8 of the Best Personality Interview Questions

8 of the Best Personality Interview Questions

Do you ever get the impression that you’re not getting the real personality of a candidate when conducting an interview?

Anxiety and the pressure entailed with landing a job often gets in the way of finding out the deeper side of an individual.

Which is a real problem, especially if you’re going to spend at least five days a week with this individual.

To avoid hiring the wrong professional, here are seven very unique (but great) personality interview questions designed to get to know all of your shortlisted candidates.

What are the qualities you like least and most in your parents?

Yep, I’ve gone there.

This personality interview question certainly doesn’t beat around the bush!

However, it’s a staple used by Bob Brennan – the former CEO of records-management company Iron Mountain.

The idea is that it tests how a candidate will act a few weeks into the job, once they’re settled.

People don’t always like certain traits in their parents, it’s just a matter of fact.

Although, if they highlight these negatives, it may give you a clear indicator of what they’re not going to do when they’re working for you.

For instance, if they say that their parents worry too much, this often means that they might be more of a care-free individual.

Is this the type of person that you want in your business?

Tell me how you’d make money from an ice-cream stand in Hyde Park on a rainy day?

As one of the busiest parks in London, there’s certainly a lot of competition to think about.

And to make matters worse, candidates will have to think about how they’d combat a typical rainy British day too.

This personality interview question not only tests a candidate’s practical marketing and business capabilities, but it’s also a fun way of encouraging them to think on their feet too.

The ambiguity of the question really gives them a blank canvas to work with.

It’s just a simple case of getting candidates to inject some personality into the conversation and bring a smile to your face.

What would you do in the event of a zombie apocalypse?

According to Business Insider, the CEO of Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop, Ashley Morris asks this personality interview question to every candidate.

This wacky example doesn’t really have a right answer, it’s just a top method of adding some humour and life into the formalities of an interview.

Ashley Morris said: “The hope is that for us, we’re going to find out who this person is on the inside and what’s really important to him or her, what his or her morals really are, and if he’ll fit on the cultural level.”

A good example could be to “protect my family” or “find a safe place for my dog to hide”, as this demonstrates loyalty traits.

What type of work environment do you prefer?

This interview question is ideal for establishing how well a candidate fits into the company and within the company culture.

You’ll also find out what the most productive work environment is for that particular candidate is as well.

If they say a traditional office environment, it may suggest that they work better as an individual with their headphones on.

Whereas if they like open spaces, this indicates that they’re more open to bouncing ideas off the rest of the team.

In theory, the right answer depends on what type of work environment you actually have!

So, (insert name), what’s your story?

Simple but extremely effective.

The managing partner of Finn Partners, Richard Funess says:

“This insane question immediately puts an interviewee on the defensive because there is no right answer or wrong answer. But there is an answer.”

“It’s a question that asks for a creative response.

It’s an invitation to the candidate to play the game and see where it goes without worrying about the right answer.

By playing along, it tells me a lot about the character, imagination, and inventiveness of the person.”

Try this one out and you’ll not only be able to ask a series of supplementary questions, but you’ll make the whole interview a lot more interesting for yourself as well!

What are you most passionate about?

Although this is quite a conventional addition to the list, it’s certainly a top way of understanding what drives a candidate and to see exactly what they’re passionate about in life.

Honesty is the best policy here.

It’s easy to recognise if a candidate isn’t being genuine, as they’ll simply stick to the job spec on this one.

Ideally, those candidates who open up will be the ones who tell you a personal interest of theirs and explain why you’re so driven by it.

Sure, it might be great to hear about their love of the industry or your company itself.

But when your colleagues are catching up with them over lunch, they probably don’t want to just hear about this!  

If you could, what animal would you be and why?

As featured in our candidate blog, this personality interview question will help you determine those who are creative and can have a laugh.

Bad responses would be:

– No response or refusing to answer it!

– Giving a dull answer like a cat because they’re their favourite animal. (No creativity.)

– Weird answers like a tapeworm, as they’re warm, secure and get to eat all day.

If we gave you the job, loved every aspect of the job and are paid the salary you asked for, what kind of offer from another company would you consider?

As used by the founder of Ciplex, Ilya Pozin, this can tell you a lot about what drives a candidate in a career sense.

Is it money? Can they be bought?

The types of answers you get will surprise you, as this isn’t exactly a conventional personality interview question.

It might tell you whether they are going to be loyal to you or not.

Want some more interview question inspiration?

Then you may enjoy reading these previous blogs:

’80 Interview Questions You Could Ask Job Candidates’

’21 Touch Interview Questions That Reveal True Leadership Potential’

‘7 Interview Questions to Test Your Candidate’s Commitment’

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