500 Questions: Character Questions, Part Two

Describe your personality beneath the professional image.

This is similar to the question, “Tell me about yourself.” Concentrate on how your personality reflects your job skills or interests. What’s the most compelling item you can describe to prove you’re interested? Be sure to have a sixty-second pitch ready for the interviewer.

What things have frustrated you in previous jobs?

The interviewer is seeking to determine if you and the job are compatible. Your answer should describe both negative and positive aspects of recent jobs, without dwelling on the negatives. Conclude by focusing on the positives you seek in your next job.

What do you do in your spare time?

Workaholics aren’t always the best employees, so this question is asked in hopes of hiring well-rounded individuals. Your answer gives you dimension. Highlight pastimes that would be an asset to the job you seek.

Do you think of yourself as persuasive?

Of course you do and this is your opportunity to demonstrate it. Be persuasive! Use examples to show that you have been convincing, compelling, and effective in your previous job. Talk about personality traits such as being open, honest, flexible, friendly, hard-working, dedicated, loyal, and results-oriented. Your employer is attempting to determine how well such characteristics and behaviors will fit their work environment. By giving them a list of positive personal and job-related characteristics, you are demonstrating traits that are hard to criticize.

What one word best describes you?

There is no “correct” response to this question although you have several good options. Focus more on the possibilities of the job rather than your own personality. Connect your answer to past achievements and accomplishments and anchor your answer firmly in the job description.

What makes you tick?

An open-ended question, not designed to trick you, but often used as an “ice-breaker.” The best approach involves staying functionally focused. Refer to past experiences when you have achieved something significant and received external and well as internal rewards.

What changes have you made in your life that you are most proud of?

This tells the manager more about your ability to take control of your life. It illustrates your leadership potential, and suggests just how promotable you might be. After all, if he/she produces a star, he/she looks good.

How do you let off steam after you’ve completed a tough project? What do you like to do in your spare time?

Managers like well-rounded employees. Your answer to this question illustrates some of your personal qualities. If you can mention pastimes that would be an asset to the job you are seeking, so much the better. For example, a bridge player must possess valuable analytical skills. Whatever your favorite hobby is, strong outside interests round out your character.