Making an Answer That Will Blow Interviewers Out of the Water

Blow your interviewers away with a great answer to the tell me about yourself interview question jpeg

Ever applied for a job and had to do a personality test? Recruiters use personality tests to filter out candidates and if you ever wondered what they do with your test you can find out here. But did you know that you can use a personality test in your own job search to make interview answers that will blow recruiters away? Turning a recruitment tool on it’s head so you can use it to interview better is like a secret ninja skill. And it’s not just for interview answers. You can use personality tests to make a powerful profile statement for your resume. You’ll get more job interviews and you’ll get more job offers. Improving your employability is how you get the job you want.

It’s also for that dreaded “What are your strengths and weaknesses” interview question

These are all questions that interviewers expect you to be prepared for but that doesn’t make them any easier to have a good answer for. The great thing is that personality tests are all about testing what your strengths and weaknesses are. And personality tests show you are different to other people.

Blind them with Science

This is an easy science-based way to answer a difficult question. And what I love about it is that it’s not an opinion - it’s based on a proven method. So it really blows interviewers away. In job interviews recruiters get used to people selling themselves so recruiters are purposely sceptical. Recruiters tend to discount what you say. They try to find holes in your story. Recruiters are looking for a reason not to hire you. But when you pull out a test which tells them what your strengths are, it’s a little difficult to argue with that!

Important for self-leadership too

My personal story is that I have a the most extreme profile possible. This doesn’t mean that I’m better or worse than other people, it just means that I have strong tendencies to be task and detail focused. By doing my DISC test I found out how extreme my tendencies are compared to other people. This has helped me to understand what my strengths are but also find out what tendencies are holding me back.

Putting this into practice with an example:

So I’ve used my DISC test to make an answer to the tell me about yourself question. This answer can also be used for the what are your strengths and weaknesses question. I have my answer at the bottom of the page. It’s the longer version of the answer suitable for a 2 minute answer, I can cut it down according to situation. The test doesn’t provide this answer. The tests aren’t always 100% accurate. I found some results spookily accurate but others I didn’t agree with. The point is about taking information from the assessment to make a compelling story. It’s not the most complicated thing in the world but it does help to be familiar with the DISC behaviour model. So you might consider using a professional interview coach to help you. When I’m preparing clients for an important interview, I find it useful for them to do a DISC assessment.

What if it’s wrong?

What happens if your personality test suggests that you aren’t a good match for the job? Don’t panic! Just like the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, these tests are a guide, not reality. And in my example you will see how I have used the test to identify weaknesses matched to compensating strategies. Or maybe you should reconsider if you’re applying for the right jobs. Not happy at work? Feel like a round peg in a square hole? Maybe you should get a job that is better suited to your personality style. You’ll do better at it and you’ll be happier.


Personality tests are powerful tools for hiring the right staff for the job. But you can also use these tests to improve your employability. People with a powerful value proposition get more interviews and convert more of these interviews into job offers. To get the job you want understanding and communicating who you are is essential

My personal example -

“On the DISC personality profile I test as extremely High D & C. Now I’m not sure how familiar you are with the DISC model so I’ll refresh you. High D is Direct and big picture. While High C is Conscientious and detail oriented. This explains why I am results focused and have a competitive streak. But also why I am so analytical and have an enquiring mind. I want to know how things work, to pull them apart and put them back together in a way that works better.

The High D in me is big picture, results focused and can be direct to the point that some would call me blunt! Because I have a low tolerance for when I see something wrong.

The High C is where the detail focus comes in and why I like to get my facts in a row to be certain before I speak. Together these mean that I am comfortable with uncertainty but cautious.

Now it seems contrasting to be both big picture and detail focused. But how I experience this in reality is that I like to make sure that big picture plans are supported by the details. In work this means I have a natural skill for strategy. But I like to make sure that the big picture strategy plans go down to operational budget level.

This particular DISC profile is called a “creative” which might sound unusual for an accountant. But I think it’s accurate because I am always looking for a unique way to do things better. And I believe I am good at finding innovative solutions. Even in such things like picking mountain bike lines that my friends don’t see and can’t ride ;-)

Now those of you that are familiar with DISC will know that High DC is task focused and less people focused. In practice how I’ve experienced this is sometimes I find myself being too self-reliant. And I have a tendency to try do everything on my own. Of course this isn’t always the best way because it’s incredibly powerful to work through people. And so I’ve learnt how to compensate by communicating better and learning how to motivate people.

Additionally High DC people are not always known for their people skills. But I think some traditional upbringing (thanks Mom) has served me well with building relationships and working in collaboration with people.

(If you have time I can tell you my canteen story about how my Mom used to make friends with the canteen staff and how years later I realized I was doing the same thing)

What you will also have picked up by now is that I am a strong believer in self-development. And I believe in the power of self-awareness to know my strengths and limitations.”


This is part of the Interview Success Series. This series covers how job seekers can get the job they want. This series contains inside information from experienced recruiters.


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