The Interviewer’s Content Agenda: Character


Character is a combination of a sense of self-worth, an inner self-confidence and moral authority.  We often call this maturity.  It is easier to see evidence of character after you have been working with someone for a year or two, but the interview team can see evidence of character traits during the interview process.  Information comes from The “Normalcy” Test, listening to how a candidate handled a conflict, or persuaded someone to do something that they didn’t want to do.  It might come from having the candidate describe the single greatest leadership challenge they faced, how they managed it, and the outcomes.

Evidence comes in the form of sound bytes, those little side comments that add to or detract from your candidacy.  Additional evidence might come from a self-assessment of one’s strengths and weaknesses.  There are many elements to character.  A few are:

  • Maturity-ability to deal with difficult issues compassionately
  • Ethics-the standards of right and wrong; moral authority
  • Integrity-keeping promises; trustworthiness
  • Self awareness and self-control
  • Values-know what one stands for; attitudes about the worth of people
  • Transparency-an authentic openness
  • Resilience-ability to function at maximum efficiency under adversity.

Possible Questions

  • What makes you unique?
  • Please assess your strengths and weaknesses.
  • Tell me about a conflict that you resolved involving people including yourself?
  • What are your professional objectives?  How do you plan to achieve them?
  • What are your learning goals for the next year (professional and personal)?
  • What is your greatest personal accomplishment?
  • What has been the single greatest personal or professional obstacle or challenge that you have faced?  How did you deal with it?
  • Please describe a failure and how you dealt with it.

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