What Is a Personality Interview?

by Mary Jane; Updated September 26, 2017

Employers use tests in employment interviews to find the proper candidates for available positions and the company itself. While the employment interview evaluates your qualifications and skills for the work in question, a personal interview determines how well your personality suits the job or the company’s community. The personality interview also is a useful tool when evaluating candidates with similar qualifications.

Definition

A personality interview is an evaluation through which the employer gets to know your personality. It's usually held in addition to an employment interview, during which you discuss your qualifications and skills as outlined on your resume. Employers may look for people with specific personality traits, such as being organized, having attention to detail or showing an outgoing personality when it comes to customers. The personality interview is conducted by asking the candidate a series of questions that reveal traits of her personality.

Types of Questions

An employer may ask the candidate questions directly related to how he handles things to get an idea of his personality in the workplace. These questions can be about handling workplace conflict, identifying perfectionist traits, choosing methods of communication, working with different personality types and resolving conflicts with fellow co-workers. Some personality interviews focus on providing general information like how people react outside the office in given situations.

Jung Personality Test

A common personality test is one developed by Carl Jung and Isabel Briggs Myers. The answers provided by the applicant identify the personality type, as each question is based on psychological ways of thinking and being. The questions are posed as statements and include “You are almost never late for your appointments” and “It is difficult to get you excited.” The statements focus on the candidate’s personality in both the workplace and in her social environment.

Personality Interview Flaws

Although many employers use personality tests to evaluate job candidates, there are flaws with this type of testing. While many of the personality interviews ask specific questions regarding the person’s personality, the testing focuses only on specific attributes and not the personality as a whole. A candidate may react differently with friends than in a business situation. Also, a single test cannot determine the right answer for various personality types. In other words, several personality types may be suited for a job, but the answers for the test may provide only one type the opportunity to continue.

About the Author

Based in Toronto, Mary Jane has been writing for online magazines and databases since 2002. Her articles have appeared on the Simon & Schuster website and she received an editor's choice award in 2009. She holds a Master of Arts in psychology of language use from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark.