May 28, 2014 | 5 min read
Passing the Personality Test on Interviews


On an interview, have you ever been asked a question that aims to get a closer glimpse at your personality?  If you answered no, these personality questions are questions that you’ll want to get acquainted with, and put the same preparation/effort into as you would for more standard questions regarding your resume and background.  Why?  In an effort to see how quickly a candidate can think on their feet, and evaluate whether or not they would be a good cultural fit, an increasing number of hiring managers, including The Execu|Search Group’s COO of Temporary Staffing, Glenn Bernstein, are putting greater emphasis on personality questions.

Before you go on your next interview, here are 4 personality questions to prepare for:

If your best friend was sitting here, what would they say is the best part about being your friend?

“I like to ask this question because there is something about discussing a friend and your best attributes about being your friend that brings out a sense of honesty and candor in a candidate,” explains Glenn.  “It helps me get to know them better as a person, rather than an applicant, so I can get a better feel for whether or not they would fit in with our company culture.”

As a result, when answering this question, don’t answer with qualities that only describe your professional life.  A good answer can encompass soft skills that show how you value relationships and can get along well with others.

If you could change one thing about the way you approach challenges, what would it be?

This question, which puts candidates on the spot, allows hiring managers to evaluate a candidate’s self-awareness and ability to admit there are some aspects of their professional life they would like to improve.  A well-thought out answer that shows you have an actionable plan is indicative of an individual who sees an opportunity for professional growth and who possesses a sense of humility.

If you were an animal, what would you be and why?

This inquiry is a favorite amongst hiring managers because answering this question successfully not only shows how quickly you can think on your feet, but also requires exercising some degree of creativity in a relatively short amount of time.  Therefore, to ensure you choose the right animal, take a brief moment to think about the requirements of the role, and which animal possesses the qualities that would allow you to do well in the position.

What has the most satisfying moment in your life been?

When employers ask this question, they are looking to see what motivates a candidate and whether or not their values fit into the company culture.  When answering this question, be honest and reflect on all aspects of your life – not just professional achievements.  Employers want to see what makes you, you!


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