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Personal Interview Questions

PERSONAL INTERVIEW QUESTIONS

So your CV has wowed the interviewer, what they are looking for now is whether or not you have the right attributes/personality that they feel will mix well in the company.

With personal interviews you can expect a number of questions to pop up, here at Careertrotter we have narrowed it down to what we feel are the 10 most popular Personal Interview Questions. Here we give the question and a few tips on how to answer them. Enjoy, we hope you ace it.

1. Tell me a bit about yourself?

This particular question is the most popular question to pop up in a personal interview, this question quickly puts the ball in your court, and you now have the power to guide the interview in a way that suits you, depending on how you answer of course. When it comes to answering this we would recommend following this simple template:

  • Quick overview of your education qualifications
  • Your previous work experience
  • A small bit about your family background (if you want it in).

2. Can you describe yourself using 3/5 words?

For this particular interview question we recommend keeping closely to the job description for example if you are applying for a customer service job, descriptive keywords to use would be a good listener, great decision maker etc. 

You will want to have both good and bad descripters, this can show the interviewer that you know where you fall down on and are willing to work on, once they are not BIG problems. Something like you are picky or hard on yourself to acheive targets or solutions etc.

3. What motivates you?

Answers here can be tricky, we believe that something along the lines of ‘competition’, ‘striving to be the best’, that working as part of a team and trying to reach targets as a team are all good.

4.What are your Strengths/ Weaknesses?

Strengths:

Here you need to think about your most relevant strengths that you can apply to this particular job. This questions helps the interviewer find out if you are right for the job, so give them a personal strength that makes them think ‘this is the candidate for me’.

A good guildline is 3 strengths.

Weaknesses:

Interviewers have heard the ‘I’m a perfectionist’ many times so something fresh and original could do the trick. There are 2 possible ways you could go with this:

  • Funny: Where you have built up a good rapport with your interviewer and your weakness could be ‘chocolate’ (pause for laughter).
  • Another route you could take could be to pick a weakness that is won’t affect you if you were to get the job.

1 weakness is not enough always give 2.

5. Why did you leave your last job?

Here you will need to be careful as there are many possible answers you could use, just remember to NEVER talk negatively about any prior or current employer to a potential employer. No one wants to think that in a few years’ time you could be saying the same about them. A possible reason could be to say you were looking for better opportunities, for you to grow professionally, or you were looking for the chance to work abroad.

6.Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Here the interviewer is trying to find out just how ambitious you are. Ambition is never a bad thing, it shows you are a highly motivated self-starter. It’s always good to say that you hope to see yourself with more responsibilities, in a company that values your skills and your input.

7.What kind of Salary are you expecting?

This question can be asked in a number of ways but they all mean the same thing. Money is a complicated subject, we would suggest trying to turn it around and back to the interviewer to see what they believe this job will pay, if that doesn’t work and they are looking for an answer from you we would recommend you keep your answer:

  • Realistic: You won’t be going home with millions each month.
  • A bit vague in the beginning as the interviewer may jump at the lower sum you mention.

8. Do you prefer to work alone or within a team?

Again a tricky question, picking one could look bad, that you are unable to work with others or that you lack direction. So why not saying that you like a bit of both?

9. What do you like & dislike about your current position?

Tread carefully here, you don’t want to come off negative, the interview should be all about positivity. Here you can say what the company you were working with has done for you and what you may have disliked could be along the lines of they could only help you so far up the professional ladder, but you will always think fondly of them.

10. Do you have any questions for me?

Sometimes we have candidates who come in asking about canteens, air conditioning and what not, but these are not questions the interviewer wants to hear. For your eyes only here are some Do’s & Don’ts.

                     DO                                                                           DON’T  

- Are there opportunities to Grow?                - How many holiday days do I get?

- What is the management                              - What other employment benfits     style in this company?                                       do you offer?


There you are, you are now ready for your personal interview questions having gone through our personal interview questions. These are interview questions that you can always have prepared and only need a small bit of adapting for each interview.

Click here for the next step: Motivational Inteview Questions

For more industry specific interview questions why not check out these pages:

If you are making the move to work abroad, check out our 5 Things to do before you go! working abroad.