In interviews, a trap question can be, “what are your most admirable traits?” I’ve always desired to respond with, “Putting up with twits like you.”
Well, OK, what about admirable traits? I think it’s not a trait. It’s probably more like a cluster of characteristics that pull together in concert- ” all right, you seadogs row!” Much like sailing, it is not one thing. The old definition of Able Body Seaman was a person who could hand, reef, and steer. Not just work the sails. You needed multiple skills to be rated able. Otherwise, you were an ordinary seaman or a green hand.
Next time some officious turd dares ask you what your most admirable characteristic is, beguile them. Tell them how your diplomatic abilities coupled with your fine-tuned restraint and sense of justice act in harmony to resolve doughty issues. Smile broadly enough, and they may not sense the laughter bubbling inside of you for having a good one over on them.
Then take a moment to reflect on yourself. You have admirable characteristics. They are not the narrowly defined things that make an HR person’s heart strings twang. Like the Able Body Seaman, you have multiple traits that work together in concert. They make you resilient, confident, and capable. But remember, most HR types and head hunters want simple answers.