People and leadership issues are the number one time consuming focus of every business owner or manager. Any business is only as good as the people who are working within it.

Hiring a dynamic team and keeping them loyal is one of the greatest accomplishments a business can ever achieve. It does not happen by accident, it is planning right from the start. The most important motto a business professional can adopt when looking for people is to “hire hard and manage easy”. Many times when working with your team or with clients you will see businesses hiring out of “desperation” not “inspiration”. When you are trying to fill a slot with a body it never works out. It is better to hold off in the hiring process to find the right people. The time, effort, and financial commitment it takes in hiring people who are not the right fit for the culture is too costly.

During the interview watch the person’s tone and outlook. How are they coming across, positive or negative? The only acceptable reasons for the candidate to be leaving a current post is to further his or her career growth and opportunity. Below are 15 essential defining character traits and questions that can help you to get to the essence of a candidate’s character and see if they are the right fit for you.

Interview Questions Based Around Characteristics

Positive attitude

  1. In the past has there ever been a time when you weren’t sure about your profession? Why and how did you overcome that thought?
  2. Describe a day when nothing seems to be going your way. Some people call that a bad day.  How do you handle that type of situation?
  3. Describe a day when everything is going your way. How do you feel about days like that?

Continuing education

  1. What does continuing education mean to you?
  2. Past- what have you accomplished?
  3. What are you currently doing?
  4. What is your future plan and how will it happen?

Honesty and integrity

  1. Describe to me a situation that may have compromised your honesty or integrity. How did you handle that situation?
  2. What could you do differently in the chance that a situation may compromise your integrity or honesty in the future?


  1. How do you see your future evolving?
  2. What are your daily practices to stay on track and keep focused?

Shows up on time

  1. Tell me how you felt the last time you had to wait for someone.
  2. Tell me how you felt when others might have had to wait for you.
  3. What is your track record?


  1. Is it complete? How is the spelling?
  2. Does it have details? How is it presented?
  3. Who are the references and are they relevant?

Detail to service

  1. Describe a positive service experience you have had with a past client. (Listen for details)
  2. What has been the best service experience you have ever received? Why was it the best?

Appearance and good image

  1. What does dress for success mean to you?
  2. Who’s image do you admire and why?
  3. How would your friends describe your style and image?

Team player

  1. Have you ever been in a situation where more than 2 or 3 people had to work together to achieve a certain goal? What was your role in that group? How did you feel during the process? How have you felt when working with larger number of individuals?
  2. If you had a team, how would you organize them to accomplish a specific task and where do you fit in with that team?

Great communicator

  1. What makes you want to listen to someone intently?
  2. What skills do you possess that would have individuals listen to you?

Handles conflict well

  1. Describe a situation in which you had to handle a conflict that was uncomfortable for you. How could that situation been turned into a positive experience?

Passionate about work

  1. What are the things about work that you have found that you like the best?
  1. What are the things about work that do not appeal to you?
  2. With the ability to change the things about work that do not appeal to you, how would you change them?

Open to change

  1. How do you feel when you walk into a grocery store and everything is moved around into different areas?
  2. How often do you change your furniture around, your closet, and your wardrobe?

Looking for a career or a job

  1. What do you see your future looking like in 2, 5, 10, years?
  2. How will you know you have achieved what you have seen in your future?

Consistent Work Habits

  1. How do you stay consistent and focused throughout your workday/week?
  2. Are there any personal best practices or planning you apply to achieve this?

The candidate must give clear and direct responses to interview questions.

The interview process should be formatted and as time efficient as possible. When working in your business it is important to have clarity in what the essential interview steps are.

The elements of listening and powerful questions will be extremely beneficial during an interview conversation.  Be aware of you and your listening levels.  Notice if you are going into distracted listening as you might begin to form an opinion around what your candidate is saying or as they describe their background or experience.

Notice the non-verbal communication such as good eye contact and open body language.  The non-verbal cues make up 60% of our communication and can say more that verbal cues.

Pay attention to your intuition! That inner voice we all have guides us to make good decisions 99% of the time. It is only when we try to rationalize or talk ourselves into things that we get into trouble.


We're happy to answer any questions you may have, feel free to call us at
(406) 863-94­48