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Tough Interview Questions and Answers

What character flaws do you have?

Alternative and related questions:

Do you have any personality defects?

The meaning behind the question:

This is an aggressively phrased – and potentially very leading – question. The interviewer is trying to force you to expose a major weakness. It’s not too dissimilar to their questioning you about your weaknesses except that it’s a much broader question – and a much more personal question. While they will obviously be interested in any personality defects you may have, their main purpose in asking you this question is to put you in a difficult situation and see how you handle it.

Your answer:

It would most likely be a fatal error to respond directly to this question and start talking about something which is inherently going to be very negative. While declaring that you have no weaknesses would be excessive, it is perfectly reasonable to state that you don’t feel you have any character flaws. You can instead sidestep the question so as to talk about a more minor weakness and, as always when discussing potentially negative points, make sure you put some spin on it so as to turn a negative into a positive.


Everybody’s character is different of course but I don’t believe I have any major character flaws. I suppose I can, on occasion, be overly demanding – both of myself and members of my team. I can be very critical of my own work and I expect those under me to work to the same standards. I am nevertheless a patient individual and am prepared to give members of my staff a reasonable chance. Everyone makes mistakes – the important thing is never to make the same mistake twice.

The Interview Question & Answer Book

The Interview Question and Answer Book

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More tough interview questions and answers


You must surely have more than one weakness?

What character flaws do you have?

How do you handle being criticised?

What really makes you lose your rag?

How did you cope with the most difficult colleague you've ever had?

Are you able to make difficult decisions and tough choices?

Why haven't you achieved more in your career?

What don't you like about this line of work?

Where does your current employer think you are at the moment?

What are your current boss's weaknesses?

What are your current employer's plans for the year ahead?

What reservations do you have about working for us?

You've been out of work for a while. Has it been difficult finding a job?

What's your sickness record like?

What do you think of me as an interviewer?

If you were in my position, what questions would you be asking?

What would be the toughest question I could ask you?

What makes you better than any of the other candidates I'm interviewing?

I think you're overqualified for this job. Don't you?

What will you do if I decide not to hire you?

See this pen? Can you sell it to me?

If you were an animal at the zoo, which animal would you be and why?

If there was a monkey hanging from a chandelier, how would you get it down?

Why don't polar bears eat penguins?

How much water would it take to fill St. Paul's Cathedral?