If the question on your mind is, 'How personal can I get on an interview?' Then the following article on getting personal in an interview can answer your question to your satisfaction.

How Personal Can I Get On An Interview

Ok! Now that you have sent your resume and application and have been called for an interview, you must know that more than the technical background, the interviewer will be interested to see if there is a possibility to build a rapport with you. The chances of becoming best buddies with the interviewer are slim but the odds of getting the job even after not connecting with the interviewer are almost non-existent. To connect to someone we have to share information with them and it is usually a ‘give and take’ kind of a deal. It is also a part of your interviewer’s job to ask casual questions so that you open up and relax. Developing an understanding of applicants’ personality and character is crucial to realise whether or not they will fit into the office culture. Personal questions are often asked during a job interview with hopes of loosening up the candidates and calming down their nerves so that they can answer the real questions to the best of their abilities. An interesting thing to keep in mind here would be the fact that these casual questions are not entirely useless, they show your conversational skills and help the panel judge whether you are likeable or not! Go through the following section to know how personal you are allowed to be in a job interview!
Getting Personal In An Interview
  • The question here is ‘To be or not to be – personal?’ A good answer would be to maintain a balance. Personal and the professional lives are two separate entities and they work best when left that way. The trick is to not lie and, at the same time, not divulge all the details too. You can neither be tongue tied nor answer eerything. Stick to the question and answer the bare minimum required without being scandalous.
  • A few examples of personal questions would be, ’what movies have you seen recently?’, ‘your favourite vacation spot?’, ‘describe yourself briefly.’ Answer them honestly and frankly without being too candid.
  • Your answers should definitely not be boring so avoid one word answers. Show your train of thoughts but avoid discussing areas that you are not comfortable around. For e.g., you may answer the question “have you ever been in a relationship?” but you don’t have to tell them if it worked or not and you definitely don’t need to give reasons as to why it didn’t.
  • It is not a bad idea to skip a question stating that you are not comfortable answering that particular question. Sometimes, personal questions are asked by inexperienced interviewers with no deliberate mischievousness and they may not even realize that the particular question is inappropriate. Obviously when you have faced a line of questions on these lines you would not agree to excuse for them for doing this.
  • Usually, personal questions are asked to just watch how you react and respond to the question. These are either asked right at the beginning or towards the end of the interview. If a condition arises where in you notice that the style and manner of the interview is progressing towards probing your personal life then cleverly steer the conversation back to the job and the responsibilities that it entails.
  • Another aspect of getting personal with the interviewer would also be the choice of your words during the interview. As you already know, it is always a ‘yes’ and never a ‘yeah’! Similarly don’t say ‘dad’ or ‘mom’, stick to ‘parents’ and if you have to specify, say ‘father’ and ‘mother’.
  • Avoid usage of slangs and curses in the conversation. There are words that come to us instinctively and we use them involuntarily without thinking. Be extra cautious and maintain a decorum and demeanour that is well suited for the post that you have applied for.
It is best to stick with a professional yet friendly attitude during the interview. Cracking too many jokes or narrating too many tales is not advisable in a job interview. But at the same time, take care not to alienate the panel completely.

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