Tell me about a time when you disagreed with an action/decision that was taken. What did you do?
Here, you’re looking to identify their level of assertiveness and how they deal with conflict. Do they have an assertive personality and don’t mind confrontation, or do they prefer to avoid it at any cost? Are they willing to make an unpopular decision for the greater good of the organization, or would they prefer a slightly less optimal solution to avoid making waves?
Don’t forget that the majority of people fall in the middle of any spectrum, so try to attune yourself to the context that the candidate describes. Are they confrontational and opinionated in every situation, even seemingly mundane ones? Or are they too conciliate, avoiding to take a strong stand even when one is absolutely necessary?
Again, don’t forget to consider the role when you analyze the response!
Let’s pretend you were required to attend a cocktail party with 75 strangers, how does that make you feel?
Would they feel exhausted after the event, or energized?
Just because you’re introverted doesn’t mean you love reading, and just because you’re extroverted doesn’t mean you can be found dancing on tables any night of the week! Where someone falls on the sociability scale indicates how their energy level is affected from social situations.
In other words, people who are more introverted feel like their energy gets drained from being in social settings where they have to meet and interact with large groups of strangers, whereas the exact situation would just feed the energy of an extroverted person. And the contrary also applies.
Try to gauge your candidate’s sociability, and determine whether or not it’s a deal-breaker for the role in question.
7 personality questions to ask your candidates:
This question will reveal how adaptable/creative your candidate is. Can they think outside of the box when necessary, or do they get stuck on best practices even when they aren’t working?
Remember, there are some roles where creativity and adaptability are important, and other roles that just don’t really leave much room for innovation. There’s nothing wrong with either, just don’t get hung up on a characteristic that may not be essential for a position.
How do you feel when someone interrupts you when you’re in the middle of a task?
Or what do you do when you are faced with an emergency or an unexpected situation?
Again, the answers you’re looking for depend on the position you’re interviewing for. If the role requires someone who doesn’t mind being interrupted, loves jumping from one thing to another, and actually enjoys having to spontaneously put out fires, then you’re looking for the ultimate multitasker.
But if the role requires someone who is diligent and organized, then you may not want someone who can easily be distracted.
There are no right or wrong answers to these questions. Just the right person for the right job!
Keep in mind that there are some personality tests designed to categorize people, but using these kinds of tests in your recruitment process could actually mislead your hiring decisions. They usually include generic questions that result in equally generic answers (e.g. “On a scale of 1 to 5, how well do you perform under stress?”) Candidates don’t get the chance to justify their choices, thus recruiters can’t evaluate their honesty or ask further clarifications. Ask candidates for real-life examples to understand if and how they use these qualities on the job