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Should You Alter Your Personality For An Interview?

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Getting a job interview is a challenging thing to do, let alone getting a job. Different employees and departments have so many varying personality types that it can be hard to know what people expect from you. Should you alter your personality for an interview?

CAREEREALISM founder J.T. O’Donnell suggests not to, but there is one important action you can swap in for changing who you are.

If you change your approach in a job interview based on the different types of personalities you’ll be dealing with, you have a much better shot of really connecting with your interviewer. Knowing which personality type you are and which one they are makes the path to common ground much clearer.

We have an interaction style assessment test linked to at the bottom of this post that will help you determine what type you are, and how that makes you appear to other people. You’ll be able to customize your approach to the interviewer to give yourself a much better chance to move forward in the hiring process.

The test we use to assess people has four different outcomes: contemplator, commander, empathizer, and energizer. Once you know which of those four you are, you will know your polar opposites and who you work well with.

We encourage you to know yourself and your personality type very well. Be aware of the body language you’re exhibiting to others,  including facial expressions. If you know how others see you, you’ll be way ahead of most other job seekers (and people in general). One of the biggest hurdles in deal making is not knowing how one is perceived.

You can use the signs other people give off to figure out what personality type they are and what they would like to see/hear from you.

Always think about how THEY want to be communicated to based on their actions. Act accordingly and you just may get what you [both] want.

Are you a little confused about what we mean? Try this example:

If you’re a contemplator, you’re thoughtful and emotional, but probably don’t show it. Others may see you as snobby, aloof or indifferent.

If you’re dealing with someone who is more animated, you need to smile more, because the person needs to feel more from you. Lean in or laugh more. Give the other person more information than you might normally. Any of these tactics will make sure they’re comfortable with you, because they’re the types of things they appreciate most.

When you can start to anticipate what people need and know how to adapt to give them what they want, you will be well on your way to a high emotional intelligence. Whether it’s because of technology or some other reason, we’re losing our ability to connect with people, so developing emotional intelligence is as important as ever.

Don’t change your personality, but tweak how you deliver messages based on who you’re communicating with.

It’s YOUR job to present the information in the right way, and if you do so, you may get the job and a lot of productive work relationships along with it.


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