Personality Interview Questions

During your recruitment process, ask personality interview questions to check candidates’ soft skills like creativity, flexibility, and teamwork. These sample personality interview questions will help you in determining potential recruits who will fit into your company culture.

Why ask personality interview questions

Soft skills are not evident on paper. Experience and knowledge are important in the recruitment process, but screening for the right soft skills helps you ensure prospective employees perform well under stressful conditions and cooperate with their colleagues.

Personality interview questions reveal:

  • Work ethics
  • Aspirations
  • Team spirit
  • Flexibility
  • Openness to criticism

Ask personality questions during interviews to compare candidates with same hard skills and choose the ones who are a better fit to your culture. With these questions, you can also spot creative potential hires.

Remember that there are some personality tests that help in categorizing candidates, but using these types of tests in your hiring process could actually mislead your recruitment decision. They include generic questions (like “On a scale of 1 to 10, how well do you perform under stress?”) Candidates cannot justify their answers; therefore recruiters can’t assess their honesty or ask to follow up questions. Ask candidates to share real-life examples to know how they use these skills on the job.

Examples of personality interview questions

  • What do you like to do when you are not occupied with work?
  • Tell me about your passions.
  • Share an incident when your manager was not happy with your work. How could you do it differently?
  • What is one thing that you would like to change about your personality?
  • Do you prefer working alone or with a team? Why?
  • Share about a time you missed a deadline. What was the final result? What did you learn from that experience?
  • Tell me about a time you had to fill in for a colleague. Were you successful? How was your experience?
  • If your manager gives you a task you find impossible at first, how would you go about it?

How to assess candidates’ answers in personality interview questions?

  • Don’t reject candidates who initially don’t fit your company culture. Look for talented people who can bring something new to the table.
  • Test candidates for their abilities to answer tricky, challenging questions and creativity skills. But, remember interviews can be stressful for many people, so give candidates enough time to think and answer.
  • Random questions like “Which is your favorite book?” are only good as icebreakers. Ask questions that show how candidates’ personalities may affect their work. Check how they use their knowledge at work and collaborate with colleagues.
  • There is a difference between personal and personality interview questions. Don’t ask personal questions like religion, origin, age,etc. Keep your questions job-related.
  • Candidates with impressive answers will stand out. Especially if you are recruiting for roles that involve interactions with customers. It is best to look for candidates who generate your interest during your discussions.

Red Flags

  • Clichéd answers: Candidates to impress you during the interview, prepare the answers beforehand. If they give generic answers and can’t explain how they use a particular skill at work they might lack this particular quality.
  • Too much focus on work: Hard-workers are not always the best performers. Candidates who only prefer to work are prone to poor behaviors in the workplace.
  • Extremely high or low self-esteem: Some personality interview questions need candidates to explain their biggest work success. If they can’t share one, either they have low self-esteem or they lack experience, which are both red flags, especially for senior-level roles. If they exaggerate their achievements, they are not a team player or are dishonest.
  • Lack of passion: People with lack of energy and enthusiasm might not be passionate about their work. If you experience low energy when candidates explain about their job, try to know what motivates them.
  • Inappropriate answers: As they have to follow the standards of the company, candidates should keep their answers professional. A very casual approach is a sign that they are not taking the interview seriously.