Since the early days of translation and interpreting studies, scholars have emphasized the value of certain personality related traits for translation and interpreting performance. Especially in the conference interpreter world, preconceived opinions about the desired personality traits for conference interpreters seem to exist. However, there is little to no empirical evidence to either corroborate or refuse these ideas. In this paper we aim to explore a set of individual difference variables (IDs) — as these traits are called in the literature — to gain an insight into the profile of aspiring interpreters and to explore whether this profile differs from that of other advanced language experts. To this end, we have compared the IDs of three groups of advanced language learners who have received the same bachelor training but will branch off into three different master’s programmes: interpreting, translation and multilingual communication. By means of self-report questionnaires we have gauged the language learners’ willingness to communicate, cultural empathy, social initiative, flexibility, open-mindedness and emotional stability before they began their professional training. The data show that student interpreters score significantly higher than students of multilingual communication and student translators on the social initiative and emotional stability dimensions. These results seem to indicate that students aspiring to become interpreters can be distinguished from students aspiring to become translators or multilingual communicators on the basis of these personality traits. These differences are already in place before the students embark on their professional training in the master’s programme.