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  • Writer's pictureCarole Stizza

Know Thyself BEFORE the Interview!

Updated: May 31, 2021

In today’s job market, hiring candidates for skills is closely followed by hiring for organizational fit. The reason for this is flatter organizations and more teaming. You will be assessed on how well you collaborate and communicate with others. Attitude is becoming more important than some skills as skills are believed to be teachable and attitude is much harder to positively influence.

Questions that scare people the most You will get questions around what you believe your strengths are and what you feel your areas for improvement are (often mislabeled as weaknesses). I’ve always had a beef with the improvement or weakness questions as they mislead the candidate in what to offer. This is where coaching with an HR and hiring background can shed light on what to truly offer when asked these vague questions.

But wait! There are ways to better understand more about yourself in these areas. As someone who loves data, I often use carefully validated assessments to help people learn about what they naturally do right, how they naturally see the world (and how different that may be from how others see the world), and what they may not do well at all due to the strengths they have.

How diverse do I need to be? Remember, successful leaders are not well-rounded, their teams are. Teams are made up of those who have diverse ways of interpreting information. Yes, they will have different skill sets too, but how they interact with the world, how they gain their energy, and what they need to be their best is completely different than the person sitting right next to them in the meeting room.

Recently, Monster offered a quick article on free ways to learn more about yourself prior to the interview. While the list does contain some strongly validated assessments, it also contains spin-offs that use the validated data from the core assessment to claim their own validation.

For example, Meyer’s Briggs Type Indicator (known as MBTI) offers you information on yourself about how you gain your energy (extrovert vs introvert), how you take in, and offer, information (big picture versus detail oriented), whether you think first with your head or your heart in how you view a situation (thinker vs feeler), and how you utilize time (judger vs. perceiver). HINT: If you are a judger of time, it is not a validation to judge people – it is how you judge time and you often love to be on time, or early, and feel it is a matter of respect to be timely. Perceivers simply love to fit in as much as possible every minute made available to them and will get to the meeting on time, smoke coming from their heels as they screech to a stop right before entering the door.

The assessment that piggy backs off of all the MBTI information is called the 16 personality types and simply gives you a fun title depending upon which of the 16 personality types you are found to be from taking the MBTI assessment. You still need to take the MBTI assessment and the free online version offers a simplified version of results. If you find these satisfying to get you started, that’s their intent – however…

But who am I, really!

if you REALLY want to know some rock-solid information about how you work best and what you need to look for in an organization to set yourself up for success, look into how to maximize the strongly validated and very popular with large organizations (think Facebook): the Clifton Strengthfinders assessment. This assessment reveals what strengths you were naturally born with and are meant to use. The term ‘flow’ comes from when you are truly being your best and this assessment provides you information that helps you to maximize how you ‘flow’ and succeed.

Bottom line – YES! assessment results are fun to learn, valuable, and great to share – just make sure you’re investing in ones that truly count for success at work when looking to interview.

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