The employees have spoken. See the Best Places to Work 2023!

Career Development Tips

Revealing Personality Questions To Ask Others

Posted by Glassdoor Team

Career Advice Experts

Last Updated June 29, 2021

Guide Overview

What are personality questions?Personality questions to learn about someone else

Guide Overview

Learning about others

People are social creatures, and we strive to understand one another in many ways. We observe each other, we learn by talking, and we build bonds. It's important to know a bit about the people you encounter daily to build empathy and treat each person respectfully. Whether on an interview or in your personal life, we question others to gauge their behavior, anticipate their reactions, and form an understanding of their worldview and values. Let's look at what personality questions are and examine a list of good personality questions you can refer to when trying to learn about others.

What are personality questions?

Personality questions are questions an interviewer or another person asks to gain understanding and insight into your character, values, principles, passions, work ethic, and ability to self-regulate and reflect. Your answers help them anticipate your behavioral outcomes in future situations and gauge whether your personality and character traits match theirs and their needs. Personality questions can help you get to know others and build a common understanding. Although you can ask any number of questions to understand a person better, most personality questions fall under the following categories:

  • Statement-based personality questions: These questions provide an assertion, such as “I am well-organized” and the person responding uses a scale (typically one to five) as a response. This format is helpful for data collection but falls short when getting to know individuals and gaining specific insights.
  • Closed-ended personality questions: These are typically multiple-choice style questions.
  • Open-ended personality questions: These are often the most informative because they require a uniquely planned response with elaboration.

Personality questions to learn about someone else

Use the following list of open-ended personality questions to learn more about others and reveal their true personality and qualities.

  1. What has been your greatest accomplishment?
  2. What has been your greatest failure?
  3. Who knows you best, and why?
  4. How would your best friend describe you?
  5. How would your enemy describe you?
  6. What is your favorite hobby?
  7. Can you describe your relationship with your family? How would you characterize it?
  8. What is your opinion of ghosts and phantoms?
  9. What is the one tool you would search for to help survive a zombie apocalypse?
  10. What moment in your life would you choose to relive, and why?
  11. Who has had the greatest impact on you in your life?
  12. Which famous personality or celebrity do you admire, and why?
  13. If you could meet any deceased person from history, who would you choose and what would you discuss?
  14. What is the one item you possess that you would run into a burning building to save?
  15. What is one of your life regrets, and if you could, how would you change it?
  16. What steps do you take to manage stress?
  17. How do you respond to criticism?
  18. What is one of your most cherished memories from childhood?
  19. What five adjectives describe you best?
  20. What is your favorite hobby or pastime?
  21. Can you explain a skill you hope to learn and why you want to learn it?
  22. What is a question people ask you often?
  23. What is the lesson you learned from your greatest failure?
  24. What is a life lesson you learned from a mentor?
  25. What is a character trait you would like to change about yourself and why?
  26. What is the biggest obstacle you currently face?
  27. What is your favorite place in the world, and why?
  28. What part of the world do you hope to visit within your lifetime, and why?
  29. Would you prefer to read a book, see a movie, or attend a theater performance? Why?
  30. What is an injustice you have experienced and how did you overcome it?
  31. What is the superpower you would like to have, and why?
  32. When you are in a bad mood, do you need some time alone or do you prefer company to help you feel better?
  33. What five songs would top the soundtrack of your life?
  34. What animal do you relate to most and why?
  35. If you were a fruit, which one would you be?
  36. If you could go back in time and choose another career, would you?
  37. If you could give your teenage self one sentence of advice, what would you share and why?
  38. If you were stranded on a deserted island alone, what six items would you need?
  39. What is an invention you feel needs to be created, and what need does it fill?
  40. How would you spend your time if today were your final day in this country?
  41. How do you measure success? Why?
  42. When on vacation, what do you take the most pictures of?
  43. Would you rather never gain weight no matter what you eat or be able to survive on only two hours of sleep a day?
  44. When you are feeling sick, what do you need to help your feel better?
  45. What item from childhood have you held on to through adulthood and what value does it have to you?
  46. Would you prefer to forget all prior memories or be unable to create new ones?
  47. If you could live in any time period, when would you choose to live and why?
  48. If you could meet any character from a novel, which character would you like to meet and why?
  49. What children’s book do you most cherish? Why?
  50. If you could live one day as another person, who would you change places with and what would you do with your time?
  51. If you could have dinner with any living person. who would you have dinner with and why?
  52. If you were offered the ability to read the thoughts of others, but could not turn that power off, would you take it?
  53. Describe your perfect day, from start to finish.
  54. What is a problem in the world you hope to see solved within your lifetime?
  55. What trait do you and all your family members have in common?
  56. If they were making a movie based on your life, what famous actor would play your role and why?
  57. What are you most grateful for in your life?
  58. What is the most important thing for maintaining healthy relationships with others?
  59. What interests do you hope to pursue this year?
  60. Do you prefer to speak to someone directly or communicate via email or text message? Why?
  61. Are you a morning person or a night owl?
  62. What subject were you best in during school? Why do you feel you excelled at it?
  63. What would you change about yourself if you knew there would be no judgment for it?
  64. When solving a problem in life, how do you approach it?
  65. How do you show others you care for them?
  66. Who do you value most in your life, and why?
  67. What volunteer work do you value?
  68. What unique characteristic or ability sets you apart from others?
  69. What makes you a good friend?
  70. What do you value in your professional life?
  71. How do you want to be remembered?
  72. Given the opportunity to start your own television talk show, what topic would you choose?
  73. Who is your hero?
  74. Do you think the journey or the destination is more important?
  75. What words of wisdom do you want to share with future generations?
  76. Who is your favorite author?
  77. What is the one gift you have received that you value most?
  78. What holiday do you enjoy most and why?
  79. Do you own a collection of something?
  80. What do you do to ensure you are healthy?
  81. What habits do you maintain for mental health?
  82. What relationship has had the most impact on your life?
  83. If you had to lose all but one of your five senses, which one would you keep? Why?
  84. What is your favorite season? Why?
  85. What is the first thing you do when you get home from work?
  86. How do you measure your productivity at the end of the day?
  87. What is a quality all of your friends have in common?
  88. What is something you admire in others?
  89. What bedtime routine do you follow to help you relax?
  90. What is your favorite quote from a TV show or movie?
  91. What annoys you the most?
  92. What motivates you in your personal and professional life?
  93. What is your favorite meal of the day: breakfast, lunch, or dinner?
  94. What has been the best decision of your life?
  95. Do you think it is important to be optimistic or realistic in life?
  96. What characteristic of yours has led to your success so far?
  97. What makes you happy?
  98. What is one trait you want to work on this year, and why?
  99. Do you think dreams hold meaning?
  100. What actions do you take to show respect to others?

Personality questions help you understand more about other people, which can make working together to reach a goal easier. Knowing about another individual helps you build bonds and form healthy relationships based on understanding. Interviewers ask questions like these to gauge what kind of employee you’ll be and how you’ll fit into their company culture. A thoughtful response to personality questions helps others gain insight into your character, likes, and values. Discover real interview questions asked for thousands of job titles.

Related Career Guides