Use personality interview questions to test candidates' soft skills and find awesome hires who'll fit right in.

Why personality interview questions rule

Soft skills aren’t obvious on paper. 

From stress-management to great communication skills, these are the things that will help your candidate fit right into your company culture and excel. 

Personality interview questions help you find candidates who can take criticism, are flexible, have an awesome team spirit and match your company goals and ethics. 

Pretty cool, right?

Avoid personality tests designed to categorize people (they include generic questions and lead to generic answers), instead opt for real-life questions to get a feel for how they cope on-the-job.

Personality interview questions

  • How would you complete an ‘impossible’ task?
  • Tell me about a time you had to fill in for someone. Were you successful? How did the experience make you feel?
  • Have you ever missed a deadline? How did you react and what did you learn?
  • Are you a team player or a lone wolf? Why?
  • What’s your least favorite personality trait and why?
  • Have you ever had negative feedback from a manager? What did you learn?
  • What are you passionate about?
  • What are your top 3 hobbies outside of work? 

How to ace personality questions

  • Look for memorable answers: Candidates who pique your interest will be the ones that stand out. 
  • Don’t get personal: Avoid questions about candidates’ age, origin, religion or criminal record. These are inappropriate and, more importantly, illegal. 
  • Don’t ask random questions: Avoid making candidates uncomfortable by asking unrelated questions. No one cares what their favorite food is, so don’t ask. 
  • Look for innovation: Creativity and non-traditional answers are a plus. But remember to give candidates enough time to respond.
  • Keep an open mind: Don’t just go for someone you like, go for people who will add something new to the team.

Candidates to avoid

  • Inappropriate answers: You’re looking for a professional. Inappropriate, rude or too-personal comments are a no-no. 
  • Lack of passion: If they lack spark, they’re probably not interested. 
  • Arrogance (or not): If your candidate’s overly shy or too confident, they’re going to struggle to fit in with a team. 
  • Work obsessed: You’re trying to find out about the person behind the qualifications here. Workaholics who lack out-of-work interests are a red flag.
  • Quick, generic answers: If a candidate can’t describe specific situations, they’re probably trying to avoid answering the question.

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