Interesting Interview Question: How Would You Describe Your Personality?

“Schizophrenic.”

Employers want to know the real you. You do not want employers to know the real you, else they would find out what you did to that puppy when you were 12. Shame on you by the way. Shame. On. You.

Still, the employer can get a good sense of your personality by how you describe your personality. So it would not be a bad idea to expect an interview question about your personality.

How to Answer

The most important tip is to make your answer intelligent, focus on positives, and try to use descriptive verbs that put you in the role. Don’t focus on your personality in your personal life. Focus your answer in a way that makes you sound like a business professional.

Bad Answer

“I think I am a fun-loving person with a good sense of self and positive nature. I am friendly to strangers and I have a good sense of humor…”

This is too personal an answer. You probably won’t lose your chance at getting the job, but you’re certainly not impressing anyone.

Good Answer

“I consider my personality adaptive and logical. I look for the best path to achieve my goals and do my best to make decisions based on the information I have at the time. Even my humor is based on perception, and I’ll adjust the way I behave based on the company I am with, in order to make everyone feel welcome and comfortable. “

Being adaptive and logical is considerably more business oriented than being fun-loving.

Take Away Interview Tips

  • Focus on behaviors that the company can appreciate.
  • Explain them intelligently.

Difficult Interview Question: What Would You Most Like to Improve About Yourself?

Questions about an applicant’s weaknesses are extremely common in job interviews. They are so common that they play a role at almost every interview in some form. Yet they may be asked in different ways, and when they are asked in different ways, you can answer them differently.

How to Answer

Improving yourself does not just have to be about biggest weaknesses. It can. It easily can. So if you want, you can provide a biggest weakness answer and you will ace the question. However, you are being asked about where you would like to improve, not what you are worst at. So you may also want to give an answer about how you would like to improve many things (even if they are not negative), as evidenced below.

Bad Answer

“I wish I was a better bowler. Spinning that ball down the lane. Oh man, that’s sweet right there. Sweet.”

Good Answer

“I would like to improve in every facet of my life. No matter how much I may excel at a particular skill or task, I believe I can always get better, and would like an opportunity to gain new experiences that will help me become better at anything I undertake. Does your company offer any extended training courses that I can take advantage of?”

Here you turn it around on the interviewer, making it a question about what they offer rather than a question of what you are bad at. Remember, a standard “biggest weakness” answer as described multiple times on this and other websites is an acceptable answer, but you may also use an answer like the one above if you like.

Take Away Interview Tips

  • “Biggest Weakness” answers are fine (weaknesses should not be too bad)
  • You can also turn it around on the interviewer.

Common Interview Question: What Are Three Words That Describe You?

“Readiness, Recuperation, and Conditioning.”

Boiling yourself down to a few words is annoying. Interviewers love annoying things. So there you go. Are you ready to be annoyed? What three words describe you?

How to Answer

Once again, this is an example of a question that does not have any wrong answer, provided you don’t sound like an idiot and you justify your answer well. Ideally, try to choose at least one that reflects well on your work ability, and at least one that reflects well on your work personality. The other can be either. Make sure every word you choose is professional.

Bad Answer

“Three words. Let’s see… If I had to pick three words, the first word would be ‘Funny.’ I am really, really funny. The second word… Probably ‘Sesquipedalian’ because I know a lot of big words, like the word Sesquipedalian. The third word… something like ‘Princely’ since I often find myself being waited on by others.”

Good Answer

“The first word would be ‘adaptive.’ I find it easy to adjust to new situations. The second word would be ‘Competent.’ I find that I can meet or exceed expectations in most tasks. The third word would be ‘Educated.’ As you can see from my resume, I have received BA from Yale and an MBA from Harvard, and spent many years educating myself under the guidance of Dr. Harry MadeUpName.”

The words themselves are only of moderate importance. Adaptive and Competent are both good words, and educated is not bad. Also, each one is followed up with why you think so. Say your answer with confidence and you should be fine.

Take Away Interview Tips

  • Make sure your words aren’t stupid.
  • Make sure your words focus on your professional life.
  • Make sure your words are backed up with a sentence about why.
  • Try to incorporate how you work and who you are at work into your answer, if possible.

Common Interview Question – Describe Yourself in 5 Words

Many interview questions and answers are designed for the sole purpose of surprising you. Your answers are not nearly as important as your ability to answer the question with ease. Working professionals that do not expect these questions may roll their eyes or laugh at the question being asked. Those are the behaviors that the interview does not want to see. The interviewer wants to see that you take each question seriously, and that your answer is thoughtful and interesting.

One of the prime examples of these types of questions is “Describe Yourself in 5 Words” or “What are 5 Words to Describe Yourself.”

Wrong Responses

  • “Hahahaha, okay… um… sure, why not.”
  • “Really? Are you serious?”
  • “Um… Yeah… Okay…”

Right Responses

You should react to the question as you would react to any interview question. You should not smile or laugh or think that the question is hilarious, because it isn’t. Your employer wants to see that you take each question seriously.

That said, it is okay to insert a little joke here and there. Your “5 words” do not need to all be of the utmost professionalism. Consider an answer like the following:

  • Adaptive
  • Energetic
  • Intelligent
  • Responsive
  • Caffeinated

The first four are attractive qualities, while the fifth is a humorous twist that still represents who you are as a person. This question gives you a very small opportunity to showcase a little personality while still providing a solid answer. It doesn’t completely matter what words you choose, provided they are intelligent words that reflect well on your character (stay away from anything negative, such as “stubborn” and avoid any words that are too simplistic, like “Good”). What matters is how you deliver it. Deliver the answer with confidence and without arrogance and you will have answered this question correctly.

Take Away Interview Tips

  • Never act as though a question is stupid or funny.
  • Feel free and add a little humor but take this question seriously.