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How To Answer Those Tricky Character Questions At Interview

Published: Tuesday 7th July 2015

Woman with her hand on her face


It’s a job you really want and you reckon you’ve got a good chance of being offered the role. You know you’re ideally qualified and you have the right experience they’re looking for. Now there’s just the interview – and those tricky character questions to get through.

As with most things, preparation is the key so here are Zoek’s tips to giving the answers that could help to get you hired.

1. Tell me about yourself.

This is often an interview opener and it’s tricky to know how much to say. The interviewer will most likely have your CV in front of them so they know about your qualifications and experience. They don’t really want to hear all about your childhood but they will want an answer that succinctly tells them how your life experience equips you for the role you’re applying for.

2. What is your greatest weakness?

You know this one’s likely to come up so there’s no excuse for not having a good answer ready. Hirers are getting pretty wise to candidates answering this by talking about a ‘weakness’ that’s really a strength such as ‘I know I work too hard’. Be honest and try to talk about a real weakness – we all have them! – and what you are doing to actively address it. It may be learning to plan your day better or delegating work to team members appropriately.

3. What would your current boss say about you?

Here you have to balance modesty with pride. You don’t want to say you were the best employee they’ve ever had but equally you don’t want to come across as unforgettable. Try to think of an occasion where your boss praised you for bringing something to the team and weave that into your answer.

4. What are you most proud of?

You might think having kids is your greatest achievement but the interviewer really wants to hear about something in the working environment. Try to think of a project you delivered on that would demonstrate the attributes this role demands.

5. Is it ever acceptable to lie in business?

No. That’s the correct answer even if it’s not strictly true. We all know that in the workplace some people are not always 100% honest 100% of the time – often for the sake of the business – but to try to explain this without looking like you’re condoning lying is nigh on impossible. Play it straight and say honesty is the best policy at all times.

If you’re in the process of applying for jobs, why not download the Zoek app to let your new job find you? The app for faster, smarter recruitment can be downloaded on iOS or Android.


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