Personality questions during an interview can be surprisingly uncomfortable for candidates. It can become difficult to figure out how to describe your personality and can often leave you feeling vulnerable. In the traditional sense, personality questions do not have a right or wrong answer. But in some cases, not preparing and making a misstep could end up hurting you in the long run and your chances of getting the job. Luckily, the Loop team has your back! We want to give you the resources to make sure you nail the personality questions and hopefully land a job offer.
So, what is “personality”? The definition of personality is the set of “complex characteristics that distinguishes an individual.” In an even shorter definition, your personality is what makes you, you. This includes a variety of characteristics about you like your perspective, mentality, and your soft skills. Soft skills are not always easy to convey on paper and can really help set you apart from other qualified candidates. Employers are putting an emphasis on personality interview questions to see if you are the right fit for their company and its culture. Your experience and knowledge of the job you are applying for is especially important, but equally as important is whether your personality is the right fit.
Personality questions are usually intended to draw from real-life examples to better understand how you can use your unique characteristics on the job. These questions typically revolve around your character, agreeability, work style, and work ethic. For example, you might be asked how you would react to a specific problem or how you would address a challenge. This helps the hiring manager choose between candidates who have similar hard skills and select the candidate who has the soft skills that best fit the company’s culture and objectives.
Personality interview question examples:
When the person conducting the interview is asking about your work style, they are trying to understand the ways in which you work and operate. Depending on the industry you might be required to work extra hours or over the holidays. The interviewer will want to ensure this would not present a problem. Some examples of these questions could be:
- How would you describe your work ethic?
- Do you take your work home with you?
- Describe a time when your workload was heavy and how did you handle it?
- In the event you were asked to work overtime or on a holiday, how would you react?
When a hiring manager is asking you questions about teamwork, it is because the job will require you to collaborate and work with others. Go ahead and have examples ready to use to show when you have been a strong team member and when you have proven yourself to be a team player. Some examples of these questions could be:
- Do you prefer to work collaboratively or independently?
- Can you give me a few examples of teamwork in your previous roles?
- Would you describe yourself as a team leader or a team follower?
Some examples of broader personality interview questions are:
- Tell me about a time you had to fill in for someone. Were you successful?
- How would your former coworkers describe you?
- What types of activities or hobbies do you enjoy outside of work?
- Describe a time when you bounced back after a failure?
- How do you handle stress and pressure?
- How do you evaluate success?
- What are your strengths and weaknesses?
These are just a few of the many diverse types of personality questions that could be asked. It is best to think of your list of strengths and weaknesses and how you can apply them to several types of questions. It is clear you want to have a strong set of strengths to pull from that relate to the job description. But it is also important to be able to navigate through some of your weaknesses. It shows that you can identify areas that could be improved or how your weakness could be balanced out with the rest of the team.
The big takeaway: when tackling a job interview it is important to be truthful and authentic when giving your response. Stick to qualities that you feel best represent yourself and identify and highlight the traits you feel best fit the job role. Remember, failing to prepare means preparing to fail, so do your research and prepare your answers ahead of the interview.