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CASPer Test Personal Questions Guide

CASPer Preparation Specialists

Overview

Personal questions are a core part of the CASPer and will likely feature throughout your examination. Essentially they are questions that require you to think about your own experiences, and apply these to the question. In order to succeed in this type of question, you must have understood their role beforehand, and prepared accordingly for them. These question types will often consider disagreements that you have had with others, your successes and failures, and times that your team working or communication skills have been tested.

Examples of Personal Questions

Describe a time when you supported a member of your team.

Describe a time when you received difficult or challenging feedback.
Describe dealing with a difficult colleague at work, and your reflections from this experience.
Have you ever encountered online bullying?
Have you ever had to stop a colleague from posting potentially damaging or disrespectful content on social media?
Talk about a time when one of your colleagues at work refused to accept responsibility for their actions.
Talk about a time when you encountered someone being abusive in a public setting.

Describe a time when you experienced a conflict of interest.

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How to Approach Personal Questions

Review the brief:

You should look to see the personal question in the context of the scenario. If it’s a team working scenario, then ensure that your life story and reflections are suitable and pertain to team working. If it is an ethical scenario, then ensure that your chosen experience suits the prompt.

As in any question type, look to capture the core concern – consider the single most important issue that is raised by your story, and ensure that you can show that you have dealt with it in an empathetic and professional manner, and have learnt from and reflected on it adequately.

Draw upon your store of experiences:

You should have considered each possible type of personal question well in advance of sitting the CASPer. There are a finite number of possible topics, and a finite number of experiences and reflections that you might draw upon. You should therefore have already prepared a range of experiences, and have considered how to concisely and suitably write these down. You should have also considered the reflections that you made, and how these might relate to questions.

Combine brief and your store of experiences:

Now start writing, with both the prompt and personal experience in mind. You will likely need to both draw upon a prepared reflection, and alter it or your reflection slightly in order to best fit the prompt. The key is that you both have a skeleton of your answer ready to go, and the ability to evolve or change that answer in light of the prompt that you are given.

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A Personal Question + Model Answer

Let’s look at a typical scenario prompt and a personal question. The prompt is first, then the personal question. We have removed the two other questions from this prompt for simplicity.

Your football coach chooses their daughter to be first team captain. Their daughter seems to be a suitable choice for the captaincy.

Describe a time that you experienced a conflict of interest at high school, college or work.
 

I was chosen to award a prize at my school to the best ‘representative of our year’ – essentially the student whom the school was proudest of, and who it was felt would go on to best represent the values of the school and of the year. Two of my close personal friends were on the list, and both spoke to me to explain that they were expecting me to choose them for this award. I considered the issue, and realised that I could not make a fair and unbiased decision in the circumstances. I therefore elected to remove myself from the jury. In retrospect I believe that this was the fair and correct decision, as I would have struggled to overlook my regard for my friends when making a choice. After I chose to leave the jury, they asked me to provide them with feedback nonetheless, and I explained honestly that two of the nominees were my friends, and that I would provide feedback but it might therefore be biased. I did my utmost to provide fair feedback on each candidate, and believe that I acted with integrity throughout this process.

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