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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Bringing Yourself to the Interview

Written by Patrick L. Kerwin
MBTI® Master Practitioner

A friend of mine was getting ready to interview for a job recently, and was talking to me about a piece of advice she was getting from people that she wasn’t finding helpful. You know the one: “Just be yourself.” Rather than heeding that advice, she had been busy trying to turn herself into a pretzel, preparing to twist and turn herself into whatever the interviewers might want her to be. And this wasn’t working very well.

Being prepared for a variety of interviewing questions and situations is a good strategy – but you need to start from a position of strength. Your best position of strength is being yourself – and one way to do that is by remembering your MBTI type preferences.

In her case, we discussed her preferences for ENFJ, and what strengths her type might bring to the corporate trainer position she was applying for. She talked about being a natural facilitator, being comfortable teaching a variety of subjects, and being at ease with new groups of people. With that as a starting point and a place of strength, she didn’t have to be a pretzel – she just needed to help the interviewer see how her strengths could be an asset in a variety of situations on the job. And if “being herself” wasn’t a good fit, then it wasn’t the right fit.

So that trite saying really is true: just be yourself. And if you need a little help on how to describe yourself, do a little reading about your MBTI type. Pick out three or four qualities that reflect your greatest strengths, and make sure and mention them in the interview. Starting from “who you are” will help you be the best interview candidate you can be.

And by the way… she got the job!

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