In a typical job interview, you can expect questions about your professional history, work experience, qualifications and skills required for the job. But over time, emphasis has been placed on personal interview questions as well. Employers are no longer interested only in your background but expect to hear more about your goals, plans for the future and your way of dealing with things in the workplace. In fact, personal interviews are pretty common.

Read on to learn more about personal interviews, the type of questions you can expect and effective strategies to provide engaging responses on the spot.

  1. What Is A Personal Interview? 

  2. Tackling Personal Interview Questions

  3. Answering Personal Interview Questions

What Is A Personal Interview?

A personal interview is a meeting where a recruiter evaluates a potential employee. So how is it different from other types of interviews? The hallmark of a personal interview is that it typically goes beyond the resume to explore a candidate’s knowledge and working style. The interviewer aims to find out how effectively an applicant can do the job or fit into the organization.

Personal interviews are typically conducted in person but with technological advancements, telephone and video interviews have gained popularity. Then the COVID-19 pandemic made virtual interviews the new normal. No matter how much personal interviews have evolved, the important thing to remember is that the process is a two-way street for both the candidate and the recruiter. Only a meaningful conversation can lead to a productive understanding between the two.

Here are examples of some of the most common personal interview questions:

  • Tell me about yourself

  • Can you describe yourself in a few words?

  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?

  • Why did you leave your last job?

  • Do you work better on your own or in a team?

Tackling Personal Interview Questions

The best part about personal interview questions is that you have the flexibility to add to your response and ask the recruiter to clarify if needed. A smooth conversation flow makes it easier for you to be spontaneous and come up with answers on the spot. However, there is plenty of focus on your nonverbal behavior as well. Let’s look at a few strategies that’ll teach you how to answer personal interview questions with confidence:

  1. Lay The Groundwork

Doing extensive research about the organization and job profile is the first step to preparing for personal interview questions and answers. By understanding what the recent industry trends have been and how well the organization is performing, you can impress your interviewer with supporting statistics and data.

  1. Dress For Success

When it comes to answering personal interview questions, first impressions matter a lot. This is why you must leave a strong impact from the moment you meet your interviewer. Dressing smartly does most of the work. When you look sharp, it even boosts your confidence. Stick to the mantra: The way you dress defines the way you think.

  1. Walk The Talk

Personal interview questions and answers follow an organic approach where two individuals engage in conversation naturally. There may be instances when you’re caught off guard and it reflects in your body language. Always be mindful of the way you act and react. Continue to maintain eye contact and a straight posture. Smile when necessary and never cross your arms or legs.

  1. Don’t Just Hear, Listen!

Personal interview questions may seem simple but some important things may be left unsaid. Give your full attention to the interviewer—it helps build rapport and makes them feel comfortable in your presence. If you don’t understand or miss something, don’t hesitate to confirm it again.

  1. Time For Your Questions

We’ve already established that a personal interview is two-way communication. There will be ample opportunities for you to ask relevant questions as well. In fact, a majority of interviewers ask, “Do you have any questions for me?” towards the end of an interview. Use that opportunity to show your interest by asking pointed questions about the organization and the role.

Answering Personal Interview Questions

Here’s a sample personal interview question with an answer. Consider the tone, language and delivery as you prepare for your next job interview.

Question: What are you passionate about?

Answer: When it comes to listing my passions, I can never put my finger on just one. But the thing that makes me most happy is taking some time out every night to write in my journal. Even on hectic days, I steal a few moments to write down my thoughts or a few lines of poetry. Writing makes me happy, which is why I’d like to pursue it as a profession and grow as a thoughtful individual.


If you’re still apprehensive about creating and providing winning responses on the spot, Harappa’s Ace The Interview course is here to help you out! With powerful frameworks such as PAM (Purpose, Audience and Message), you’ll learn to tailor your responses. Learn from nine high-powered modules designed to help you answer frequently asked questions confidently. Get the job of your dreams by being prepared for any question that might come your way!

Explore topics such as General HR Interview Questions, How To Improve Interviewing Skills, How to Answer "Tell Me About a Time When You Failed" & How to Prepare for Mock Interview from Harappa Diaries and crack your next interview.

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