Job applicants have a tendency to underestimate interview questions of this kind. I mean, everyone has his own point of view on other people, so why to hide it in an interview?
Similar questions include: “Name three characteristics of this company.”, “What would you say about your former boss?”, or “How would you describe your former colleagues?”.
Interviewers give you of these questions for two reasons:
- To see whether you are able to assess skills and abilities, as well as character, of other people. You will really need this ability in HR.
- To see your attitude and way of thinking about other people in general.
Your attitude is what matters
Now I would like to elaborate on the second point, as you really should understand it well. Let’s have a look at two alternatives of an answer, to the original question (three characteristics of people living in the US):
Option 1: I think they are lazy, too self-confident and many times hard to manage.
Option 2: I would say people in the United States are friendly and communicative, have huge potential and a healthy level of self confidence, which is needed to be successful in life.
Now imagine an HR worker with the attitude expressed in Option number one. Such a person sees only bad things in people, consider it difficult to work with them and believe they are too self confident. Such an applicant will never be good in HR, simply because it would be difficult for him to create good relationships with the employees. He would struggle to see good things in people and help them to develop it in order to bring added value to the team.
Oppositely, a second person sees American citizens as people who are able to achieve what ever they want. She said they are friendly and communicative. That would be a good HR worker, as she looks at positives.
Speak well about the others
You should follow the second example, especially if you are interviewed for this job. It does not matter if they ask you about your former colleagues, bosses, class mates, or about people in general. Be positive, look for good things in people, and speak with enthusiasm about the others. This is the way how to create an impression that you have good personality and attitudes for the job in human resources.
- How would you motivate the people in our company, except of offering a raise?
- Imagine you should choose a new general manager for our company.