Job interviews: character questions and how to answer them

C blog5Despite the fact that we probably know ourselves better than anyone else in the world, when it comes to character questions at job interviews, they always seem to trip us up.

As the way many companies do business becomes increasingly informal and more focused on culture over skills, unfortunately, these types of questions are becoming more and more common. The good news is that below are some of the most common character questions asked in job interviews and how to answer them.

Who do you admire and why?

With this question the interviewer is trying to establish the qualities you value in other people. Don’t worry so much about the ‘who’ because the part that’s going to get you hired is the answer to the ‘why’.

Always choose someone who is relevant to the position you’re applying for. If you’re applying for a management role for example, pick a good leader who has demonstrated strong skills and gained the respect of others. For more entry-level roles, choosing someone who has worked their way up the career ladder is always a good option.

Tell me something about you that isn’t on your CV

Recruiters and hiring managers will confirm that interviews are tiring and often they all follow the exact same format so quickly become mundane. This question allows them to take a bit of a breather as this is your time to take the lead and it also provides you with the opportunity to stand out from the other candidates who have applied for the position.

It’s up to you whether you want to keep this professional or talk about something in your personal life. If you keep it strictly business then make sure you mention something that’s going to show what a good employee you are. For example, maybe you attended a first aid course, won an award, helped to organise after-work activities or broke a sales record.

Sometimes a personal fact can go a long way because it will help interviewers to remember you. Maybe you ran a marathon, overcame a phobia, have an interesting hobby, travelled around the work or did volunteer work.

What do you dislike about yourself?

We probably all have a list as long as our arm when it comes to this but chances are we don’t want to highlight any of our insecurities at a job interview.

Although this is very similar to ‘what are your weaknesses’, this takes a more personal approach and therefore gives a clear indication of your character. It might be tempting to say you are happy as you are but this may come across as you’re incapable of acknowledging your shortcomings.

Choose an area you’re working on improving and answer it so it has a positive outcome. For example, you could say that you’re not always very organised but you’re overcoming this by writing a to do list first thing every morning. Again, tailor this to the job you’re going for because if organisation is a key requirement for the role, you definitely don’t want to say that you struggle with this.

If you would like help preparing for a job interview or finding your next finance job, please feel free to contact Choralis Consulting and we will be more than happy to help.

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