Personality Can Make or Break Your Next Interview: New Survey From TopInterview and Resume-Library Reveals Employers’ Biggest Personality Turn-Offs

NEW YORK (July 23, 2019)  While a job candidate’s experience and skills are important hiring criteria, new data finds that personality is not far behind. According to a recent study conducted by TopInterview, a global network of career-coaching experts, and Resume-Library, one of the leading U.S. job boards, 70 percent of employers consider a candidate’s personality to be among the top three factors in deciding whether to extend a job offer, substantially more important than education (18%) or appearance (7%). In addition, 62 percent said they wished resumes provided greater insight into a candidate’s personality.

The nearly 200 talent acquisition professionals were also asked which personality traits they find to be the most — and least — impressive during the interview process. The conclusion: Whereas employers find confidence attractive, they consider arrogance to be a major turn-off. Although U.S. employers rated “arrogance” or “overconfidence” as the biggest personality turn-off (72%), they considered “confidence” to be one of the most admirable personality traits when hiring (42%), proving that job seekers should be mindful of how they project self-assurance during an interview.

“Historically, assessing job seekers was contingent on two factors — experience and skills — but our new survey reveals that more intangible qualities, such as personality, are determining which candidates rise to the top,” said TopInterview career expert Amanda Augustine, a certified professional career coach and resume writer. “Today’s hiring managers are tasked with assessing whether a candidate will fit in with the company culture, and this determination is primarily based on how the candidate behaves during an interview. The fine line between ‘confidence’ and ‘arrogance’ when making that first impression is everything — one’s personality can make or break an interview.”

In addition to arrogance, employers also cited the following traits to be least desirable during the hiring process:

  • Dishonesty

  • Entitlement

  • Unreliability

  • Closed-mindedness

So, what personality traits do employers appreciate most? From a long list of 18 different “soft skills” presented, they were most impressed during the interview process by these attributes, in addition to confidence:

  • Authenticity

  • Honesty

  • Reliability

  • Self-discipline

“In the current hiring market, employers have less talent to choose from than ever before, and this is encouraging them to think outside the box when it comes to assessing candidates’ potential and experience. Indeed, a key part of this is considering how well someone’s personality is going to fit in with their teams, so it’s crucial to stand out for all the right reasons,” said Lee Biggins, founder and CEO of Resume-Library. “Every company is different, each with its own priorities, but our survey shows that key personality traits simply won’t cut it in the workplace. So next time you’re headed to an interview, try to be a bit more self-aware and conscious of how you’re coming across.”

On an ongoing basis, the data science team at Talent Inc., the global leader in technology-enabled career services and also the parent company of TopInterviewTopResume, and TopCV, compiles nationwide data from their customers to better understand current behavioral trends in the job market. Visit the TopInterview blog to see their latest tips for helping the modern job seeker confidently navigate the interview process.

Media inquiries

Lisa Hagendorf
  • About TopInterview

    TopInterview, a Talent Inc. company, is a network of expert career coaches focused on demystifying the interview process and instilling confidence in job seekers across the US. Job seekers work one-on-one with professionals experienced in HR and recruiting practices to create custom interview strategies and get the practice they need to impress at their next interview. Follow TopInterview on FacebookLinkedInInstagram, and Twitter.

  • About Resume-Library

    Resume-Library is one of the fastest-growing job boards in the United States, providing the ultimate hiring solutions for thousands of staffing agencies and employers of all sizes. With access to an entire pool of resumes belonging to talented job seekers, hiring professionals are able to headhunt the perfect candidates to fill every vacancy.

Media inquiries

Lisa Hagendorf