Finding a candidate that has not only skill sets, but fits within your organization can be challenging. These ten interview questions will help you identify personality traits.

Once a hiring manager has a candidate pool narrowed down to individuals who possess the mechanical skills, technical proficiencies, licenses or abilities required for the job, the hard work of searching for the right “fit” for the organization begins. Hiring managers must dig deeper and find out which candidates possess the personality traits, attitude and soft skills to make a positive difference in the organization. The face-to-face interview is still the best opportunity to uncover this type of information, and every question should serve a purpose. Here are ten questions designed to uncover specific personality traits:

Tell me something you’ve taught yourself in the last six months. What resources did you use?
If you are looking for a self-starter with curiosity and the potential for growth, this question will show if the candidate has the motivation to teach themselves a new skill or technology. This is different than learning something through a class or seminar.

What did you do to prepare for this meeting today?
A well-prepared, organized and forward-thinking candidate will be happy to share this information. Their answer will tell you a lot about how they operate and how much depth they apply to new projects. Did they simply google the company and check out the website, or did they learn about the industry, competing organizations, and new product lines?

How will your manager know if you’re struggling or need help?
A candidate who wants to succeed is usually willing to ask for help from coworkers, managers or even outside sources.

If you had to deliver a project ‘perfect and late’ or ‘good and on time’ which would you select and why?
This answer can be a double-edged sword, depending on your industry.  Most managers don’t want someone who is paralyzed by perfection, but a high precision industry can’t tolerate sloppy work. Candidates will probably sense a trap with this question and will be studying your cues for direction. How they handle the question can be as revealing as the answer itself.

What’s the most significant decision you’ve had to make in the past year? Tell me how you made that decision. 
This question uncovers a candidate’s personality and methodology about decision-making. The type of thing they consider a “big” decision, how they made the decision and if they were happy with the outcome are all important traits to consider if the job opening requires major decisions.

What personal and professional goals have you set for your life?
People who regularly set personal and professional goals for themselves are more successful and focused than those who go through life without a clear objective. Goal setters also thrive in an environment where targets are clearly stated and rewarded.

Tell me about an idea you suggested to your manager within the last six months. Describe what happened when you presented the idea. 
The response will show if the candidate has the creativity to come up with new ideas and the confidence and communication skills to present that idea to management.

Tell me about a new skill you had to learn for your job. What was your learning process and what was the end result?
The answer will let you know if the candidate sees the learning process as an opportunity or as an inconvenience. In today’s competitive environment, more companies are seeking out candidates that have the flexibility and eagerness to continually learn new skills.

Every department gets overwhelmed from time to time. Tell me about a time that you were unable to meet deadlines. What did you do about it?
This answer will force a candidate to share a professional failure with you. Listen carefully for signs of finger-pointing and refusal to accept responsibility. An experienced and level-headed professional will be able to explain how they cope when faced with impending disaster.

If you’re part of our team one year from now, how will you judge if your time has been a success?
Ambitious candidates will likely answer based on their personal successes based on promotions or meeting sales goals. Team-oriented workers may see success based on how they “fit” in the organization and how they have contributed to the collective effort. Millennials may base their success on what they have learned and how their skill set has developed.

Let the professionals at The Daniel Group ask the tough questions for you! We qualify the best and brightest candidates that will fit into your organization’s culture, and we stand behind our work with a One-Year Replacement Guarantee.

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