
- Tell me about a time you set a goal for yourself. How did you go about ensuring that you would meet your objective?
- Give me an example of a time you managed numerous responsibilities. How did you handle that?
You probably won’t have any trouble thinking of a story for communication questions, since it’s not only part of most jobs; it’s part of everyday life. However, the thing to remember here is to also talk about your thought process or preparation.
- Give me an example of a time when you were able to successfully persuade someone to see things your way at work.
- Describe a time when you were the resident technical expert. What did you do to make sure everyone was able to understand you?
- Tell me about a time when you had to rely on written communication to get your ideas across to your team.
- Give me an example of a time when you had to explain something fairly complex to a frustrated client. How did you handle this delicate situation?
- Tell me about a successful presentation you gave and why you think it was a hit.
Motivation and Values
A lot of seemingly random interview questions are actually attempting to learn more about what motivates you. Your response would ideally address this directly even if the question wasn’t explicit about it.
- Tell me about your proudest professional accomplishment.
- Describe a time when you saw some problem and took the initiative to correct it rather than waiting for someone else to do it.
- Tell me about a time when you worked under close supervision or extremely loose supervision. How did you handle that?
- Give me an example of a time you were able to be creative with your work. What was exciting or difficult about it?
- Tell me about a time you were dissatisfied in your work. What could have been done to make it better
In today’s business world, one must prepare to answer certain personality interview questions. These questions are aimed at finding out your personality or character traits and therefore offer you opportunities that are suitable for you.
The post has outlined a number of these questions, answering them before walking into an interview session would definitely keep you a step ahead of your competitions.