Interview Tips: Capitalizing on Your Strengths and Personality Type
Interview jitters? Ensure you boost your chances by leveraging your personality type. Read these tips to know how to play it right at the next interview.
While the key to getting an affirmative response to your job application lies in the creativity, honesty and brevity that is conveyed through your resume and cover letter, oozing confidence is what works at the in-person interview. Confidence stems from believing in yourself and backing your strengths. Some are “born confident,” as they say, but it takes some level of guidance and motivation to get some people to radiate self-confidence.
Your personality (and how it is perceived by recruiters), as Mona Abdel-Halim says in her article on Mashable.com, plays a big role in determining whether you have a good shot at the job you’ve applied for. There’s no reason why your personality type should hold you back during the interview process. In fact, it is the other way round. You know yourself better than anyone else – what your weaknesses are, what your strengths are – and the trick to create a lasting impression on the interviewer is to push the latter forward.
When you’ve got your job cut out in front of you — in this case, appearing for an interview — the smartest thing to do, then, is to forget about your limitations and make your strengths the center of attraction. That’s how brands become successful and that’s how you can, too!
Interview tips for every personality type
You usually come across as the silent and aloof type. This can actually work in your favor since it allows you to project yourself as someone who takes his time to think before speaking. You won’t need to put up a façade in most cases. So the next time someone asks you about introversion, here’s a comeback:
“I might take time to open up to people. It might seem like I’m reserved. But I have no shame in admitting that I’m an introvert. I tend to put a lot of thought into everything I do. I believe I can stand out without shouting out.”
Beware: If your interviewer comes across as an extrovert, don’t allow him/her to dictate the terms. While respect and courtesy are essential, you’ve got to make sure you get your points across to them.
Hey, you already have the world on your side. Recruiters have a soft corner for friendly, outgoing people who speak their mind and have this uncanny ability to make friends wherever they go. They make great leaders and are generally proactive when it comes to taking initiatives at work. All you need to do is ensure that you are in the best of moods on D-Day and be your chirpy self during the interview. Easy-peasy.
Beware: Don’t overdo it. While being candid and sociable is great, interviewers don’t want someone who talks more than he/she listens.
Flexibility can sometimes be perceived as uncertainty and indecision. Whatever the job, recruiters always look out for someone who can take decisions on his own (if and when required). The best way to leverage your flexible personality is to be prepared to answer the “where do you see yourself 10 years down the line?” question in a way that combines your open-mindedness with a certain long-term perspective in place.
Beware: There’s a huge difference between being flexible and being a pushover. Make sure your interviewer doesn’t see you as the latter.
We all love all-rounders. But the “jack of all trades, master of none” phrase comes into play here. Interviewers appreciate the fact that you can adapt to different situations, but they want to know that you’re specifically most-suited to the job requirements. The next time you apply for an advertising copywriter position, convey to the person on the other side of the table that while you are an adventure sports junkie with a keen eye for design, art, filmmaking and cooking. Your forte is exactly what the job demands – the ability to conjure up content that sells. Try this:
“If I were to sell myself as a brand, this would be my punch line: Jack of all trades, master of one – writing persuasive copy.”
You tend to look at things in a more objective way. You prefer to take into account the logical consequences of anything and everything. Convey to the interviewer that you are highly focused about your goals in life. Knowing what you want reflects discipline and ambition.
Beware: You definitely do not want to come across as a rigid, difficult or uptight person.
You are quite subjective; a lot depends on your mood and state of mind at any given point of time. You usually consider what’s more important to you as well as those around you. Interviewers will love you because you are the closest to being a human – and nobody wants to hire a robot.
Beware: Don’t make it sound like you do everything based on your gut feeling. While knee-jerk reactions and risk-taking abilities may come naturally to you, it’s best to not make it too obvious during the interview process.
I could go on and on because there are other personality types, too – the 16 personality types of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator®, for instance – but I suppose you’ve gotten the point of this article.
Positioning yourself in a manner that is specifically appealing to someone looking to hire a candidate for a precise position is what you call “role play.” But that’s risky business.
Pro tip #1: When the interviewer asks you the dreaded “what are your weaknesses?” question, don’t get too hassled. Give ‘em a list of weaknesses that you think won’t have a role to play in your field of work. Can your weaknesses be covered up by automating something you’re not good at or hiring someone to do it for you? If the answer to that is a “yes,” problem solved. Recruiters want people who know what their shortcomings are and can figure out ways to get over them.
Pro tip# 2: It’s not just YOUR personality type that matters. An interviewer’s questions can give you hints about their personality type, too – so observe them keenly, take those clues and remodel your answers if you feel like it.
The whole process of communicating with humans is prone to misunderstandings and differences in opinion. The key lies in understanding your personality — and the personality of your interviewer — and driving the conversation in your preferred direction. Success guaranteed!
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