Understanding Personality During the Job Interview, Part 2

Understanding Personality During the Job Interview, Part 2

In the previous blog, I pointed out the difference between interviewers who had a preference for Sensing (they want lots of rich detail and data in your interview answers) and those who had a preference for Intuition (they appreciate big-picture, forward-focused answers). In this blog, let’s talk about how people make decisions.

THINKING VS. FEELING

This facet has to do with how you make decisions. Thinkers make their decisions with their head, using cool, impersonal logic and reason. Feelers make their decisions with their heart, using subjective values and morals.If you’re in an interview with a Thinker, you can be assured that he or she wants facts, data, and proof. Think of Sgt. Joe Friday on Dragnet: “Just the facts, ma’am.”

APPLICATION FOR THE INTERVIEW

If you’re in an interview with a Feeler, it’s all about the relationship and an alignment of values. Think about Meg Ryan’s character in You’ve Got Mail: After Tom Hanks’ character tells her it wasn’t personal (when he put her out of business), she replies: “All that means is that it wasn’t personal to you. But it was personal to me. Whatever else anything is, it ought to begin by being personal.”

This preference pair, by the way, is at the root of the “Mars vs. Venus” thing. In the US, 75% of men are Thinkers and 75% of women are Feelers. Here are some key words to help you further distinguish which preference your interviewer might have:

THINKERS FEELERS

Objective Subjective

Critical Kind

Justice Mercy

Wary Trustful

Question Approve

Law Circumstance

Non-personal Personal

Critique Appreciate

Detached Warm

Head Heart

Reason Peacemaker

WHAT ABOUT GROUP INTERVIEWS?

If you’re in a group interview, you want to provide a bit of both and avoid extremes. Deliver some bottom-line results for the thinkers—they love the cold, hard facts; provide feelers with some of the human impact of your accomplishments and convey that you’re a caring individual. What are the extremes? Gruff and unfriendly; flower child who cries.

As I mentioned in the previous blog: one of these preferences is innate to you and one is more like speaking a foreign language. The bottom line is: you’re in their country, so it’s incumbent upon you to speak their language.

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