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Michelle Palasek has 20 years in the staffing industry working in sales and marketing operations. She currently serves as a Sr. Marketing Communications Specialist at SGA.

List of Personality Interview Questions


When you are evaluating candidates for a position with your company, understanding an individual’s personality is as crucial as assessing their skills and experience. That’s where personality interview questions and prompts come into play.

The best personality interview questions will give you a glimpse into a person’s character, work style, and potential cultural fit. With that in mind, here are some good personality interview questions and prompts that you can integrate into your hiring and screening process.

Tell Me How You Handled a Significant Challenge at Work

Everyone who has been a part of the workforce for any length of time has encountered professional challenges of some sort. This question assesses an applicant’s resilience and problem-solving skills. Ideally, you want the candidate to provide a real-world example that demonstrates their versatility and adaptability.

How Do You Handle Stress and Pressure?

This question builds on the previous one, giving you an opportunity to learn more about their problem-solving and stress-mitigation techniques. Emotionally mature candidates will have logical coping mechanisms that defuse tense situations.

Give an Example of How You Have Motivated Others

These types of personality interview questions are particularly important when hiring for leadership or supervisory positions. Good supervisors know how to bring out the best in their team. Look for someone who demonstrates a clear grasp of how to motivate others and can back up their knowledge with real-world examples.

How Do You Prioritize Work?

Workplace autonomy is at an all-time high in many verticals. While giving your new hires leeway to work independently can be great for morale, you need to ensure they possess good time management and organizational skills.

That’s where questions like this one come into play. A thoughtful answer will outline how they go about prioritizing work, such as by creating a checklist or structuring tasks in order of importance.

How Have You Managed Working With Difficult Coworkers?

Regardless of industry, people who work together closely are inevitably going to experience some friction from time to time. This is especially common in high-stress fields where employees frequently face tight deadlines.

Asking an applicant how they manage disagreements with difficult coworkers provides insights into their problem-solving abilities and emotional intelligence. The candidate should be honest about what makes the other person difficult to work with while also owning their faults and shortcomings.

What Are Your Long-Term Career Goals?

Learning more about someone’s long-term career goals helps you understand their ambition and motivation. If someone has lofty career goals that they can achieve within your organization, then they will likely stick around for quite a while. Conversely, if they view your business as a steppingstone or stop gap in their career journey, there is a higher likelihood of turnover.

How Do You Handle Feedback?

The best employees are receptive to feedback and constructive criticism. This question is key to understanding someone’s growth mindset and receptiveness to learning. If they cringe at this question or struggle to provide a concise, honest answer, they probably aren’t very good at applying feedback.

How Do You Balance Teamwork With Individual Responsibility?

Top applicants work well alone and as part of a team. Questions like this one help you gauge their ability to transition from independent tasks to collaborative projects. If the role they are applying for involves primarily independent tasks, or vice versa, this question may not be suitable for your interview process.

How Have You Recently Handled a Difficult Ethical Decision?

To be clear, you are not here to make moral judgments against candidates. However, you do need to assess their integrity and truthfulness. This is especially important if they will handle costly equipment, have access to company funds, or otherwise be placed in a position of trust.

How Would Past Coworkers Describe You?

Here is another great question to get a candidate’s wheels turning. This question can elicit an immediate emotional response and help you better understand whether the applicant is self-aware of how others perceive them. You are looking for honesty here rather than a perfect (and likely generic) response. If you feel like an applicant is holding back, ask them to elaborate on their original answer.

Character Counts: Make Sure You Integrate It Into Your Selection Process

This list of personality interview questions helps you move beyond accolades and skills so you can gauge the depth of someone’s character. Keep in mind that character

interview questions aren’t meant to be judgmental. Instead, they can reveal whether someone is a good fit for your team and culture.

Not sure how to leverage personality interview questions in an unbiased and equitable manner? Consider using a staffing services provider to modernize the way you recruit, screen, and hire. When you master the art of hiring, you can boost team productivity, cut recruiting costs, and promote business continuity.