Personality traits to look for in an interviewee

August 3, 2017

Ever faced a situation where your prized hire who ticked all the boxes in the academic and technical skills departments, turned out to be your worst hiring decision, simply because he/she had a bad attitude, was dishonest or downright difficult to work with?

You obviously got carried away by the candidate’s impeccable qualifications but missed evaluating him/her on a few very important aspects i.e. their social and soft skills, and personal qualities. 

 So, how can you gauge the personality traits of prospective hires and what questions should you be asking them? Here a few key traits that you should be looking for:

1. Clear Communication

Considered to be the key to success in both personal and professional life, communication is one of the major skills that must be given utmost importance when interviewing a candidate. Usually you’ll get to test this aspect either through a phone call post shortlisting the candidate’s resume or during the initial face to face interview. However, this means that you would have invested valuable time on shortlisting a candidate who may or may not have the best communication skills. solves this problem by offering you recorded profiles of candidates, that’ll help you shortlist candidates based on their communication abilities.

 Shortlisted candidates can then be asked open ended questions to test their communication skills further such as:

Why do you think you are suitable for this position?

Tell me about a time when you had a problem in your office and how did you resolve the issue? (You can give a hypothetical situation too).

2. Positive Approach

Positivity goes a long way and a positive attitude is extremely important in the professional world. Ask questions like:

What do you wish to achieve by joining this organisation?

How do you think this position will fit or enhance your career plan?

The answers that you will get will make it clear how much the interviewee knows about your company and its culture. You will also have a fair idea if the candidate wants to make a successful and meaningful career out of working at your company or sees it as a stepping stone to something better in the future.

3. Teamwork

Good cooperation and teamwork can lead to success, and lack of it can lead to complete failure. When you are recruiting a new candidate, you have to make sure that the person can perform her/his duties efficiently not only as an individual but also as a team member. Ask questions like –

Give me an instance when you have performed as a team or have been a team leader.

Was the project successful? If yes, why and if no, why?

Do you like working individually or in a team? Under what situations would you like to work as a team and as an individual?

4. Creativity is the key

‘Think out-of-the-box’ may have become a clichéd term due to its extensive usage, but people who have this quality are rare and always welcomed. Creative and versatile employees can be virtuous for an organization. interviewfox provides you with several applicants along with their detailed profile, allowing you to choose those you think are best for your organization. Discuss with the interviewee about how she/he has helped the previous organization by thinking differently, or how they have handled a sudden crisis. If a candidate has the ability to think different, she/he would definitely be happy with these questions and eagerly share their ideas and experiences with you.

5. Organizational skills

Having good organizational skills is an important quality required in the professional field. It makes time management an easy process and at the same time, the quality and efficiency of work are also higher. For gauging the organizational skills of a candidate, you can ask them questions like –

How do you go about when you have to start a fresh new project?

How do you divide or allocate your tasks on a daily basis?

What will you do if you realize that you would not be able to meet the deadlines of a particular project?

The answers will help you decide whether the candidate can handle tasks and situations in an organised manner and whether your company will be benefited from it.

6. Honesty and Integrity

Every company would want employees who are honest with their work and have a strong sense of integrity. As an interviewer, you may have a reference letter provided by the candidate which clears him/her as an honest person. However, you can further be sure by questioning the candidates on topics like –

If their integrity has been ever questioned in their previous workplace. If yes, how did they handle it?

What would be their action if someone from the office asked them to do something that was unethical?

If they have ever faced a difficult situation because of taking an action that they felt was the right thing to do?

Upfront, true and honest answers will help you understand how much value the candidate gives to the morals and ethics that are required in the professional world. 


It is evident that you would want the best and efficient team for your organization, so ensure that you take time and analyse the candidates before finalising on any. interviewfox is here to ensure that you get the best applicants, as you deserve nothing but the best!