How Knowing About Personality Preferences Can Help With Interviews And Networking
There are many ways to prepare yourself for the employee hiring process, or your next networking event. One method that may get overlooked, is knowing more about personality preferences. Assessing your personality preferences can help you sort your natural inclinations into a connected combination that can help you communicate better. This can be extraordinarily helpful when applying for a job, and companies are recruiting candidates and looking to hire top talent.
The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®) can be used to determine your personality preferences. There are 16 types within the MBTI and each type has different preferred ways to communicate. Knowing, or approximating, your type as well as those around you can make the difference between standing out or blending in.
Extraversion or Introversion – How do you gain energy?
Sensing or INtuition – How do you take in information?
Thinking or Feeling – How do you make decisions?
Judging or Perceiving – How do you lead your external lifestyle?
Everyone has a preference for one of each of these pairs. Taking the MBTI and consulting with an MBTI Certified Practitioner will give you the best experience, however there are ways to approximate your preferences yourself, which can give you a good basis to help you in an interview and/or networking event. Take a look at this chart for a description of the 16 types as well as how to approximate your type. (View the chart.)
You can also use this online Jung Typology Test to approximate your type.
It is important to note that there is no “correct” type and that these are just preferences, it is possible and probable for someone to act “off-preference” throughout the day. There are also no “correct” answers, only your answers. When taking the test, be sure to find somewhere quiet, when you have plenty of time to devote to honest answers. Reconnect with yourself!
How might your preferences affect your communication?
- If you have a preference for extraversion you might like fast-paced, group discussions where you can interject in the moment.
- If you have a preference for introversion you might like one-on-one discussions and enjoy having time to consider the topic before asking questions.
- If you have a preference for sensing you might like facts, straightforward language, and specific examples.
- If you have a preference for intuition you might like to look at the bigger picture, metaphors, and analogies.
- If you have a preference for thinking you might like to hear/provide objective information and logical pros and cons.
- If you have a preference for feeling you might like to know things from a more personal perspective, values-based, and considering the effect on people.
- If you have a preference for judging you might like a more structured, organized event with a sense of closure.
- If you have a preference for perceiving you might like a more open-ended event with many possibilities.
Applying Personality Preferences to Interviews and Networking
Now that you know more about personality preferences, how can you use that to your advantage in interviews or networking?
With interviews, it can help to be aware of different communication styles and to try to appeal to more than just your own preferences during the interview. This can be an advantage if professional recruiters or hiring managers don’t share your preferences. You want to be able to present information in a way that the interviewer can take in better. For example, if you tend to communicate from a more personal, values-based perspective, including lots of metaphors and analogies (feeling and intuition) you can also provide some objective information and specific examples (thinking and sensing).
While it might not feel the most comfortable to communicate in various preferences it does help your message reach an audience where you don’t know their preferences. This comes in handy when you seek employment, and it is time to answer hiring questions. With practice you will get better at it. Don’t wait for your interview to do this for the first time, try incorporating different communication preferences into your everyday communications and see how it goes.
Networking events can be more flexible than an interview situation, so you may have more opportunity to not only communicate across preferences but to also find a setting that fits your preferences better. For example, if your preference is for extraversion, you might feel more comfortable in an open environment talking to many people about how to find a better job, recruitment strategies, the best websites for finding jobs, etc.
Whereas, if your preference is for introversion, you might be more comfortable keeping to the edge of the room, or even finding a quiet corner to talk about places to find jobs, the best job seeking websites, etc. And remember, having a preference for introversion doesn’t mean you should dread or avoid networking events. However, you may want to plan for some nice quiet downtime immediately after the event to decompress and collect yourself.
Whatever your personality preference, you can learn to communicate more effectively. This skill can be applied most advantageously to virtually every area and relationship in your life. In order to raise both your interview and networking game you can begin practicing on friends, family and new acquaintances.
However, you will want to bear in mind that rarely are people exactly like their “type”. Most people fall along the spectrum. Also, unless (and even if) the person has taken the MBTI, you’ll be assuming a lot about a person based on what you think you know. Be careful, as you know what they say about assuming! This article is designed for you to gain a little insight into how to communicate more effectively during the hiring process. We want you to stand out for the right reasons!
Do you have any positive experiences that came from using the MBTI? Do you have any advice on how to handle different personalities during the employee hiring process? Do you know any tips for the best way to find a new job? We’d love for you to hear from you! Comment below, and connect with us on Social Media.