when touchy-feely isn’t your nature

The other day a young woman was referred to me who has been in the job market for well over a year.  She has a great resume and consistently gets two interviews per month, BUT NO OFFERS.

She’s a financial analyst by training and quite brilliant by anyone’s standards and yet, she cannot get hired.  After speaking with her for about an hour, here’s what I learned:

  • She’s strong INTJ on the Myers-Briggs Scale
  • She considers herself to be a no-nonsense, shoot from the hip, call-em-as-I-see-em person, in other words “If you don’t want the truth, don’t ask me.”
  • She does not consider herself a people person. In fact (her words), people are a bit of a nuisance….
  • Not unlike many professionals today, especially those in technical or finance fields, she still operates under the misconception that her skills and brilliance will not only get her hired but make her successful.  “This is who I am.  Why do I have to navigate all this touchy-feely stuff?”

How do you think this might affect her interview process?

Contrary to popular belief, just because one is an introvert does mean one has poor people skills.  In fact, research shows that the friendships and relationships built by introverts tend to be more profound and longer lasting.  The challenge is that introverts tend to be more cautious when meeting new people and therefore less open and authentic in initial encounters.  When it comes to interviews in which we have a limited amount of time to both sell our skills and ourselves, this puts one at a profound disadvantage.

Whether you are a person that is slow to warm up to others or you just prefer solo tasks to group activities, here are a few tips to support rapport building quickly:

1.  If you have an introverted personality, motivate yourself by recognizing that you don’t have the luxury of a long courtship during the interview process

2.  Most interviews are less about confirming technical competency and more about determining fit with people, culture and company so whether you like it or not, chances are you’ll receive a lot more behavioral questions than technical ones.

3.  Do your best to be genuine and authentic throughout the process.

4.  Adjust to your interviewers temperament style

5.  Keep an eye on body language and adjust accordingly

6.  Enhance your behavioral skills through programs that focus on soft skills

Remember, whether you work for someone else or aspire to work for yourself, you can accomplish little without working with and/or through others. There are a number of programs and tools out there to help you advance those skills but get over the notion that your technical competencies alone will get you to the corner office.

You were born to be great.

Continued Success!

 

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