When you interview for a potential job, they’re looking at more than your skills and what’s listed on your résumé. They want to know if you’ll fit in at the office and the qualities you offer. Someone gave me advice for job interviews that I found very useful. They said to be sure to do two things to prepare for your interview. First, read over the job description and think of talking points that relate to the job’s duties and qualifications. For example if it says “attention to detail” think of a situation where you paid attention to detail and it helped the office. Second, think of problems the office likely faces and how you would contribute. For example if it’s a job at a law office, they’re probably busy and deadlines are important, so you would want to emphasize your time management skills (with specific examples – do you make lists? schedule things on the calendar so they get done? how do you prioritize? ) and attention to detail. So below is a breakdown of traits specific to the Meyers-Briggs Type Indicators, Introvert or Extrovert, Intuitive or Sensing, Thinking or Feeling, and Judging or Perceiving and the qualities they encompass, which are listed below each type. Hopefully the ideas below will get you thinking about how your personality is a good fit for the job you’re applying for and about how to highlight these qualities in an interview.
One of introverts’ strengths is that they carefully listen to questions and think before they speak. Their weakness while interviewing tends to be that they can seem unsure or disengaged when they’re listening and thinking about their answer. Introverts are:
Composed – If relevant to the job, emphasize how you’re calm under pressure. Composed people are often good at performing and giving presentations. They’re also good at jobs that are demanding and stressful.
Focused – If relevant to the job, emphasize our ability to focus on what needs to get done and use your time efficiently. Focused people are often driven, but can occasionally get tunnel vision.
Reserved – Introverts are a kind of “self-contained unit.” This means they work well independently, they often don’t need external validation, but it can also make them a bit more difficult to get to know.
Independent – Independent people work well by themselves or as part of team, but also work well without much supervision.
Extroverts will answer questions more quickly, and tend to be good going off the cuff. Extroverts also tend to be more likely to share a story as it relates to their answer. This is great in demonstrating examples, though be sure they’re concise and relevant.
Outgoing – Outgoing people thrive off of the energy of others. If they go to a party, they’re the ones who go home feeling energized. In a job setting, outgoing people are often good at putting others at ease, while working well on teams and with a variety of clients. A common weakness is that outgoing people can sometimes ramble and forget to match the tone of their audience. If you have a serious interviewer, cracking a lot of jokes might not be the best way to make a great first impression.
Engaging – People who are engaging are great building rapport with whoever they’re speaking with and are good at giving dynamic examples that demonstrate their skills. They’re often good public-speakers and good at giving presentations.
Idealistic – Idealism can be both a strength and a weakness. Idealistic people tend to be great at looking at the big picture and thinking positively. They just need to temper their idealism with pragmatism. Don’t let your ideas or explanations get too abstract or too unrealistic.
Imaginative – Imagination is almost always a positive trait. Imaginative people often think of things in a unique way and contribute great ideas. Don’t forget to include your ideas of how to implement things.
Complex – Intuitive people are complicated. There’s really no way around it. N (intuitive) and F (feeling) are compatible qualities, so people who are complex are often also compassionate and empathetic types. They’re good at synthesizing feelings and complex ideas or issues.
Perceptive – Perceptive people pick up on details and are also good at predicting outcomes. In addition, perceptive people sense other people’s energy and demeanor, so they’re good at building rapport and connecting with their audience.
Hands-on – Hands-on skills blend perfectly with practicality. Sensing people want to work directly with clients or patients whereas intuitive people are more likely to want to be orchestrating the overarching program.
Practical – Sensing and thinking are highly compatible qualities, so people who are practical, observant, and hands-on are often also logical, pragmatic, and objective. These are the do-ers. They like to get things done, are good at problem-solving, and often envision direct short-term solutions as opposed to bigger long-term solutions. They look at immediate needs, which makes them good in a crisis.
Observant – Observant people are often practical and skilled problem-solvers because they see problems, they take in their surroundings, and they notice details.
Ethical – Ethical people are great at working with complex issues and make good leaders because they are diplomatic and not simply looking for power or prestige.
Compassionate – Compassionate people are good at team work because they like to create harmony and they like to help others reach their full potential.
Sensitive – Sensitive people do well in fields like social work and psychology. The difference between sensitive and observant is that sensitive people notice feelings and internal things whereas observant people notice external events and details.
Empathetic – Empathetic people work well with others. They’re often great in customer service (as long as it doesn’t over-burden them) and are good at creating harmony and building consensus. Empathetic people like to include others. They’re also able to look past the surface to the root of an issue.
Logical – Logic is important in many of professions, especially fields that involve computers, math, and science. Thinkers tend to be a bit less creative, but they get things done. They are efficient with their time and work through things in an organized fashion.
Objective – Being objective helps in situations where you have to make a lot of judgment calls. These people are great at managing a large work-load because they know what needs to get done vs. what they want to do. They are also good at making tough decisions, which makes them strong leaders.
Dedicated – When people initially hear “judging” they often think that equates to judgmental. Not true. What it means is that you have strong judgment skills. You’re good at making decisions, whether that’s being decisive or weighing pros and cons. You know what is and is not optional. You’re dedicated to getting things done and work tirelessly. Just don’t burn yourself out 🙂
Steady – Steady people are often even-keeled and easy-going. They are people who others gravitate toward because they’re low-maintenance and have a calming influence. The problem with being steady is that sometimes you might come off as detached. That being said, steady people are good in a crisis and good under pressure. Occasionally steady people can come off as rigid or unwilling to try new things.
Responsive – Responsive people can adapt quickly. They respond to their surroundings, they can multi-task, and switch gears at the drop of a hat. Responsive people tend to be more flexible. At it’s worst, responsiveness can transcend into being reactive and easily riled-up.
Spontaneous – Spontaneous people are valuable in their willingness to trying new things. They are sometimes easily side-tracked, but when they have an idea, they’re ready to get started on it right away. Just don’t let spontaneity cross over into impulsiveness.
If you’re able to describe your personality and how it will contribute to your place of employment, you have a great skill that will set you apart from others. It shows you know yourself well, indicating maturity and confidence. If a question comes up about your problem-solving skills and you’re an intuitive person, you can answer that question saying “I’m imaginative and great at brain-storming. Seeing the big-picture is one of my strengths. For example one time while working on xyz project I pointed out that we might want to consider the impact of if we took xyz course of action, which is something the group hadn’t considered before” or something to that effect. You are worth more to an employer than just your skills. Hiring managers often hire someone who is less qualified if they’re a strong fit for the company culture.