Personality Test
George Washington - Guardian Supervisor (ESTJ) Mother Teresa - Guardian Protector (ISFJ) Albert Einstein - Rational Architect (INTP) Margaret Thatcher - Rational Fieldmarshal (ENTJ) Mikhail Gorbachev - Idealist Teacher (ENFJ) Eleanor Roosevelt - Idealist Counselor (INFJ) Elvis Presley - Artisan Performer (ESFP) Jacqueline Onasis - Artisan Composer (ISFP) Dolley Madison - Guardian Provider (ESFJ) Queen Victoria - Guardian Inspector (ISTJ) Walt Disney - Rational Inventor (ENTP) Dwight David Eisenhower - Rational Mastermind (INTJ) Thomas Paine - Idealist Champion (ENFP) Princess Diana - Idealist Healer (INFP) Charles Lindberg - Artisan Crafter (ISTP) George S. Patton - Artisan Promoter (ESTP)

The Toughest Interview Question
"Tell Me about Yourself"

This seems like such an innocuous question, but many novice job candidates have a hard time giving an answer. Even experienced interviewees can sound like canned ads for the jobs they are interviewing for. Employers ask open-ended questions so they can see how candidates will present their skills, abilities, and ambitions.

Here are the most common mistakes to make when answering this question:

"True Confessions" - Tess answered by confessing that she had just completed the course to learn a new piece of software, but that she would try her best to do a good job. This shows a lack of self-confidence so Tess will not rank high on the list of who to hire.

"Home and Personal Life" - Women are most likely to make this mistake of describing how many children they have and disclosing other personal information, such as age and marital status which are illegal for the employer to ask.

"The Commercial" - Some people have read interviewing books or been trained by career counselors. They may give a 30-second commercial which shows their skills being tailored to the job needs. These often sound too canned and may be too limiting in showing the candidate's abilities.

"I'll Tell You Exactly What You Want to Hear" - Some job candidates try to be all things to all people and emphasize skills that they believe the other person wants to hear. One individual talked about his attention to detail and accuracy and how he could keep a project's budget on track. A few months after he was hired, he was seldom in his office and spent lots of time making contacts that could potentially bring in new business. Fortunately, his manager was knowledgeable about temperament and realized that he was likely was an Artisan Promoter. He now works in a position that better fits his talents.

How can you prepare to answer an open-ended question such as "Tell Me about Yourself?" You can use your results from the Keirsey Temperament Sorter as a tool. Review the document and highlight areas that demonstrate skills you enjoy using. Write down verbs that show you in action and nouns that show your qualities that you exhibit. Next, write down three adjectives that describe you. Here's a sample to choose from: energetic, organized, timely, adaptable, far-thinking, problem-solving, artistic, creative. Then , think of a time when you solved a problem. Employers like to hire people who show initiative. Then organize these items into a 30-second commercial.

A Guardian might want to emphasize their organizational ability, their dedication and timeliness. They are very skilled at making sure that things, information and people are in the right place at the right time. Gina, a Guardian Supervisor, was applying for an accounting position. She had just graduated from college and her work experience included an internship. Here's her answer to "Tell Me about Yourself."

"Last summer I worked as an intern for XYZ Accounting. I was known for being thorough and accurate in my work. We were in a big rush to make a deadline and I noticed that one page was missing from the master I was copying. I let my boss know. We found it, and were able to get the pages in order and the report printed in time for his meeting. I'm sure that my attention to detail and to high quality work will be an advantage for your company."

An Artisan might want to emphasize their versatility, their fast response time, and their energetic problem-solving abilities. Brian was an Artisan Performer, with a lot of experience in customer service. He answered the question in this manner:

"I've spent ten years in Customer Service. People want solutions, and they want them quickly. I'm known as a guy who gets things done. One of our dealers sold both new and used cars. He had a customer interested in a luxury used sports car that needed a particular part. He'd had no luck getting the part through his usual channels and asked me for help. I made a few calls and the part was on its way to him from across the country in two hours. The sale went through. I'm really energized by solving problems for people."

An Idealist might want to emphasize their ability to work in teams and to coach others to success. Inez is an Idealist Teacher experienced in Human Resources. She worked in various departments and her ambition was to become a manager. She applied for a position as a Manager of Employee Relations in a large company. Here's her answer:

"With 20 years experience in various departments in Human Resources, I'm ready to contribute my knowledge to managing the Employee Relations department. This department requires knowledge of legal liability and requirements for businesses. Both employees and managers are uncomfortable with employee relation issues. Education of all parties given with a large dose of tact is necessary to keep problems to a minimum. In my last position we were able to forestall a potential lawsuit. One thing I particularly pride myself on was being able to solve issues of employee/supervisor mismatch. Helping them understand their roles, responsibilities, differences in strengths and weaknesses solved many problems. At times it was necessary to reassign the employee to a different manager so they could continue to be of value to the company. I'd like to bring my knowledge to serve this company."

A Rational might want to emphasize their ability to analyze systems and to create new designs. Tony, a Rational Fieldmarshal was applying for the Manager of Information Systems. He answered the Tell Me about Yourself Question in this manner:

"As you are well aware, the field of Information Technology has seen a lot of changes in the 30 years that I have been in the field. New software and new technologies are constantly being introduced. It is a constant challenge to maximize the competitive advantage while minimizing costs. In general, people who are attracted to IT are self-educating problem solvers. But the rate of change and pressure on the staff can be so high that people get burned out. One of the innovations that I used at my last company was giving spot awards to individuals who volunteered to show new techniques to colleagues. Many people in IT concentrate on their own projects and don't pass information along and the spot awards have encouraged a more communicative environment. I'm now looking for a new challenge in a larger sized company and believe I would be a good fit for your needs."

In each case, the person answering the question gave a true picture of how he or she solved problems and brought value in their last situation. None portrayed themselves in a phony style. None are likely to end up in a mismatch with their skills not fitting the new position.


Temperament and Careers

Planning Process
Finding Your Passion
Your Current Situation
Who Am I?
What Are My Options?
Evaluating Options
Creating an Action Plan

Selection Process
Informational Interviewing
The Toughest Question
Evaluating an Offer
Salary Negotiations

Succeeding On The Job
Your Boss
Dress For Success
Successful Presentations
Working From Home
Dealing With Stress
In a Shrinking Job Market

Making Changes
When to Take Risks?
Taking a Job in a New City
Who Will Get Laid Off?
Is Your Job a Poor Fit?
Networking is Key

Where the Jobs Are
Healthcare: Many Opportunities

Keirsey Products and Services
Individual Assessments
Team Assessments
Temperament Certification
One-on-one Coaching
Team Building Workshops
Company-wide Conferences

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