How to Answer Personal Job Interview Questions

When you live and breathe your career, walking into a job and answer questions pertaining to your industry seem easy. You can tell them all about the projects you’ve worked on, industry trends, and growth that you’ve accomplished at your previous employer. The questions that catch me off guard are all the ones about myself. Interviewers want personal but not too personal mixed with your downfalls and accomplishments. When answering these questions, it’s all about hitting the sweet spot.

Check out these personal interview Q&A’s to keep yourself from being stumped again.

Q: Tell me about yourself.

A: A good response might be to share personal hobbies that are not directly related to your job. Athletic hobbies show you are disciplined and healthy. Hobbies like puzzles and crosswords are brainteasers. This shows you like to be challenged. Talking about your volunteer work shows your character, commitment, and general passion about the community.

   Q: What motivates you?

A: Responses that include meeting deadlines/targets, learning new things, mentoring others, analyzing a problem and coming up with an answer, success, and family are all good answers.

Q: Why should we hire you?

A: Your answer should cover three core themes. One, you will not only work hard but you will also deliver results. Two, explain how you fit with the company and its culture. Finally, explain how you will benefit the company. What will you bring to the table to make the company more successful?

       Q: What do people often criticize about you? What is your biggest weakness?

A: Mention things that aren’t specifically related to the job. Some classic answers are that you are a perfectionist or very critical of your work. If your job doesn’t involve any public speaking or presentations, explain that public speaking in front of large crowds has always been your downfall. Be ready to follow up with a sentence like “to help combat my public speaking abilities, I have started taking public speaking classes.

   Q: The last time you were angry, what happened?

A: First, briefly describe the work-related situation. Next, explain how you handled it. Emphasis your professional manner when handling the situation. Avoid words like “hate,” “angry,” and “infuriated.” Use softer words like “frustrated” or “disappointed.” This reflects your ability to keep a cool head and not lose control in a “frustrating” moment. Ideally, the scenario will not include your previous boss, manager, or HR representative.