by Stephanie Altbier, MSLS, ERMp
I recently had a job interview where the interview panel asked several personality questions. Here are my suggestions for how to answer the questions.
“What is your hobby?” Give a professional response by talking about your volunteering activities and how you grow your professional skills.
“What would your supervisor say about you?” If you have a reference letter from your supervisor, read the letter to the interview panel or summarize the supervisor’s complements to you for a job well done.
“Have you worked with different personalities?” Explain that you have worked with individuals who have different personalities and with diverse groups from other cultures.
“How would your friends describe you?” If you have completed a Myers-Briggs personality test or another personality test, tell the interview panel about your personality traits that were revealed in the test results. If you have not taken a personality test, explain how reliable you are. You are available to work long hours, travel, attend conferences and learn new skills.
“What would you do if you have a problem with a co-worker?” If you want to play it safe, give a neutral response by stating, I recognize that employers have different personnel policies to handle conflicts, and I would follow the policy procedures as stated in the personnel handbook. However, if you feel strongly about what you would do to resolve conflict with a co-worker then give a precise response.
The two most common questions asked in an interview are What are your weaknesses? and What are your strengths? I think Martin Yate, CPC and author of Knock em Dead, The Ultimate Job Search Guide, and Secrets & Strategies for Success, recommends the best responses to these two questions from his blog.
“What are your weaknesses?” Yate states, “You can safely, and honestly, say that your greatest weakness is finding time to stay current with all the new technologies/skills required in your work, because it’s a challenge everyone experiences. Then you give an example(s) of how you have made time to develop an in-demand new skill.”
“What are your strengths?” Yate states, “Slant your answer toward the specific skill requirements of the job, your problem prevention and solution headset, and your possession of the transferable professional skills such as Multi-tasking, Critical Thinking, and the eight Communication skills (see any Knock em Dead book) that underlie success in every job.”
This started as a discussion at the INALJ LinkedIn page. Come join the discussions here
reposted form 1/12/12 and 7/30/12