Personal interviews are a great way of knowing whether someone is fit for a role, as they primarily consist of demographic details, personal objectives, qualifications, achievements, or accolades. It gives an insight into any training, workshops, and past internships they attended, which might help facilitate the recruitment process at present. It may also highlight other types of information such as a candidate's hobbies and interests, confidence, and work ethic and whether they would adapt to the company's culture. The essential skillset required to do so includes effective communication skills. Getting communication certification is essential to ace your interview. The course will help you be self-aware of the people around you and lead your way to tackle them. You will learn common communication strategies and avoid communication breakdowns. Following the course is the given questionnaire that presents 50 personal interview questions and answers for beginners, intermediate, and advanced levels. Read on and get a basic idea of the types of questions and the different ways to answer them.
Expect to come across these common personal interview questions. This question asks you to describe yourself. It is commonly asked during a personal interview. It is expected that you share the most important professional facts that you think will help this interview progress in your desired direction. It might appear simple, but this can be a make-or-break question as it sets the tone ahead. This question is a character interview question. Start with your name as it will give a personal touch to the didactic communication. Shed light on your educational qualifications, your alma mater, and your previous employment. The answers have to be specific and not too detailed. You can mention some of your accolades from previous companies as well. Do not forget to add a hint of your extracurriculars as well. This is a part of the personal interview questions for freshers.
Example: “Hi. My name is XXXX. I have completed my ABC from XYZ institute. I have worked as a Senior developer at QRS at their Bengaluru office. I have headed the ABC division from 20xx- the present. During my term at QRS, I received the accolade of Best Employee of the year for three years in a row. Before that, I received an award for the most promising fresher of the year. I participated in several inter-department competitions at QRS that helped me broaden my learning curve. Before joining QRS, I was a junior developer at KLM and upskilled in Django and Python to switch my workplace. KLM was a great exposure for me as it gave me a front-row seat to the technicalities of the corporate world. My hobbies are tennis, swimming and learning new software languages. Apart from that, I love to travel and have visited 10+ countries so far.”
This is a frequently asked question in personal interviews questions. The answer to this question will put things in perspective for the interviewer during a personal interview as to whether you're fit for recruitment. This is part of a character interview question. Highlight your personal strengths and weaknesses examples such as your hard-working nature, perseverance in arduous tasks, and team player attitude. The way you enumerate your strengths is equivalent to drawing a character sketch for yourself. Weaknesses play a more significant role when compared to strengths. You can keep this on a humorous note by starting with listing out casual shortcomings before conceding to more substantial elements.
Personal strengths and weaknesses examples: “My career trajectory till now has exposed me to various situations that have helped me understand my strengths and weaknesses. My strengths range from quick decision-making, effective communication, hard-working nature, and keeping ahead of the curve by working on techniques that enhance my skills. My peers term me as someone with a friendly demeanor, a problem-solving attitude, and a team player. I work hard to maintain fruitful communication and coordination among my team members throughout projects. My weakness is desserts. I am known as someone who is either thinking of desserts or eating one. I also sometimes get emotionally carried away by situations and hardships in other people's life which might make me lose focus.”
This answer briefs about your desired career trajectory. All achievements to date must be put across in a manner coherent with your futuristic aspirations. Career goals and the path you wish to lead should be articulately expressed suitable to the interviewer's understanding. This is a commonly asked question in a personal interview format.
Example: “My career trajectory till now has been nothing short of humbling, and I wish for it to stay that way. I come from a small town in Rajasthan and never thought I would even come this far. My achievements and accolades have paved a path for me, and I wish to pursue it with every ounce of hard work. I see myself working for a tech giant in a mid-senior level role or as a product developer in the next two years. After that, I wish to pursue an MBA to switch to a managerial role or an M.S. to rise the ranks in product development.”
The answer to this question asks you to highlight all the drawbacks and shortcomings of your previous employment. It could be a shortcoming of the organisation or a personal conflict. Either way, you should try explaining 2-3 reasons in detail accurately. This is one of the personal questions asked in interview.
Example: “I started in the position of a junior developer at KLM. After that, I went ahead to pursue my dream job at ABC. After working there for three years, I realised it was too early for me to put a cap on my dreams. As I worked with these gigantic organisations, I realised that all great ideas need not come from individuals who possess great I.Q. but it is the consistency that always pays off. One has to persistently work towards bigger and better goals to keep things going. As our perspectives broaden, our ideologies and methodologies also change form to facilitate our current flow of thoughts. I felt stagnation at my previous workplace as I didn't know what to aim for next. I had my dream job, and dream company, but I was not at the age or had the mindset where you call it quits in terms of progress. I wanted to learn new things and achieve new milestones therefore, I decided to switch to a new company.”
Criticism when construed positively brings unimaginable results. Put forth your strategies for dealing with negative and constructive criticism. Explain your evolution on that front. This is a part of personal Hr interview questions and answers.
Example: “It is not a pleasant feeling to get criticised especially in your nascent years. The fine line between constructive criticism and destructive criticism may often appear bleak. This forms one of the important parts of character interview questions. Without criticism, one can never excel in any sphere of their life. It is imperative for both personal and professional growth. One has to learn to differentiate between both kinds of criticism to maintain a positive outlook. Constructive criticism can lay down building blocks for the future and may provide with necessary guidance one needs to have for progressing towards the next step. I thereby take criticism positively as without criticism I would be nowhere. When a higher authority criticizes you, they speak from years of experience. By taking their advice you put yourself years ahead of someone who doesn't follow the cue.”
You're expected to give a reason why you're doing what you're doing. What drives you daily to wake up? Why do you think you're closer to your goal today than yesterday? Self-motivation is the ultimate drive one needs to fulfil their aspirations. You can list reasons as meeting deadlines or targets, mentoring others, letting your creative juices flow, or something as simple as being a part of a team.
Example: "I seek motivation from finishing work on the team, and it gives me the flexibility to pursue extracurriculars. I find working in a team extremely motivating as the work is divided as per one's interests and abilities which enhances creativity and productivity. On the same hand, it gives scope to think out of the box.”
One of the most frequently posed personal interview questions for freshers, be ready for it. If you're confused about what to answer when asked about work ethic, go by the definition. It is the principle that hard work is intrinsically virtuous or worthy of reward. You can support your answer by citing examples from your professional journey which reinforce your dialogue.
Example: “During our annual projects, I would come in an hour early to keep myself ahead of others and would stay late to organize my planner for the next day in an immaculate fashion. I would treat my colleagues with the utmost respect and my juniors with fairness. I would maintain my integrity even in sticky situations and always put my best foot forward.”
There is a thin line between professional and personal space. One should strive for a balance between both, and falling short at even one of the fronts can be emotionally and mentally damaging. On the professional front, the goal should be to finish work within set timelines. On the personal front, one should indulge and associate themselves with activities that destress them and rejuvenate them for their future endeavors.
Example: “I divide my time between my personal and professional life as and when required. Sometimes certain roles can be more demanding than usual on either front. My mantra to date has been to complete work well before timelines and with utmost sincerity to avoid any last-minute hassles. This saves me from being endlessly occupied mentally. As long as I follow this, I know I will not suffer professionally. On the personal front, I have a rule in my house. No one brings their mobile phone to the dining table. This ensures a gadget-free hour after a hectic day. We all sit across from each other and discuss our day. This one single step has been rewarding in terms of family time. Every weekend I like to indulge in some cinema or an outdoor experience of sorts.”
This answer to this question gives an insight into your interests outside your workplace. For some people reading books or literature, in general, can be stimulating. The amount of literature in the non-fiction category and self-help books is mind-boggling. Nowadays, it is common to see CEOs and founders of various organisations share their experiences via books and blogs with their users. Mention your last few reads and your takeaway from them. If you're not much of a reader, share a few blogs you commonly follow and why you follow them.
Example: “My last read was ‘How to win friends and influence people’ by Dale Carnegie. I agree that reading this book shouldn't have taken me this long, but I guess better late than never. This book is a piece of art for anyone looking to find their foot in groups and therefore is an international bestseller for a reason. I suggest everyone reads this book as soon as they can. Your perspective will broaden several manifolds.”
This question emphasises how you make your presence felt in a group. The opinion of your friends is imperative as they form an integral part of your circle outside the office. Your friends can highlight certain traits of your personality as being helpful, hard-working, jovial, and reliable.
Example: “My friends would define me as someone who sticks through the hard times. My oldest friend and I share a bond of 28 years, the same age as I am. I have a good circle of friends who have morphed me into the person I am today. We all have evolved as individuals on the personal and professional front. If given a chance, the most common adjectives they would use to define me will be honest, jovial, positive and organised. Not to forget a foodie and a dog lover.”
The answer to this question can be tricky as choosing one option over the other might make you appear as someone with a tunnelled vision. Try to strike the right balance while answering this. The aim is to put forth your capabilities as a team player without overshadowing your individuality. This is part of personal behavioral interview questions.
Example: "I have always understood the importance of teamwork, and in corporate organisations, you work more often with a team than you can think of. I align my trajectory with my team and aim to establish good camaraderie with my teammates. Though sometimes certain projects require us to do extensive research, and when it comes to that, I feel brainstorming in seclusion works best for me in such scenarios. I can think more clearly, apply my concepts with focus and do thorough research.
An interesting personal interview questions, don't miss this one. The person who inspires you the most is someone who plays a key role in your professional and personal journey. It could be someone from your previous workplace, faculty at college, a family member or anyone you know. You have to emphasize how they have impacted your thinking and ideologies.
Example: “During my tenure at ABC, my manager Mr./Ms. XYZ had a massive impact on me. I was young and naive. Under their guidance, I managed to learn the minute technicalities of my field that are imperative to form a strong foundation. Ms XYZ was kind enough to mentor me and finetune my methodologies. I still connect with them often and then as a token for nurturing my corporate career.”
Emphasize how delegating work to several people in an organisation relieves the workload and gives everyone a chance to perform to the best of their capabilities. It provides a domain-oriented experience to individuals who can, in future, occupy significant positions in their verticals. It also provides a chance for individuals who wish to work on their skills.
Example: “During my tenure at ABC, at the beginning of any project, we delegated jobs according to our expertise and competency. This enabled us to hone our skills alongside volunteering for projects we were inept at. This gave us a chance to divert our interest to broaden our learning curve.”
Your biggest professional achievement to date is ideally a benchmark for anything you achieve in the future. This question puts forth your capabilities and work ethic as a professional. Brief about your path to this milestone and how you plan to take it from here.
Example: “My biggest professional achievement to date is being awarded the best employee of the year for three years consecutively. To be an achiever is one thing, but to steadily move in that direction involves a lot of strategizing. One of the things that have had a massive impact is meticulous planning. Another thing is sticking to deadlines without fail. I always kept ahead of others by working towards all professional gaps in my journey. I learnt from my peers if they were good at something and developed exceptional listening capacity that helped me bond with my seniors.”
Answer this question on a positive note. Mention your weaknesses and shortcomings and how you've worked to improve them. This could range from something you have achieved on the personal front such as getting fit, starting a podcast, a blog or something on the professional front such as completing a course, an accolade or participating in a workshop. This is a part of personal development interview questions answers.
Example: “We live in an era where the idea of self-acceptance is being proclaimed at large. A radical change can now be observed in the way people perceive themselves. There is a whole debate around mental health which has sparked a lot of conjecture. During such times, I have actively taken part in activities that have helped me improve on the personal and professional front. I have taken up public speaking, and tennis and have attended various workshops to improvise at the workplace. I have also taken many online courses that have led me to understand my domain in depth.”
This question targets your ambition and goals. You should start by briefly enumerating your responsibilities towards your previous company and how you managed to fulfil them. This will make you appear coherent with your plans as well. Mention why you wish to join the current organisation and how monumental a step that is in your career trajectory.
Go on about how being a part of such an organisation will critically help you to embrace the challenges in future. Mention what position and vertical in the company you see yourself working in.
Example: "During my tenure at ABC, I was working as a DEF. My role required me to closely work with the P, Q, and R teams from other verticals. I could easily fit and adapt to new teams which could be challenging for most people. I have never complained of a rough transition. My previous role required me to closely follow targets and deadlines for various projects, something I never failed at.
If I happen to work at (insert current recruitment company name/XYZ) I would greatly benefit from their culture. I see this as an opportunity to become a part of a fast-moving and forward-thinking company that shall provide me with the needful experience of working in a top-notch organisation. Also, I believe I have the knowledge and skills that are necessary for the current role. I also bring forth the expertise which I have attained after working in organisations that share a similar work ethic with XYZ. My experiences are a blend of modern-day work methodologies finely blended with virtues such as hard work, sincerity, and perseverance.
This question can be tricky. You might feel as if someone has put you on the spot. The answer to this is fairly simple. Mention how both have irreplaceable positions in your life as they need to coexist for you to function your best. This question will allow you to emphasise work-life balance and what it means to you. Also, you can express your views on monetary compensation and how it is significant in terms of physical, mental, financial, and social well-being. A stable source of income gives you a better quality of life.
Example: You can start as, "I have never underestimated the value of a stable and healthy mindset. That comes when you're in your best shape mentally, physically, emotionally and most importantly, financially. To be committed to your personal and professional relationships, you should be committed to yourself first. Salary or monetary compensation is worthless if you don't spend it to aid your well-being.
For me striving for a better work-life balance goes hand in hand with earning well. Having a good salary and in future, a decent amount of savings will mentally relieve me of being a burden on anyone. It also gives me the liberty to retire early. But, on a day-to-day basis, I must use the money to fulfil my family's needs. Time is an asset that everyone has and once lost it can never be returned. I highly value my time as a youth as there are certain things, I won't be able to do at 50. For example, I cannot think of backpacking across Europe when I am 55 or hitting the amusement rides at Universal studios or going on a trek at Yosemite National Park. So, I always try to strike a balance between the two.”
This question asks you to put forth your takeaway from your experiences and how they have shaped you as a person. A cumbersome project may have taught you resilience. A task that took longer than expected taught you the importance of perseverance. Given the positions you have held at your previous companies, you're likely to bring to the table a blend of corporate experiences. Recruiters should take note as this is one of the personal questions to ask in an interview.
Example: “I plan to bring a unique perspective to discussions, while my leadership and team experience will allow me to create a culture of inclusion and collaboration in my teams. With my engineering background, I shall also be able to help peers with financial subjects. I intend to actively participate in the various clubs. With my background, skills, experience, and habit of community participation, I would greatly add value to the community at ABC. To ABC, I bring with me diverse, yet niche experience spread across software-based markets of the biggest economies across the globe, which will enable me to bring a unique perspective to my team discussions.”
Gaining knowledge and upskilling are constant requirements of the present times. Upskilling prepares you for several roles apart from your current designation. It may provide you with a lateral gateway into a domain of your liking. Upskilling essentially helps to fulfill gaps that we lack in our formal education. Gaining knowledge has always been greatly supported by mentors and seniors. Knowledge helps you to stay ahead of your peers, broaden your perspectives, and widen your learning curve. Knowledge supported by the application of concepts forms a strong foundation for any project. This can also be a part of personal interview questions for students.
Example: “I firmly believe that knowledge is the ammunition for the unarmed. I am always on the lookout for workshops, courses and webinars that can help me understand a niche better. I thoroughly support the idea of being a niche expert but allowing myself to immerse myself in other domains via upskilling has always helped me to bond better with people, to use the application in my field, and how it can help me climb the vertical. I have attended workshops for software languages, upskilled via KnowledheHut by completing data analytics courses, and now I wish to move to blockchain.”
Judgement skills include flexibility, pragmatism, understanding biases and also reasoning. Reasoning can be both inductive and deductive. One is expected to be apt at applying the above-mentioned adverbs to have a comprehensive thought process. One should know the fine art of forecasting, data analysis and pattern recognition.
Example: “While working on a project at my previous company, we had a lot of subgroups especially assigned to focus on specific technicalities. This was a client project and we had to create a demand for our supply. The team responsible for business development had grossly over-evaluated the conversion rate of our product. This went unnoticed and there was a huge gap in production.
When our senior shared this issue with us, I offered to help as we were in a time crunch. It took a day to come up with a resolution after much back and forth with all the teams. The solution was experience-based marketing. Here, I could use my knowledge of marketing which I had learnt via a blog. Because of my quick judgement and pragmatic approach, we could deduce the problem to its core, and it essentially resolved a potential issue that could have landed us in a troublesome situation.”
Talk about what motivates you and drives you. Your reason behind waking up each day apart from your 9-5 job. It could be one of your hobbies.
Example: “I am passionate about most things in life. Sports excite me, doing well in my niche, and learning about new software languages is something I always look forward to. I wake up every day feeling grateful for the life I have. Software development is something I have developed an interest in over time owing to my alma mater which is one of the best colleges in our country. Apart from that, I take a keen interest in photography and travelling. “
Mention what your weakness is and how you've tried to overcome it. Explain your challenges and what you are actively working towards. It could be a quality, a habit or something you want to bid good riddance to.
Example: “The one thing I've been wanting to change within myself is my boundaries with people. I become invested in people's sorrows and miseries. If I get to know that a friend of mine is in trouble or needs any help, I go above and beyond to make sure they're okay. I help in any and every form possible, often becoming a victim of emotional load.”
How did you react when you realized you were falling behind at a task assigned to you? What did that experience teach you?
It is only human to realise that sometimes we have fallen off the track. But the only solution is to get back on track as soon as you can. It is life, we all falter, we fail, but the winner is who gets up stronger.
Example: “During my tenure at my first job, I lacked critical decision-making skills and time management. Because of this, I was always confused and lagged. I tried to set up timetables and deadlines for myself but after 2-4 days, I went back to my old self. I struggled with this cyclical pattern until one day I decided too not, anymore. I reflected on my expectations from life, and if continuing this way will ever lead me there. I knew the answer in my heart. This feeling became strong when a project was assigned to me. My manager put his trust in me, and I failed him by violating the deadline. Though my work was good, missing the deadline disappointed him. This was a real eye-opener for me, and it was only after this incident and a pep talk from my mentor, I decided to mend my ways.”
Tell me about a time you had to fill in for someone. Were you successful? What was your takeaway?
It's no surprise that this one pops up often for personal interview questions with answers for freshers. Filling in for someone or substituting reflects your willingness to take up tasks different from your niche. It can portray several talents you have or could align you with learning something new. It shows how you can take responsibility and the amount of effort you show to accomplish it.
Example: “Once during my internship with a start-up, an important colleague of mine met with an accident in the lumbar region. He couldn’t get up, walk or even sit without someone’s assistance. He would work remotely and guide us through, but things were tough without his physical presence. He had a hold over us and knew when to help us. During that time, I used to visit him probably once every 10 days. I would interact with him in person and understand his ideologies and modus operandi better. A few weeks down the line, he told me to fill in for him at the office since it would take him another six months for a full recovery. At first, I was hesitant as I wasn’t quite sure how I'd fill in his shoes. But he persisted until I finally caved in. I remember it being tough initially but slowly the experience came with the job. I got good, better until one day, they projected me in the vertical.”
There are tasks our brain finds difficult. But most of the time they are not that difficult, they only appear so. There is a preconceived notion of failure when our brain recognises anything as difficult or tedious. The trick is to hardwire your brain by reducing complex situations to simpler ones. Break a task and create smaller ones out of it.
Example: “I would break the task into smaller tasks to make them more feasible and practicable. I will divide the workload into tasks that yield far more productivity. I will dedicate days to my tasks as per the deadline of the project.”
Mention your professional goals and how you are actively working towards accomplishing them. Describe how in recent times you have worked to level with your aspirations and your modus operandi.
Example: “I have been driven by my goals. To date, I have worked towards achieving them in every possible way I can. I have attended workshops and taken courses that will give me an edge over my peers. My professional goal is to have a name for myself in this industry. Also, to have financial independence. I have had the privilege of working with some of the most creative minds in this industry and I have learnt from their experiences. I have seen how people have risen from nowhere and have carved a niche for themselves. I yearn to be a man full of experiences.”
This question is about your limits and boundaries. If I were to rephrase this question, it would be much effort are you willing to put in to get a job done right. Do you have the attitude to accomplish a task in the right manner or do you have the play-along attitude when it comes to tackling problems.
Example: “I remember that once during my internship at a Mumbai-based startup during the financial year-end, the accounts department faced issues and therefore a lot of people resigned leaving it understaffed. I remember this being a topic of great concern to the founders as we could face legal action. I remember getting my friends who were CAs on board and sorting the task out.
Since I had introduced the guy, I had additional responsibilities of making sure things worked smoothly. I would come early by an hour minimum and leave after locking the door. I would sit with the IT team to discuss our current projects and then later with the Accounts section to help them with everything they needed. Any numbers, paper, stamp, anything, they named it, and I got them. I worked hard to deliver the best. Let's just say that we aced it.”
This question is related to how you wish you got along with your peers and seniors. Your peers and friends speak of you as an individual. The way your manager interacts with you shows how much they entrust you.
Example: “How your manager manages you reflects your professional relationship with them. If they overlook each and everything you do, maybe you need to get a few things right. If they are not bothered at all, you need to rethink. If I were to be managed, I would prefer a relationship with open dialogue from both ends that enables a good flow. I would not like to be micromanaged, but it should be such that I could approach my manager when in need and both of us would collectively work to find a solution.”
This question is a regular feature in personal Interview Questions, be ready to tackle it. Failure is the first step towards success. Someone has rightly said so. Until you fail, you will not understand the importance of success. One can never contemplate the possible outcomes a situation may have.
Example: “It was during a project we had to do for an international client. The project was huge, and the stakes were large. I remember being nervous because it was my first tryst with an international project, and I was put on the team within 4 months of my joining. I remember grossly evaluating some factors that backfired at the worst time. I had failed and I witnessed one of the lowest lows of my life. I sulked about it for quite some time because my mistake got me kicked out of a path-breaking project. I remember being called by my team lead and manager. They discussed in detail my mistake and how I could correct it from next time onwards. I was relieved but also, I had to prove my mettle.”
It is normal to lose your temper sometimes. It happens at times and is unavoidable. What can be done after losing your cool on something or someone is to pause for a second and re-analyze the situation. Look for ways you would have approached the situation with less heat and try executing the same in your demeanour in the future.
Example: Once, I asked for some help from a colleague. We were in the middle of completing a project that had a tight deadline. My colleague promised to help with the project, and I believed him. It happened so that because I was depending on him, I didn't bother to actively look for solutions for myself. In the end I was left flabbergasted as he didn’t help me owing to personal commitments.
This question is a reflection of your confidence. The answer should reiterate the reason why you're sitting in front of highly acclaimed panellists who are interviewing you to make you a part of their company.
Example: “When it comes to me, I am very much self-aware of what I do and why I do it. It has come after emphasizing a lot on self-actualisation. I know what I bring to the table, and I am confident about myself. I believe in my methodology. I cannot speak for others, but I can vouch for myself. I believe and therefore, I am.”
Change is the only constant in life. Changes can be pleasant too. We have this common notion to associate change with uneasiness and discomfort but not all changes are like that. Even if they seem to like it in the beginning, their outcomes could be hugely positive in the long run.
Example: “During the inception of my career, I used to dread changes. I felt that with the advent of anything new, I would tumble. For a very long time, I carried this feeling of incompetence in me when it came to drift and changes. I used to borderline dread it. It was during one of the self-help workshops that I attended that they emphasised a lot about why change is imperative and what we can do to make it less daunting.
At the end of the workshop, I was left wanting more. I knew that there was a time when I could accept change as a part of life and therefore, I followed up with the coach even after the workshops were over. After an extensive programme, I emerged undefeated. I knew I had reinvented myself and that now I was invincible as I had accepted my biggest pet peeve at that time.”
We all have heard, “desperate time requires desperate measures. Sometimes we are so engrossed in completing a target within a deadline that we might overlook the moral aspect of it. These are the moments that require us to reflect. If only we could pause, think and reflect, we would not be making mistakes or decisions we later regret.
Example: “Once I saw a colleague of mine doing something that could be potentially unethical. He confided in me that due to a shortage of time and some mismanagement, he lost precious time and in no way will be able to finish the project in the given time frame. I tried talking to him about how his ways were wrong and more importantly, how he is putting a glorious career in danger. To my surprise, my pep talk rallied some thoughts in his mind, and he went ahead to the project manager to own up to his mistake.”
If you could rewind to a moment in the past three years and change what you did, what would you do differently and why?
Time travel is something most of us wish for it to happen. We see it as a way to redo certain things and improvise our future. However, we all know that it’s not possible. But what is life without a little daydreaming?
Example: “If allowed to time travel, I would change so many things. Had I thought and perceived several things differently, I would be in a different place altogether but it’s your experiences that make you. I would have applied to my dream university, UC San Diego for a master's programme. I would have taken the opportunity to work at the first placement offer I got.
Most importantly, I would have spent a little longer at my first job. This is one regret I have. I had great mentors, and an amazing work environment and I was in a good position in one of the most important verticals. I was making good money too. But after a year, I left my job because all my peers from college were doing the same. They were leaving their existing companies for a better pay scale without taking into account the other factors. I followed suit and did the same. It took me almost a year to adjust to a highly competitive environment and fine-tune the skills required there.”
Nobody likes to criticize but if no one is criticized, how will we improve? Admitting that you're wrong is the first step to self-acceptance. It's only human to commit a mistake. What gives you an edge is accepting it and working towards making it better.
Example: “Initially, whenever I would receive criticism, I would let it get to me. I didn't know how I could make the situation better with the feedback I have been given. As time passed by, I realised the importance of constructive criticism. I felt its importance when a mentor of mine sat me down and talked to me about my response to his feedback. He explained to me why he said what he said and how I should look at it and t. I took his advice out of respect but rather I'd say I opened doors to a new wave of self-consciousness.”
The definition of success is different for all individuals. For some, it may be having a stable job and a handsome salary. For some, it may be the feeling of buying things without looking at price tags and for some, just enough to get by. Success is subjective for everyone.
Example: “I would define success as peace of mind. When you don't feel the need to constantly check your mental health, you're doing fine in the professional sphere, you have a loving family to go back to. Showing up every day without the fear of what today might turn out to be is success in the simplest terms. When you've finally resigned from all the mere worries of life and are happy eternally is when you're successful.”
This question is here to check your self-confidence. If you're appearing for an interview with anyone, you are expected to show them that you're here to get the job. It should show how you've been prepping for this day and how sharp your skills are. Make yourself look like a fine investment in the company.
Example: “I think that my experiences and professional background so far are coherent with the nature of the job. Apart from coming from a background in IT, I have taken a keen interest in domains such as blockchain, and marketing. I am always on the hunt for new things to learn and upgrade my understanding to be in sync with the methodologies today.”
This question wants to enlighten the interviewer's mind about your experiences so far in the journey. It wants to bring to attention your takeaway from your experiences and how they have moulded you. Did you ponder over life incidents or just let it go? The answer to this question will speak a lot about you as an individual.
Example: “My experiences so far have shaped me as an individual today. Both my experiences, on the personal as well as the professional front, have helped me understand my surroundings better, improvise at work and have taught me the importance of several virtues and principles.”
This question stresses qualities that you'd like to possess. It could be prowess, admiration, or strength. We often look up to people who wish to become or find a common ground with them. Superheroes are characters that are a strong part of your upbringing. You may even feel a connection with a character you have grown up watching. This is a part of personality based interview questions and answers.
Example: “My favourite superhero is Iron Man. He is a man of wit, power, and acumen and represents teamwork. Also, I think he is a reliable shoulder for his friends. I have spent a good part of my heater years around the MCU and I feel Iron Man is the one I resonate with the most.”
The prime focus of this question is your literary interests. It also concentrates on reading as a hobby. Reading is a habit of individuals who are looking for a method to climb their vertical. Nowadays a lot of people of entrepreneurial interest write about their experiences and journey via books, blogs or columns. Tell about your favourite novel, blog, or column and why it is so. This is one of the interesting personal interview questions that are a reflection of your personality. This is a part of personality based interview questions and answers.
Example: “My favourite novel to date is the adapted version of Chanakyaneeti. Written by Chanakya, an ancient Indian polymath who was active as a teacher, author, strategist, philosopher, economist, jurist, and royal advisor. He is traditionally identified as Kauṭilya or Vishnugupta, who authored the ancient Indian political treatise, the Arthashastra. Chanakyaneeti is a collection of aphorisms collected from a lot of shastras. Written in the 3rd century, its concepts can also be applied in the 21st century. It is highly advisable to read and follow Chanakyaneeti if you wish for a better quality of life. Any problem can be tackled by following the principles of this book which has been adapted into Greek, German, and Mandarin languages.”
One of the most frequently posed personal Interview Questions, be ready for it. This question emphasizes how you were left disappointed after a rundown of events and how you tackled it. This can also be considered a character interview question.
Example: “My greatest disappointment so far is that I didn't know the art of time management and the importance of deadlines much early in my career. I did things as and how I wanted and that left me perplexed and a pile of a mess at the end. This created a conception of complexity around me. Though I was far from it, I appeared so because I had no trajectory or alignment which made people think that I complicate simple tasks and I am difficult to work with.”
Answer about what benefits are you looking for as an employee of the organisation you're interviewing for.
Example: “ABC is a dream for every individual who is looking to establish a career in the field of software. I am no different. Your company boasts of a healthy culture, work-life balance, and medical services to its employees in addition to flexible policies. They have security and legally bound protocols for people who are working in international offices which is an enticing opportunity for anyone looking to migrate to a foreign land. With world-class features and benefits in terms of physical, mental and social health, ABC is the change the world needs. “
This question is a reflection of what you think of yourself. If you portray everything as good, it might appear as if you think highly of yourself, and that you are snobbish and unapproachable. If you paint a picture of yourself which shows you're under confident and timid, you might have a hard time finding any job. This is a part of interview questions that reveal character.
Example: “I think I am approachable, amicable, and hard-working. I never take no for an answer and always intend to give 100% to a task. I can also be your travel guide, your cafe-hopping buddy who is always on the lookout for great cheesecakes. But to conclude, I adapt to my roles very well and most do not give me a chance to complain.”
This question tests how you work under pressure and what methodology you apply to get immense amounts of work done in the least time possible. The interviewing panel wants to know whether you believe in smart work or hard work. This is a common personal question to ask in an interview.
Example: “ I reminisce of a time at KLM when during an international project I had too many shoes to step in. My manager expected admiringly highly of me, and I wanted to keep up with that. I broke my tasks into many small tasks and attached a deadline to each of them. I coordinated with my teammates to make sure we all finished on time. This was the first time I was doing everything and was involved in each vertical in some capacity. I learnt a lot and witnessed so many behind the scenes which I was clueless about. I learnt about marketing, accounting, and franchising, something that was new to me. “
This question asks you to answer your weaknesses. A person who is aware of his weakness can conquer it and turn it into an asset. What is required is self-acceptance. To be flawed is human. To accept that is godly.
Example: “I have lots of habits that I'm trying to get rid of. But my top two would be first, you go above and beyond for people I don't know that well. Secondly, my inability to draw boundaries. I cannot stress this enough. I am there for everyone and this results in the drainage of my social battery. I don't know where to draw the line and call it. If I know that I can do something to help someone and improve their situation, then I will do it irrespective of how exhausting it is. I am actively working to change it.”
This question is regarding the monetary compensation you're expecting from this job. You have to be smart while answering this, not too desperate, and not too uninformed. State a pay you think is standard and let the negotiation follow.
Example: I'm expecting somewhere between ABC to XYZ. Given that the standard pay in this category is DEF, I feel that I am qualified enough to receive in that range. I have an intense experience in this domain that has helped me climb ladders and I wish to take it higher from here. For that, this platform will provide me with this opportunity. And if I make it today, I will be utterly grateful.
A must-know for anyone heading into a personal interview, this question is frequently asked in personal Interview Questions. You can answer this question by stating what a tough call for you is honestly to make. We all sometimes have to make decisions we don’t wish to take. It could be both on personal and professional fronts but most times, there are repercussions involved.
Example: “I find decisions involving close aides difficult. There was a time during my first job, where to cut costs, the accounts department had to lay off a few people. Since I was closely involved with the finance department of the organization, they asked me who works the least. I was speechless and for days couldn’t come up with an answer. I had developed a camaraderie with my colleagues and was fond of every single one of them. I couldn’t just give a name knowing very well the repercussions it was bound to have. I requested some time and thought of a solution. After much thinking, I proposed to club people in teams and then observe their performance. If it remains poor, I will give them a name. To my sheer surprise, it worked very well. My organization adopted this policy for the future. Even after I had left the organization, they would follow this whenever anyone had trouble tackling workload and targets.”
This question is a reflection of how fast you can get things done. While working at an international organization, you're expected to have certain standards and ethics when it comes to working.
Example: “I am fast at analyzing potential issues in a pitch or project. I can quickly do a round-up of what exactly this project demands from me. I like sticking to my timelines and not waiting until the last moment to get work done. I follow timetables and I like for my team to work at almost the same pace. I keep track of the progress of my peers so that I can help them align as well.”
This question is about how much hard work, and willingness to put effort you have. There are times when work can be demanding, and you might have to spend extra hours and effort in getting things right. Sometimes your boss will ask you to do an extra job or take an extra file for review. Such things might bother you at times. You should learn how to strive for a positive work-life balance.
Example: “I am someone who values time. The amount of time I spend on my professional front should be in sync with the amount of time I take to rewire myself. I believe in experiences. I would rather work for 14 hours a day for a week and then take a two-day trip or trek somewhere. I highly believe that your experience is what truly defines you. “
This question is a reflection of what your peers think of you. Do they think you're easy to work with and have positive energy in the team or do they think negatively of you in terms of the impact you create? It is also a representation of how much of a team player you are. This is a part of interview questions that reveal character.
Example: “If you ask my peers from my first job, they will give some negative adjectives such as lacking time management and perplexed. If you ask them to define me when I leave my job, they will define me as the most hard-working, professional, friendly, and approachable guy. I have grown a kit in my professional relationships and commitments. I take it very seriously to form solid foundations when it comes to my career. If you ask my peers from my last job, they will tell you I am a man with a plan, sticks to deadlines, and is highly committed to whatever job he has.”
To ace, personal interview questions can be daunting. The most effective way to crack the personal interview is to prepare by knowing the most effective tips and tricks. Here we have listed the most important tips for personal interview questions and answers.
1. Research the company thoroughly
Do a thorough study of the company and the kind of work culture they support. You can search for employees on LinkedIn and ask them about any doubts you have. Try expressing your reason behind switching in a very polite and professional manner. Ask about the benefits and perks offered. Focus more on the type of questions that are likely to be asked in the interview. Read the reviews available on the internet.
For example, the answer to “What interests you in our company?” can range from anywhere between work culture, ethos, and work hour flexibility to the learning environment, better perks, close association with partners and growth in verticals. You are expected to answer this in a manner that is apt. Give the reason most important to you and why you support it.
2. Dress sharp and follow the schedule
This point cannot be emphasized enough. A well-put-together individual shows that she/he is there to get the job. A sharp style accompanied by a gentle demeanor will put you ahead of others. Make sure your hair is neatly combed, your beard trimmed, and your shoes polished. Avoid casuals and opt for something formal. Answer with poise and keep it crisp and short until asked in detail. Reach well before the team and settle yourself. A person who is late might appear careless or as someone who isn't taking this seriously. Greet everyone with a smile and a firm handshake.
For example, imagine someone coming to ask you for a job with wet hair or an untidy shirt or undone shoelaces. What will be your first opinion of them? They didn't adequately prepare, and it means this isn't important to them. Try to refrain from creating such a situation for yourself.
3. Technical check
If your personal interview is being conducted online, check your equipment. Find a quiet corner in your home or a place of your comfort. You should check your internet connection well in advance, your system if it is well equipped to carry your interview and your audio system. Make sure the software via which the interview will be conducted (Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, Zoom) is logged in beforehand. Collect all the important documents that you might be asked to share live during the call in a separate folder or on an easily accessible place such as the desktop. Preferably opt for a background that doesn't appear too bright or washes you out. Make sure you're not disturbed during the call. Keep a glass of water handy.
For instance, how would you feel if, in the middle of a character interview question, your screen froze or your internet connection went awry, or someone rang the doorbell while you were answering the make-or-break question in your interview? To avoid any uncomfortable scenario like such, make sure that you have everything well put in place.
4. Prepare for the typical personal interview questions for the job
Most of the questions that will be asked during the personal interview will likely be something you have heard before. Practice them well. You are expected to know how much to say and how to put your point across politely and professionally. Maintain eye contact. Refrain from looking at your phone. Appear attentive and invested. You can multiply your odds of doing well by researching common personal interview questions and coming up with answers that are no longer than 100 words approximately. Do not forget to pay attention to the adjectives mentioned in your job description, as they will ask you questions about that role. While giving an interview, incorporate those keywords at the most opportune time to resonate with them. Relay anecdotes that specify your qualities with proper examples when asked.
For example, if you fail to answer questions like,” Why do you wish to join us?” or “What expectations would you have while working at ABC?” then, you haven't done enough research as these are the most asked questions in a personal interview. Failure to answer such generic questions immediately eliminates you from the race representative of your academia. Apart from must-do research on the company and job roles, honing your communication skills will also help you convey your words precisely. You can enroll for Communication certification as it will help you understand communication styles and enhance the way you express something.
5. Basic expectations from you
Carry important documents such as resumes, reference letters and certificates along with the required copies. Carry a pen that works well. Double-check all the documents in the list given by the company. Read your resume and understand why each point is there. You are expected to walk through your resume and know it like the back of your hand. They will emphasize your previous employment and why you left them. Make sure you have specific and professionally sound reasons behind your actions. Make sure to be able to describe your accomplishments in detail. They will ask your reason for joining the company, and you should be able to answer in specific detail what attracts you the most about the organization. This will give an insight into your interest in their organization.
Example: If you fail to arrive at the venue with the essentials then it shows a severe lack of sincerity and preparation. This will highlight you in a negative sense and will diminish your chance no matter how good a pitch you have prepared.
Few tips on the pre-requisites of a personal interview:
A personal interview involves questions that tell the recruiter how a candidate is individually and professionally. You can expect questions about your professional and personal front. During the interview, you might also be asked questions about why you want to join the organization and what makes you seek the job role. You might be asked to explain why you are influenced by the organization and what is the point of attraction. You might have to walk through your resume in great or less detail depending on the recruiter. Most importantly you're supposed to be yourself. A little improvisation on the generic front is fine but remember to not overdo it as it may be evident. Work on your soft skills and also appear welcoming rather than closed. Be assured about your career trajectory and why this has proved to be the right path for you. You can opt for a Soft skill training program to sharpen your knowledge about communication styles, teamwork, etc. and boost your chances of winning the interview.
Personal interviews can be conducted on multiple levels until the desired number of candidates is shortlisted. They are generally conducted by a team of individuals that hold high value in the company. Questions surrounding your professional and personal life will be asked. Your answers will be cross-examined with your CV. You will be under scrutiny which will only decide how capable a candidate you are. You are going to be representing the company, so make sure you prove yourself at large. Have all your important documents in place including your CVs, certificates, LoRs, and referrals if any.
During the personal interview, reiterate how your entire career trajectory is aligned with your goals. Share where you are in your journey currently, and what is your next big step. Elaborate on how this company will pivot your journey from there on.
Tell them in depth about how working in this position in the organization will benefit you and how the company will benefit from you. You could share personal strengths and weaknesses examples. Give a convincing answer if asked why you're the perfect candidate and how you will add value. Tell them about your hobbies and how you maintain a healthy work-life balance. If you are appearing in the interview via online mode, make sure you have a stable and steady internet connection, a quiet corner and a suitable decorum.
"Tough situations don't last, tough people, do." This song by Dennis and Bob is what differentiates a thinker from a doer. Anything and everything is possible if you have the confidence, knowledge and passion required for it. So, remember to work towards your goal with every possible effort you can put in. If you manage to do this, then only the sky is your limit.