There is a common post-interview plague that is tragically infecting job seekers. It is in regards to not understanding how the interview went and going as far as to say you “killed the interview.” From my experience in being the middleman in this process, those who claim the interview went amazingly well, don’t get the job. Those who said the interview was OK, or they “think it went alright” are the ones who usually get the role.
Lack of Awareness
There is a disconnect between what you perceive as building rapport and being jovial, and the true reality of the situation. Candidates will tell me they were joking and laughing and the conversation was very light-hearted, as trademark signs that the interview was going swimmingly. What’s happening is the laughter is the nervous kind, and the jokes were off-putting. The laid back nature of the interview is because they’ve already decided you aren’t a fit and they don’t need to get deeper into the details of the job. Generally, this is recurrent theme with these candidates and is something that can be reversed by focusing on MBTI and the way in which one interacts and perceives the world.
Myers- Briggs and Interview Style
We have to start by understanding ourselves. And the way we do that is by first reading, Please Understand Me by David Kiersey. Once we discover the way our specific type (out of 16) perceives and relates to others– in a way I guarantee most of us haven’t fully conceptualized– we can fix some of the recurring potholes we always stumble in.
I think I can offer one straightforward explanation as to why your type is affecting your interviews and potential job offers. If you are an Extrovert in general, you are going to get your energy from the outer world. If along with your extroverted-ness, you also have a preference for Feeling vs Thinking, you are going to internalize your outer world. So when you get the laughter and smiles and eye contact in the interview, you are going to say, “hey, I am doing pretty well here!”
Unfortunately, you may be reading the situation on a very superficial plane. Your S and T functions will come in handy here if you make a wholehearted effort to develop them. Learning to strengthen your Sensing (S) and Thinking (T) functions will help you pick up on physical clues that can alert you to points when the interview might be taking a wrong turn and you need to course correct.
Obviously, there are millions more words to be written on the finer points of using MBTI to help with JUST how to interview better and be more aware of our faults. Though our tendency is to find a way to externalize our blame onto the interviewer, we should first make certain the interviewee truly knows themselves.
A resume is designed to capture the attention of 2 different people; the Skimmer and the Scrutinizer. The perfect resume will cater to both their review styles and satisfy their internal check-boxes.
The Skimmer is somebody who is looking for keywords to judge whether or not you deserve an interview. This type is the person you want if you are a word salad writer and want to pass this filter. Specifically when a role has a must-have qualification, this is the resume reviewer that you want. The Skimmer’s downside can be quite embarrassing to you as the candidate. Say you get to the interview based on having the right keywords jammed in your resume. You are asked during the interview to explain your experience with, let’s say, Adobe Illustrator. Yes, you’ve used it, but it was one time, and it was really just Adobe Photoshop, but really it was MS Paint. And now you are backtracking and looking like a clown. This is an instant fail; much like driving on the sidewalk during your Driving Exam.
The Scrutinizer is the guy who nitpicks your resume line-by-line just looking for a reason to reject you. The benefit of this type is that if you do manager to pass their filter, you are likely already a top candidate for the position. The downside is that this type will often reject those who are very qualified, but missed 1 or 2 crucial bullet points that would have sealed the deal.
You can make a resume that satisfies both types without exaggerating, stretching, or adding fancy graphics. Here is what is needed:
Include the specifics of the tool, project, application, or the final result ($$$ saved, quota achieved etc) to each bullet point. Don’t say something like, “Administered database to ensure data continuity.” Tell us it was SQL or Mongo or whatever, but make it clear what the tool was. Too many candidates get rejected by The Scrutinizer when they leave these small details out.
Make it obvious that your job title is in line with the standard duties of that role. If you are a Project Manager, you need direct reports, budgets specifics, and clients if applicable. The most common mistake I see is people label themselves a manager without actually having direct reports. This is where you can pass the filter of the Skimmer, and lose bigly in the interview.
Keep in mind that words mean things. But some words don’t have value because they are too vague or, even worse, misrepresent you. Instead of words that can be left up to interpretation like, “helped, assisted, and managed”, words like “architected, designed, and implemented” are more concrete.
At the heart of the resume is the 3 C’s: Clear, Concise, and Cnot Lying. If you stick to these, you will get more interviews and offers than you know what to do with.