Companies no longer only want to know where you worked or how many years you were in each position. They also want to meet you to find out what your soft skills are, and they do it with these job interview questions to discover your personality.
Today’s recruiters do not necessarily look for candidates with the right set of technical skills and years of experience under their belt.
They also want to hire those who also have something unique to offer, such as a great personality or a strong set of social skills.
“In fact, if you find a candidate who has less experience than your competition, but has a stronger growth potential and seems to be a better cultural fit, the recruiter may be encouraged to hire that person,” says Edward Fleischman, executive director of Execu Search, a global recruitment service firm for temporary staff and job search.
In an effort to find new hires that fit perfectly with the culture, recruiters put more emphasis on social skills, such as organization, communication, leadership, initiatives and the ability to think fast.
To find out if the candidates possess the social skills or personality adjustment they are looking for, the recruiters will ask questions like the ones described below.
- What was the last new task or skill you learned and how did you do it?: “Recruiters ask this question to assess how a candidate sees their own professional development,” explains Fleischman. Recommend to answer with details about how you learn new skills. Emphasize that you are curious and continually learn new things about your profession.
- Tell me about one time when you did more than what was required at work: Your interviewer wants to make sure you are committed to excel. Therefore, says Fleischman, “give an example of a time when you exceeded duty. This will also help you to show that you care about the quality of your work. “
- If your best friend was sitting here, what would you say is the best thing about being your friend?: The purpose of this question is to extract a sense of honesty and candor in a candidate. “Learning about what makes a candidate a good friend allows recruiters to have a better idea of whether or not it would fit with the culture of the company,” says Fleischman.
- If you could change one thing about how you approach challenges, what would it be?: This question puts candidates in place and allows hiring managers to assess a candidate’s self-awareness and ability to admit that there are some aspects of his professional life that he would like to improve, warns Fleischman. “Given that humility is an important quality for many recruiters, the answer to this question is something they will listen attentively,” he added.
- If you were an animal, what would you be and why?: This research is a favorite among hiring managers, as it allows them not only to assess how quickly someone can think, but also requires candidates to exercise a certain degree of creativity in a relatively short time, says Fleischman. These are two skills that can be applied to solve almost any business challenge.
- What has been the most satisfying moment in your life?: When recruiters ask this question, according to Fleischman, they look to see what motivates a candidate and if their values fit into the culture of the company or not.
- How would your last boss describe you in three words?: “This research gives the recruiter an idea of how others see the professional value of a candidate,” says Fleischman.
- What drives you in your professional life?: HR managers ask this question to understand what motivates a candidate in their career and as a potential employee. “As cultural adjustment becomes more important for recruiters and their companies In general, many look for candidates whose objectives are aligned with theirs, and this question allows them to assess what exactly the objectives of a candidate are, “says Fleischman.
- What drives you in your personal life?: On a similar note, this question aims to delve into the personality of a candidate and better assess their cultural fit. “By developing a better understanding of the non-work life of a person seeking work, and by learning about what drives them personally, a recruiter can better understand the type of personality that would bring the company,” said Fleischman. And, painting a picture of a candidate’s personal goals can help them better understand how motivated they are ingeneral.
- What kind of hobbies do you do outside of work?: Fleischman said, as well as learning about what drives someone in their personal life, discovering how a person spends time away from work and in what specific activities they perform can give an insight into your personality. In addition, hobbies can be translated into specific soft and hard skills that can be applicable to many jobs, and recruiters are often interested in learning what a candidate has to offer outside of the “skills” section of their resume.
- Can you put me in a scenario that was particularly stressful at work and how did you handle it?: This question shows not only the candidate’s ability to think, but also his ability to be a diplomat, says Fleischman. For example, if the stressful situation was due to the mistakes of another person, could the candidate talk about it professionally and discreetly? Or, if the stressful situation was due to your own mistake, it shows a lot about a candidate if he can take responsibility in his explanation.
- If you could meet a celebrity, who would it be and why?: Many people admire certain celebrities and public figures. Knowing which figure would be the most wanted to know a candidate offers another interesting point of view about their personality and their values, two important factors of cultural adjustment.
- Have you ever played a sports team?: The answer to this question may reveal personality traits that are important to certain companies, depending on the nature of your business. “For example, a former athlete could be a great team player or, depending on the sport or position they played, could thrive better while working on their own,” says Fleischman. Athletes often have a competitive nature, which can be good or bad.