For your reference, this article was featured in Monday’s edition of the Wall Street Journal. As luck would have it, my column on Tuesday (by pure coincidence) was about how it would be nice if we could get a bit more personal in interviews because our resumes don’t say much about us as a person.
Of course, TOO personal questions are inappropriate as are questions about a person’s nationality, race, sexual preferences, etc. But I think it should be perfectly fine to ask questions to merely get a sense if a person is nice, sociable and balanced.
Rather than saying, “Give me an example of when you used creativity to solve a problem,” you could say “Tell me about at time when you went above and beyond to help someone.” Or “give me three words your colleagues would use to describe you,” and then say “give me three words your friends would use.”
People say personal questions lead to discrimination. I am fine with that. I definitely discriminate against douche bags.