Employee Interview Character Questions


A candidate may appear ideal during the job interview, but then fall flat during the first month of employment. The reason can be the lack of personality or specific character traits. To save time and money on interviewing candidates for a job, ask specific character-related questions that can help you determine whether the candidate will succeed in the business and the job.

Professionalism and Emotions

When some people become too stressed in the workplace, their emotions take over and influence the work or professionalism. If the company is busy and the position in question is demanding, you want to ensure that the employee is strong and capable of working under pressure. Ask the candidate how she handles pressure in terms of emotions, when a task or project has a close deadline or if co-workers produce unusable results. The ideal answer is to step out of the situation, evaluate the problem, regroup and approach the issues with a new perspective. The candidate’s answer reveals information about her general motivation and perspective on challenges.

Discovering Character

While some people learn from mistakes and use the newly discovered character traits to improve general work performances, others are not able to recognize strengths and abilities when they surface. One strong and valuable side of a solid worker is the ability to self-recognize strengths and capabilities, rather than being told by a manager that she can do it. Ask the candidate if she has discovered strengths and capabilities on her own during her work. Rather than simply answering yes, the candidate should explain what the discovery was and how she has utilized it.

Energized and Motivated by Work

An employee’s professional characteristics often show when a project needs to be completed. Common traits can include motivation, organization and dedication. Ask the candidate to explain a situation where she was extremely motivated or energized by a project, action or task. The purposes of this question are to determine what motivates and energizes the employee and what traits the candidate will show in an energized and motivated situation.

Beyond Capabilities

Sometimes an employee will be faced with challenges or tasks that will go beyond her capabilities. While some employees will panic or pass the task on to another employee, others will step up and learn the new software or skills required to complete the task delegated by the employer. Ask the candidate how she reacts to tasks or projects that go beyond the skills and qualifications. The candidate should show an eagerness to learn, rather than passing on the responsibilities to others.

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