Does personality matter in an interview? (5 personality traits)

This blog post aims to answer the question, “Does personality matter in an interview?” and explores the concept of personality and its significance in interviews to help understand the answer. 

Does personality matter in an interview?

Yes, personality does matter in an interview. The following are 5 personality traits that matter most in an interview –

  • Reliability.
  • Confidence.
  • Honesty.
  • Honour.
  • Loyalty.

These 5 personality traits that matter most in an interview will be discussed in further detail below after taking a deeper look at personality and the role it plays in interviews. 

What is Personality?

Individual variances in thinking, feeling, and acting patterns are referred to as personality. Understanding individual variances in certain personality qualities, such as friendliness or irritability, is one of the main goals of personality research. 

The other is comprehending how a person’s diverse pieces come together as a whole. The word personality comes from the Latin word persona, which refers to a theatrical mask worn by actors to present multiple parts or conceal their true identity.

At its most fundamental level, personality refers to a person’s distinctive patterns of thoughts, feelings, and behaviours. Personality is said to emerge from within an individual and to be pretty consistent throughout life.

While there are several definitions of personality, the majority of them focus on a pattern of actions and features that may be used to predict and explain a person’s behaviour.

Personality may be explained through a range of factors, ranging from genetic explanations for personality traits to the impact of environment and experience in creating an individual’s personality.

Characteristics of Personality

The following core personality qualities, as well as traits and patterns of thinking and emotion, have a crucial role –

  • Behaviours have an identifiable order and regularity to them. People, in general, behave in the same or similar ways in a range of settings.
  • Personality is a psychological construct, but research reveals that biological processes and requirements can impact it.
  • Personality impacts not just how we move and respond in our surroundings, but it also drives us to behave in specific ways.
  • Personality is expressed in a variety of ways, not simply via conduct. It shows up in our thoughts, feelings, personal relationships, and other social interactions as well.

What role does personality play in an interview?

It’s more frequently than not a question of actions that influence the hiring equation, rather than personality. In other words, businesses will typically have a diverse range of personalities working under their roof, but their actions and skills will often be constant. 

For example, employers might depend on the job function, and value the following demonstrated behaviours –

  • Action Orientation – Motivation to get stuff done
  • Business Acumen – Good sense of strategy and the industry
  • Creativity – Ability to look at (and solve) problems in a different way
  • Organizational Agility – Knowledgeable about how companies work, and how to successfully manoeuvre them
  •    

However, the candidate’s personality does come into play. In a given week, your boss will spend more awake hours with you than with their family. As a result, if you’re charming, likeable, and pleasant to work with, you could find it simpler to persuade a company to hire you.

Conversely, if you display an incapacity to connect positively with the team during an interview, you may not be granted the position since you may negatively affect team dynamics. 90% of job applicants, in my experience, lie somewhere between these two extremes, and in those circumstances, the selection is mostly based on the candidate’s technical ability and abilities.

However, some people possess critical abilities and knowledge, and personality may not be a role at all. If the firm you applied to is actively seeking a COBOL programmer and is facing a deadline to update some ancient spaghetti code, and you’re the first qualified applicant they’ve interviewed in months, you’ll almost certainly get an offer.

Recruiting new personnel is never a simple task. Hiring managers may receive hundreds of applications for a single post, and sorting through the bulk of them may be difficult and time-consuming.

Human resources personnel usually make things simpler for themselves by excluding some candidates due to a lack of expertise. Those with the most relevant job experience will most likely be invited for an interview, while those with the least will most likely be eliminated from the process.

In the initial phase of the application assessment, an applicant’s educational history and skill set are usually taken into account. Personality and interpersonal skills are usually not assessed until the interview stage if they are considered at all. By then, the candidates with the best personalities for the job may have already been eliminated.

Despite the fact that the interview is an excellent chance to assess personality, many companies do not place a high value on it. In the end, it’s usually experience and specialised talents that win out. A candidate’s personality, on the other hand, can be a lot stronger predictor of how well they’ll do in their position.

According to a recent survey from TopInterview, a career guidance site in the United States, and Resume-Library, a job search website, personality is one of the top three qualities most companies seek in new recruits.

Personality, in addition to abilities and experience, was cited as the most important factor in 70 percent of employers’ decision-making processes, far ahead of education (18%) and looks (15%).

According to the 200 talent acquisition experts polled for the research, one of the most valued personality attributes among prospective job seekers is confidence. Arrogance, on the other hand, was rated as one of the least attractive traits.

The findings, according to TopInterview career consultant Amanda Augustine, demonstrate the increased importance that both employers and workers place on their work environment.

Professional accomplishment and industry experience are only part of what an interviewer looks for when you’re looking for a job. Personality attributes that make you a good fit for the firm are more difficult to demonstrate, but they are often more important for winning the job.

Many employers value the same soft skills in employees, according to a 2014 study by CareerBuilder, a career resource and job-listing site. Employers are looking for candidates who are dependable, positive, flexible, and effective communicators who work well under pressure, among other personality traits.

When it comes to acing an interview, your personality may be more important than you think. According to a recent survey conducted by TopCV and CV-Library, 77% of UK employers consider a candidate’s personality to be one of the top three considerations in selecting whether or not to extend a job offer. 

In addition, over 200 UK businesses chose dependability (62 percent), confidence (61 percent), honesty (58 percent), honour (51 percent), and loyalty (32 percent) as the top attributes that impress them the most when recruiting.

What are these 5 personality traits that matter most in an interview?

Reliability.

A boss, regardless of sector, wants to know that they can rely on you. That this explains why 62% of employers ranked reliability as the most desirable personality attribute.

Demonstrate dependability by giving all of your resources, replying to hiring managers’ questions immediately, and being on time for your interview. You may keep up the good work after your interview by writing a prompt and pleasant thank-you message.

In this case, actions speak louder than words. Employers want you to demonstrate to them how trustworthy you are from start to end, rather than talking about it in the interview.

Confidence.

Confidence was cited by 61% of hiring managers as an important personality attribute for candidates. Knowing what points you want to make, practising your responses to typical questions, and conducting comprehensive research are all important steps in demonstrating confidence in an interview. 

All of these will assist you in de-stressing. From there, you may concentrate on expressing the appropriate things to impress others.

Honesty.

Employers want to know that they can depend on you, and employees want to know that they can trust you. Honesty was cited by 58% of HR managers as an important personality quality in a candidate.

It is strongly advised that you do not lie on your CV. If you lie in your interview, whether purposefully or unintentionally, it might come back to bite you. When discussing your background, don’t inflate your accomplishments or your involvement in a project.

Honour.

HR managers still want to see honour in job seekers, according to 51% of them. This might be everything from strong moral values to how you interact with others. In an interview, your integrity will be demonstrated by how you behave yourself and how you react to the people and events around you. 

Everyone you meet, from the secretary to the CEO, should be treated with respect. Simply exhibiting that you are a kind person will demonstrate that you are someone with whom others want to collaborate.

Loyalty.

Employers are looking for applicants that have a high level of loyalty, according to nearly a third (32%) of them. Because HR managers may utilise perceived loyalty as a criterion for trustworthiness, it’s critical to demonstrate it in your interview.

If you don’t have a long-term on your CV, you may demonstrate your loyalty by how you respond to queries regarding your prior positions. Even if the workplace was poisonous, don’t criticise your boss or complain about coworkers. 

Questions like ‘Why did you quit your former job?’ should be avoided at all costs, since they may frequently lead to a deluge of information.

Conclusion – 

This blog post attempted to answer the question, “Does personality matter in an interview?” and reviewed the concept of personality and its significance in interviews to help determine if personality matters in an interview. Please feel free to reach out to us with any questions or comments you may have.

References –

Settembrino, L. 5 Best Personality Traits for a Job Interview. (n.d.).  Retrieved from 

https://www.topcv.com/career-advice/best-personality-traits-in-interview#:~:text=Be%20your%20best%20self,and%20loyalty%20the%20interviewer%20seeks.

Gilchrist, K. Personality matters more in your job interview than you might think — these traits are the biggest turn-offs. (2019, July 30). Retrieved from 

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/07/24/career-advice-the-personality-traits-employers-seek-in-job-interviews.html

During a job interview, does personality matter more than your experience and skills? Quora. (n.d.). Retrieved from 

https://www.quora.com/During-a-job-interview-does-personality-matter-more-than-your-experience-and-skills

Paljug, K. The Personality Traits That Will Get You Hired. (2021, December 7). Retrieved from 

https://www.businessnewsdaily.com/7950-personality-traits-hired.html

Augustine, A. This personality trait is an interview killer. (2019, April 4). Retrieved from 

https://www.fastcompany.com/90397790/this-personality-trait-is-an-interview-killer

Doyle, A. How to Show Your Personality at a Job Interview. (2021, January 22). Retrieved from 

https://www.thebalancecareers.com/how-to-show-your-personality-at-an-interview-2061310

Huntington, S. Hiring for Personality Instead of Experience. (n.d.). Retrieved from 

https://articles.bplans.com/hiring-for-personality-instead-of-experience/

Singer, S. How Much Does Personality Matter In The Hiring Process? (2018, September 24). Retrieved from 

https://www.insidercareerstrategies.com/blog/how-much-does-personality-matter-in-the-hiring-process/9/2018

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