What does my personality say about me?

Jun 2013


There are a number of universally admired key personality traits which constitute your passport to success at any interview. Use them for reference as formulate answers to tough interview questions.

Personal Profile

The interviewer searches for personal profile keys to determine what type of person you really are. The presence of these keys in your answers tells the interviewer how you feel about yourself, your chosen career and what you would be like to work with. Few will arise from direct questions. Your interviewer will search for them in your answers to specific job-performance probes. The following words and phrases are those you will project as part of your successful, healthy personal profile:-

  • Drive – A desire to get things done. Goal-orientated.
  • Motivation – Enthusiasm and a willingness to ask questions. A recruiting firm realises that a motivated person accepts added challenges and does that little bit extra on every task.
  • Communication Skills – More than ever, the ability to communicate effectively with people at all levels (internally and externally) is essential.
  • Chemistry – The interviewer is looking for someone who does not get rattled, wears a smile is confident without self-importance, gets along with others – in brief, a team player.
  • Energy – Someone who always gives that extra effort in the little things as well as important matters.
  • Determination – Someone who does not back off when a problem or situation gets tough.
  • Confidence – Not boastfulness. Poise. Friendly, honest and open to employees at every level. Not intimidated by the big fish, nor overly familiar.

Professional Profile

All recruiting firms and organisations seek candidates who respect their profession and their employer. Projecting these professional traits will identify you as loyal, reliable and trustworthy:-

  • Reliability – Following up on yourself, not relying on anyone else to ensure the job is well done, and keeping superiors informed as and when necessary.
  • Honesty/Integrity – Taking responsibility for your actions. Always making decision in the best interests of your employer/client, never on personal whim or preference.
  • Pride – Pride in a job well done. Always taking the extra step to make sure the job is done to the best of your ability. Paying attention to the details.
  • Dedication – Whatever it takes in time and effort to see a project through to completion, on deadline.
  • Analytical Skills – Weighing the pros and cons. Not jumping at the first solution to a problem that presents itself. Weighing the short- and long-term benefits of a solution against all its possible negatives.
  • Listening Skills – Listening and understanding as opposed to waiting your turn to speak.

Achievement Profile

Most companies have limited interests: making money, saving money (the same as making money) and saving time (which does both). Projecting your achievement profiles, in however humbler a fashion is key:-

  • Money Saved – Every penny saved by our thought and efficiency is a penny earned for the company.
  • Time Saved – Every moment saved by your thought and efficiency enables your company to save money and make more additional time available. Double bonus.
  • Money Earned – Generating revenue is the goal of every company.

Business Profile

Projecting your business profile is important on occasions when you cannot demonstrate ways you have made money, saved money, or saved time for previous employers. These keys demonstrate you are always on the lookout for opportunities to contribute and that you keep your boss informed when opportunities arise:-

  • Efficiency – Always keeping an eye open for wastage of time, effort, resources and money.
  • Economy – Most problems have two solutions: an expensive one and one the company would prefer to implement.
  • Procedures – Procedures exist to keep the company profitable. Don’t work around them. That also means keeping your boss informed and respecting and following the chain of command. Do not implement your own ‘improved’ procedures or organise other sot do so.
  • Profit – All the above traits are universally admired in the business world because they relate to profit.

As the requirements of the job are unfolded for you at the interview, meet them point by point with your qualifications. If your experience is limited, stress the appropriate key profile traits (such as energy, determination, and motivation), your relevant interests and your desire to learn. If you are weak in one particular area, don’t offer this information – perhaps that dimension will not arise. If the area is probed, be prepared to handle and overcome the negative by stressing skills that compensate and/or demonstrate that of will experience a fast learning curve.

Do not show discouragement if the interview appears to be going poorly. You have nothing to gain by showing defeat and it could merely be a stress interview tactic to test your self confidence.

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