A woman in business attire sits in front of her computer, looking nervous. She struggles with her preparation for personal interview questions.The interviewers try to understand the entire picture of each job candidate. Besides inquiring about you education and experience (screening questions), and your attitude to various work-related situations (behavioral questions), they will ask you also about your personality, goals, visions, strengths and weaknesses (belong to screening questions as well, but sometimes they are categorized as personal questions).

For many jobs (think teacher, bank teller, customer service, restaurant, etc) your personality matters more than your education or previous working experience.

Personal interview questions help the interviewers to understand if you have the right personality, though a skilled HR manager should tell your strengths and weaknesses from the way you walk, talk, shake hands, look at them, and answer their other questions. They do not need to inquire about them.

Yet not all interviewers are skilled in what they do, and many people will use the following questions to help them understand your personality:

Interview questions targeting your personality

  • Tell me about yourself. (Try to mention something from both your personal and professional life, suggesting that you have the right personality for the job.)
  • If you shall characterize your personality in three words only, what would you say? (Three words is three words–you should do exactly what they ask you to do. This question tests also your listening skills and ability to talk to the point.)
  • Three people in an interview, two femaile interviewers and one female job candidate. All of them wear black cothes. We can see clock on the wall, showing ten hours ten minutes.Characterize yourself in one sentence. (Again, use just one sentence, and try to summarize the value you can bring to their team if they hire you, that means your experience in the field, your personality that suits the job offer, etc.)
  • If we asked your best friend about you, what would they say? (It is highly unlikely that they will contact your friends after the interview. So you can say whatever you want at this point. Saying that they would call you as somebody they can contact anytime they need help, or that you are always upbeat and motivated, are definitely good answers.)
  • What do you consider your greatest strength? (Try to pick something that is relevant for the job.)
  • What do you consider your biggest weakness? (Choose a weakness that is not essential for the job, one that does not matter much.)
  • Where do you see yourself in five years from now? (They try to understand if you have some goals, if you know what you want to do later in life. Try to connect your future with their company, or speak about some goals from your personal life.)
  • What are your goals in professional and personal life?
  • Do you sometimes get angry in work? If yes, why?
  • Do you sometimes feel tired in work? (Everybody is tired sometimes. Try to be honest, and tell them how you fight with tiredness.)
  • How do you motivate yourself in the job?


More in depth analysis of the questions

Check our 15 most common interview questions article to see great answers to most questions from the list above. Alternatively, if you like the in-depth analysis of each question, you can have a look at in-detail section.