Nov 24 2020 Personality vs Technical Competence: Which should you focus on for an interview?

Many say that one’s personality matters more than one’s skill set.

According to a recent study, for most of the hiring process, personality trumps skill set. Conducted in 2013, by digital education company Hyper Island, the study polled hiring managers in companies across the Communication, Technology, and Business Development industries about employee attributes they believed would help in tackling future challenges.

More than 70 percent of respondents chose personality as the quality they most desired in employees, followed by cultural alignment and then skill-set. Though it’s poor judgment to hire someone, for example a developer, if he or she doesn’t have the right experience or  programming skills necessary, a majority of these leaders still chose personality and cultural alignment over skillset when assessing a future employee.

However, even with the importance of personality, many would argue that there is more to a great employee than a just great personality. Especially in regards to passing a job interview. 

In order to help you with your next job interview, we would like to provide you with a very logical approach to preparing for interviews, with an emphasis on the word “balance”.  

How do you make a lasting impression and convey the best personality traits across to your interviewer?

The key here is articulation and choosing your answers carefully – your ability to answer questions in clear sentences, showing enthusiasm and without coming across as too “political” or “diplomatic”, is vital for a good interview.

For example, people often have the inclination to answer questions such as “Why did you leave your last job?” very truthfully. However, that doesn’t often work in your favour. Telling the truth always matters, but how you choose your words might put you at the risk of sounding too negative about your previous employer, and thus come across as someone who is hard to work with

Below is list of such questions, in which you must have answers crafted very carefully:

  • Why did you leave your last job?
  • Why are you looking for a new job?
  • Did you like your previous job?
  • Do you have any complaints about the management at your previous company?
  • Did you find your seniors / supervisors helpful in your old role?
  • Why do you have a gap in your resume?


Some tips to keep in mind during your interview:

  • Keep your answers crisp and to the point – sometimes interviewees tend to digress away from the question and dive into unnecessary explanations which might often counteract the chances of getting selected. HR Managers conduct a lot of interviews during the entire day, so it would decrease your chances if you are spending a lot of time answering basic questions and possibly letting them lose track of what you are saying.
  • Be pleasant and kind from the very start-  be friendly to the security guard, receptionist and whomever else you encounter. Companies sometimes ask receptionists what they thought of the candidates to get a sense of how they act without the rehearsed formalities that come with talking to a hiring manager.
  • Focusing on personality doesn’t mean you should not be prepared to talk about your experience and skill set –  having a good skill set is the most important and basic step to look for when applying for a new job but being able to communicate your skillset to the interviewer plays a vital role in the selection process.
  • Always try to be “who you are” – sometimes interviewees break away from their genuine self and do things that might disinterest the interviewer. Being who you are will give you the confidence to explain yourself and your skills.



Employers want to know that you are qualified for a position, but they also want to know how well you’ll fit in with the company culture and the team. The only way to assess this is to get a sense of your personality. Thus, the more personable you are and the more you connect with the interviewer, the better your chances of being selected for the job.

Keep in mind that interviewers want to see the real you and how you react under pressure. By remaining honest but polite, and being composed during the meeting, you’ll highlight your strengths and ability to work well as part of a team, even in difficult

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