Personality and Interviewing

I know I’ve stuck by my girl Dr. Meg Jay saying that identity capital can be the reason someone gets the job over you, but what about personality? Sometimes your personality is the reason why you don’t get the job.

Maybe you just don’t fit into the culture of the company. I know Zappos has a very specific atmosphere they want to maintain in their office. I personally think that’s smart. It is a good way to keep moral up at the office and give good service. Take South West for example, they have such great service! They hire people for a positive personality that can work in some of the hardest areas of hospitality.

You also might not get the job if the interviewer just “doesn’t see it”. I’m sorry to say it, but it’s true. I can’t say I blame the interviewer either. This can happen a lot when you’re working very closely with one other person. If your personalities don’t mesh, but instead mix like oil and vinegar then there’s a chance it could affect your work.

So what do you do? The way I see it is you have two choices:

1) Find a company that has a culture you fit into.

It is perfectly acceptable to say you do not want to change. You are who you are. Then fine a job that suites you. Are you really quiet and shy? Maybe a salesperson isn’t the best choice for you. Do you have a lot of expendable energy? Maybe you can focus that in a job that involves more physical activity. You might need to think outside the box or maybe you need to come back into the box and reach for something that’s not as extreme. You want to find a place where people are like you. They might not think the same or have the same talents, but they have similar personalities.

2) Be aware of your “unfavorable” qualities.

Are you a very talkative person? I think of Daisy Wick from Bones… I don’t know if you watch the show but Daisy Wick is an intern who is a very fast paste talker. Her boss, Dr. Temperance “Bones” Brennan, is a very serious person who likes her facts. Needless to say Dr. Brennan let Daisy go because they did not work together very well. Long story short Daisy realized her “unfavorable” quality and how to restrain it. She staid true to herself but also made herself easy to work with for anyone.

Which is better? I honestly don’t know. I’m going to assume it depends. It depends on how you feel. Obviously there are cases where not getting the job outside of the job description is not professional or acceptable. There are the obvious discrimination of sex and race, but we’re talking about personality. These two examples I would have to say are legitimate.  I think they’re legitimate because they directly affect work atmosphere and potential.

What do you feel about this? And what would you do if you were in this position? 


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2 thoughts on “Personality and Interviewing

  1. Great point Katie. I think personality is one of THE BIGGEST reasons why you may not get a job. Also, your talk of company culture is why it is super important to be honest and just be yourself in an interview. You don’t want to be hired only to find out that you loathe the atmosphere.

    • Agreed. I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing that personality plays a roll in getting a job. I think it’s just something to be aware of. And you’re right that you should be completely honest with yourself. Interviews are a chance for a company to interview you and for you to interview the company to see if its the right fit for you.

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