Along with questions tailored specifically for the job, hiring managers will often ask a series of questions to get a sense of your personality. These questions are designed to be deceptively simple, and can often trip up job seekers as a result, causing them to give an answer that makes them look bad.
This is obviously something you will want to avoid so you should make it a point to thoroughly prepare your answers to these questions. Below are four of the most common "personality questions" you will be asked by employers and how you should go about answering them:
- "Can you tell me a little bit about yourself?" This is not an invitation to give the interviewer your life story. You should prepare a two- or three-minute summary of your work history and your future goals to answer this question.
- "Why do you want to leave your current job?" This is arguably one of the hardest questions to answer. If you say you are looking for a new opportunity, the hiring manager might take that to meant that you get bored easily and if you say you just want a bigger paycheck, it will give the impression that you are all about money. The best way to approach this question is to be as specific as possible: The goals of the company changed and they didn't align with your beliefs, you felt that your current job wasn't giving you a good opportunity to grow as a professional and that you think this job would better suit those needs, etc.
- "What are your biggest strengths? Weaknesses?" For your strengths, say something that aligns with the responsibilities of the position. For weaknesses, avoid contrite phrases ("I'm too much of a perfectionist) in favor of something more realistic and mention what steps you are taking to improve in that area.
- "What are your salary expectations?" It's best to avoid discussing salary and benefits until the end of the hiring process but if it is bought up earlier, give a salary range rather than a specific number. Your lowest number should represent what will allow you to live your lifestyle comfortably.