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Top 15 Personal Interview Questions

Question 1 of 17
What unique qualities about yourself would you bring to our company?
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Question 2 of 17
What are you reading right now?
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"Currently I am reading 'Ego is the Enemy' by Ryan Holiday. It is a book about ambition, resilience and success. I feel that every professional should read it - it comes highly recommended."
ThDo you feed your mind on a regular basis? What kind of literature do you prefer and why? Talk to the interviewer about a book that you are currently reading. If you are not currently reading a book - talk about one that has impacted you the most.

Specific Career Examples
Admin Example
"A passion of mine is organization and productivity. For that reason, I chose to recently pick up 'Eat That Frog' by Brian Tracy. The idea is around ways to get more things done, in less time. Have you read it?"
Retail Example
"I recently decided that I need to learn more about merchandising and the art of minimalism which is so prevalent in retail shops at the moment. I am reading 'The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying up.' It's a book on the Japanese art of decluttering. It's quite an incredible book so far!"
Manager Example
"I bought copies for my entire team of 'The Obstacle is the Way,' by Ryan Holiday. We started a mini book club, in a sense! The book has been beneficial for my team because it's talking about taking your obstacles and making them work for you. I have noticed my team spinning their wheels less often since we started this. It's been a real shift in mentality."
Marketing Example
"On my nightstand, at the moment, is 'The War of Art' by Steven Pressfield. The book focuses on overcoming any obstacles that hide your ambition and helps you to make a plan for eliminating excuses and taking action. It's for helping you to achieve more creative discipline."
Sales Example
"Currently, I am reading 'The One Thing' by Gary Keller. The title caught my eye because it discusses the honest truth behind results. As a salesperson, I was naturally drawn to the title as I always want to become better and achieve more. I will let you know how it is!"
Teacher Example
"Brain Rules is the book that I am currently reading, by John Medina. Although I am only on the third rule, the book focuses on twelve rules for thriving at home, work, and in school. I thought these rules could easily apply to my students as well, which is why I initially was drawn to the book."
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Question 3 of 17
How competitive are you?
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"I think that on a scale of 1-10, I would rate myself as a 7 when it comes to being competitive. I love a great competition in the workplace when it comes to sales goals and breaking through last years' numbers. I am not competitive to the point that it would hurt my team or colleagues."
The interviewer would like to know if you have a competitive spirit. Being a competitive person is an excellent thing if you are appropriately competitive in the workplace. Assure the interviewer that you have a tremendous competitive edge when necessary but are still able to balance that competition healthily.

Specific Career Examples
Admin Example
"I am competitive with myself and when it comes to the targets of the organization which I work. I like to set small challenges for myself, usually related to deadlines, on a daily basis."
Manager Example
"Competition in the workplace can be a great thing. I create small competitions with the staff, and I love to see how it motivates them. I then look at the numbers and see how much my workplace challenge has affected productivity, compared to the week before. I am a numbers person, so my competitive streak is satisfied by knowing I have improved productivity from week to week."
Retail Example
"I love to challenge myself to see how much I can exceed my sales targets for the day, week, and the month. Being in retail sales, I believe I have been conditioned to be quite competitive in the workplace."
Marketing Example
"Competition is a healthy component to creativity. When I am competitive with myself, I come up with really great ideas that help my team to deliver incredibly projects to our clients. Of course, my approach is always welcoming and friendly."
Sales Example
"Being a sales professional, I am probably one of the most competitive people I know. I grew up playing competitive hockey and soccer so I focus a great deal on being the best that I can be to carry myself and my team. This attitude has always been a positive one, and I bring it to the workplace as well."
Teacher Example
"I do not compete with fellow teachers, but I am always competing with myself. How many students can I help to overcome learning roadblocks? How quickly can I mark these papers? How can I improve efficiency in my classroom? Those are the competitively driven questions I ask myself on a regular basis."
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Question 4 of 17
How do you balance life and work?
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"I find that with the right company, it's pretty simple to balance life and work. When I enjoy what I do, it doesn't feel like a chore. I am always sure that when at home, my family gets my attention first. I take time on the weekends to do things for myself and ensure that I regenerate before the work week begins."
It is essential to keep a healthy work/life balance to prevent burnout. Talk to the interviewer about how you can maintain that appropriate balance for yourself. You do not want to answer as though work is so exhausting that you cannot keep up, but you also do not want to come across as a workaholic either. Find a healthy balance.

Specific Career Examples
Admin Example
"If I feel that I need to find a balance, I will sometimes take my email off of my phone for a Saturday. I like to be known as available. However, there are the odd times when I need to unplug for a bit."
Manager Example
"Work smarter, not harder! I follow this piece of advice often and lead my teams to do the same. When we can streamline the process and become efficient, we can then focus less on the total amount of hours worked."
Marketing Example
"As a freelance marketer, I have found that I sometimes need to just say no to some work. I do not like to turn work down, as it makes me feel unappreciative of the opportunities coming my way; however, burnout is not the option either."
Retail Example
"Balance, when working retail, can be a challenge because many of my shifts require working evenings and weekends. To keep a balance, I make sure to book coffee dates with my friends during the week and spend time by myself. It's important to stay grounded and in tune with your own needs when you have a sporadic schedule."
Sales Example
"I found myself working late quite often not because of the pile-up of work but because of my perfectionism. To find a balance I have started assuring myself that I will do my best, and that is good enough. I do not need to go over reports 100 times to ensure that they are completely perfect."
Teacher Example
"I often need to bring my work home, to finish marking tests, for instance. On days when I feel like I have neglected my home life, I will close the door to my office and take my family out to dinner and a movie. It may mean pushing my work to a bit later in the night but having that slight refresh can be incredibly motivating."
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Question 5 of 17
What types of activities keep you busy, outside of work?
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"I have a variety of hobbies that keep me busy outside of work hours. First, I have two children who are involved in basketball and gymnastics. I also play in a baseball beer league, I volunteer at our community church and like to read."
The interviewer would like to know what keeps you busy outside of the workplace. Having hobbies and interests outside of work is an essential part of maintaining a healthy work/life balance. Talk to the interviewer about the activities that interest you outside of the workplace. Try to avoid activities that may be controversial such as hunting.

Specific Career Examples
Manager Example
"I am a very physically active person, with a passion for outdoor sports. I love to ski, snowboard, and skate. I play in an adult hockey beer league, as well."
Admin Example
"Outside of work I love to cook and bake. I have been taking cooking lessons at the culinary school every Saturday. I have learned some cool cooking techniques so far. Sometimes I like to bring treats into the office on Monday so I can share my new knowledge!"
Retail Example
"When I am not working, I like to partake in creative writing. I have a fashion blog and take writing classes now and then. It's a great outlet for me and has a small income stream which is helpful."
Marketing Example
"Coding and programming are of huge interest for me. I am taking an online course related to coding at the moment. This experience has helped me in my marketing career as well because I better understand the ins and out of the back-end project needs."
Sales Example
"I have been in dance since I was four. I partake in a variety of classes such as hip-hop, jazz, tap, and contemporary. It's an incredibly healthy outlet for me and also a great conversation piece with my clients."
Teacher Example
"In my spare time, I do a lot of volunteering in the community. As an educator, I feel it's important that I make an impression in my region by helping others less fortunate. In addition to the feeling of satisfaction, I can be a fine example to my young and impressionable students."
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Question 6 of 17
What is your personal mission statement?
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Question 7 of 17
Who has inspired you in your life and why?
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Question 8 of 17
Tell me one thing about yourself that you would like to improve upon.
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Question 9 of 17
If you could alter your career path, in any way, what would you change?
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Question 10 of 17
Do you participate in many social activities with your fellow workers?
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Question 11 of 17
If you had $50,000 to build your own business, what would you do?
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Question 12 of 17
What is something you would be happy doing everyday for the rest of your career?
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Question 13 of 17
Who is the smartest person you know? Explain your answer.
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Question 14 of 17
What is your definition of hard work?
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Question 15 of 17
If you could teach me about any topic, unrelated to your career, what would you choose?
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Question 16 of 17
What excites you?
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Question 17 of 17
What is your ideal work environment?
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