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How to deal with personal questions in your job interview

When you go to a job interview, you should expect to be asked questions about your qualifications, work history, and goals for the future. However, you may also be asked personal questions and in-depth interview questions about your personality. By getting to know you on a personal level, the interviewers can determine if you are a good fit for the job and the company culture. But some personal questions may make you feel uncomfortable.

When preparing for your interview, take some time to review common personal interview questions and answers. This will give you an idea of what to expect and how to formulate your answers.

Q: How many hours do you usually work?

Every company has its own way of working and wants to know if your work habits fit into its operating model. Interview questions about how much you work can be difficult to answer because employers ask for this information for various reasons. Some employers want to know if you can manage your time well and get your work done within working hours. Others may want to see if you are willing to work overtime if needed.

Sample answer:

“I have always been able to manage my time efficiently so that I work the same number of hours each week. Of course, if I am working on something particularly important or challenging, I am happy to put in extra hours to do my best work.”

Q: Do you have children?

In many countries, it’s illegal to ask a job applicant about their marital status, whether they have children, or plan to have children. However, that does not always stop employers from asking these questions. Applicants may not want to call out inappropriate questions during an interview because it could hurt their chances of being hired. You can address the subject without offending or jeopardizing your chances of getting a job.

Sample answer:

“Are you wondering if I am dedicated to my work, if I travel frequently, or if I work overtime? I can assure you that I have a very strong work ethic and can contribute a lot to your company, especially in the area of [xyz]. Please tell me more about your goals for xyz.”

Q: What is your biggest weakness?

When an employer asks you about your weaknesses, they want to know if you have the skills and experience required for the job. When considering what to list as a weakness during an interview, it is best to think of a real weakness that is not essential to the job you are applying for. You don’t want to give the interviewer a reason to question your ability to fill the position. Instead, focus on your strengths and be prepared to discuss how you can use them to excel in the role.

Sample answer:

“One of the areas I used to struggle with was public speaking. As a product manager, I have to rely on my soft skills to get things done. A big part of the job is being comfortable communicating in front of large groups. I took an online course in communication that helped me feel more comfortable in those meetings and communicate more effectively.”

Final thoughts

These are some of the most difficult personal questions to answer in an interview, but you may also be asked behavioral and other questions about your personality. It is always best to be honest in any situation. Be positive and focus on what you have accomplished rather than what you see as a weakness if you’re stumped with personal interview questions and answers. This will show that you can turn any negative situation into a positive one.

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