attitude interview questions

Just about a year ago, the job market looked very different. With unemployment numbers at record lows, qualified candidates were difficult to come by. Now, employers and hiring managers are facing a unique situation that no one could have anticipated. We’re about 11 months into a global pandemic, and the pool of active job seekers is overflowing. The country’s unemployment rate has doubled, now hovering around 7 percent.

I often fall back on this strong initial question, as it helps to immediately open up the conversation and steer it in a productive direction. This question does double duty, helping you determine whether the candidate enjoys learning beyond the confines of the workplace and what they’re interested in pursuing outside of work. If people struggle to come up with an answer, encourage them to chat about something they recently learned on the job.

This is just an example, but I always throw in an odd question to catch candidates off guard (typically in the first interview if you’ll be holding several rounds) to see how they react. Having a sense of humor and rolling with whatever is thrown at you are two very strong indicators of a positive attitude.

These types of questions often lead us down interesting rabbit holes of conversation, allowing me to get to know more about candidates, their families, their pets, their hobbies, and more. On the flip side, it can be equally revealing when an odd question makes a candidate feel awkward and they respond with a more closed-off answer.

Candidates’ answers to this question will most likely mirror the type of manager they are or aspire to be. Pay attention to the qualities and traits they list, and ask probing follow-up questions to get an inside look at how they manage their teams. Responses should include specific details on operations and leadership, and they should also include phrases like “seek to add value to the company,” “incredibly supportive,” or “responsible for boosting team morale.” These kinds of keywords are often tied to a positive attitude.

Listening is a critical part of having a positive attitude and being a team player. With this question, I’m aiming to see if the candidate is open to receiving feedback and if they’re empathetic. Being able to not only hear but understand your team is essential to smooth business operations and a happy workplace.

People with positive attitudes often genuinely care about their teams. They’ll go the extra mile to get to know each and every one of their colleagues or subordinates. That’s why I ask candidates to think about the best employee they themselves had a hand in hiring. This helps me determine whether they know their teams and whether they develop strong bonds with them. I want to see their eyes light up when talking about some of their favorite team members. Nothing says “positivity” like a candidate’s sense of pride when talking about their team.

It can be easy to fall into the routine of asking the same questions in every interview, but I’ve learned over the years that each interview is an opportunity to make the hire of a lifetime. When I lock in new hires with exceptional attitudes, their presence on the team is immediately felt; they elevate the entire workplace. Be mindful in crafting interview questions that not only touch on tactical experience, but also uncover candidates attitudes.

Common attitude interview questions with sample answers
  • Tell me about yourself. …
  • Describe a time that you faced a major obstacle and how you overcame it. …
  • Tell me about a time when you wanted to give up but chose not to. …
  • How do you react when asked to do something beyond your capabilities?

Best Interview Ever| Attitude is Everything|

6. What are you most passionate about?

This question seems simple than it is. You can restate this question as to what motivates you? Or in other words, the interviewer is looking for factors that keep you engaged in your job. Now, many people may start wondering about their favorite sports club or some other activity that they feel passionate about. But that is not what they actually want to learn about.

Rather, you should stick your answer within the realms of the working world. Mentioning about outside activity might put your interviewer in doubt as to whether you are interested in your job or not.

9. How do you adapt to changes?

Flexible persons are an asset to any company. Everyone wants to have that Mr. expandable in their working team as in the time of crisis; they are the ones who drive the company out of bad times. In this question, you want to showcase how you can readily adapt to changes and in some cases how you can even excel in those circumstances.

Again, refer to your previous experiences where you had the opportunity to expand yourself or change your nature of work when your former company adopted some new policies. Such answers in interview can really impress your interviewer with a feeling of assurance in regards to giving you the job.

This modified question strips away all of the nudges and hints, and tempts the candidate to describe their last conflict without providing any resolution. However, lest you think this is unnecessarily cruel, the practical reality is that great candidates will never discuss a problem without automatically telling you how they solved it.

This question is really open-ended, forces the candidate to provide a specific example, and it focuses on a challenging situation. And those are the three trademarks of great interview questions. You can test questions like this for yourself in the online quiz “Could You Pass This Job Interview?”

Put another way, I want to identify the candidates who did nothing when they disagreed with a decision, who failed to resolve a disagreement with their boss, and who failed to deal with a conflict at work. I need to hear their experiences loud and clear, so I have no doubts that they’re the wrong fit for my company.

If you hire a brilliant programmer who’s blaming, negative, dramatic and unmotivated, have you really made your company better? If you want your company to win the war for talent, you can’t only hire for skills. Yes, smart people are important, but it’s even more important that your highly talented hires have the right attitudes.

Does that sound like a candidate you want to hire? And this isn’t hyperbole; if you stop giving away the correct answers to your interview questions, I guarantee you will hear some absolutely crazy answers. I get thousands of messages a year from executives who’ve implemented this approach, and they always include some truly shocking interview responses.


What is the best attitude for an interview?

Positive Mental Attitude Interview Questions And Answers:
  • Why do you think that you can handle this position? …
  • Introduce yourself: …
  • Why should we hire you of all the rest: …
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses? …
  • What is your greatest failure? …
  • What are you most passionate about? …
  • Are you a reliable person?

What are attitude questions?

Here are tips for conveying a positive attitude during an interview:
  • Dress for Success. First impression is everything. …
  • Boost Confidence. …
  • Focus on Posture. …
  • Smile. …
  • Be an Active Listener. …
  • Emphasize the Positive.

What is your attitude answer?

Attitude questions look to find an individual’s position on a topic. We can’t directly observe someone’s attitude towards an issue like we can with a behavior, so it is necessary to frame questions to determine positions. These questions help determine reactions towards a stimulus.

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