A hiring manager may ask you a question during an interview such as “If you were interviewing someone for this position, what traits would you look for” or, “What do you think are the most important character traits to have for this job”
The hiring manager uses this question to see how you would approach the position if hired, and if your approach would match up with what he feels is best for the job.
Points to Emphasize
To answer this question effectively, choose relevant traits that also paint you in a positive light.
- List character traits that you’re confident the hiring manager is looking for.
- Discuss why possessing these particular traits would be important for the position.
- Choose traits that also best reflect you, without stating the connection overtly.
- Go into detail about a few traits rather than merely listing several.
When you answer this question, the hiring manager will see how you view the job and the company. He will use this information to determine whether you and he share the same vision as it relates to that job.
Mistakes You Should Avoid
This question requires you to view the position through the interviewer’s lens. Steer clear of the following traps when giving your answer:
- Avoid listing any quality that you don’t possess, as it will make you look unqualified.
- Don’t mention that you have the traits you list, but rather let the interviewer make that connection through your answers to other questions.
- Don’t make a distinction between what his list would be and what yours would be. Rather, put yourself in his shoes.
- It’s best not to mention any traits that are too general, but rather have them connect to the position.
The interviewer wants to make sure you know what the job requires, so any answer that doesn’t show understanding and confidence on your part should be avoided.
The following is an example of how you can word your answer regarding character traits:
“If I were interviewing someone for this position, I would want him or her to be confident speaking in front of crowds, as the position involves addressing the public on a regular basis. I would also look for eloquent delivery mixed with a strong listening ear. That would ensure that he can answer questions thoroughly and thoughtfully without preparation.”
It’s the hiring manager’s job to check whether or not you are cognizant of both your own strengths and what characteristics the employee should possess for the best working relationship.