As great as we think we are, we all have professional flaws. I will admit I heavily depend on auto spell check and have struggled with attention to detail since I am a “Big Picture” worker. I have been made aware of these professional flaws my entire career. It seems that the more I try to improve my professional flaws, the further I get from focusing on what I am good at. We cannot change intrinsic parts of our personality. Some attributes will always be a part of us. But there are practical ways of improving our humanistic professional aptitude.
Throughout my career, I have taken dozens of personality tests. The first time I took a personality test was during a job interview for a private culinary school. The job I was interviewing for was Academic Advisor, and the pay wasn’t great. The interview process was grueling and took almost 10 hours to complete. It consisted of group projects, one-on-one panels, and finally, a personality test. It was my first time taking a personality test, and it seems a bit mentally intrusive.
“The goal of this exam is to choose the first answer that that resonates with you.” The announcer stated, slightly smiling at all of us candidates. As I read quickly through the short instructions, I realized that there were only two potential answers to choose from. “Oh, this is going to be a breeze!” I muttered to myself. As I began to read the questions, I noticed that most of the questions/answers were simply reformatted over and over again. I zoomed through the questions and finished the exam in 20 minutes.
Feeling pretty great about the potential job offer, I sat down for my final interview with the hiring manager. “Thank you for coming in and spending the day with us; we appreciate your time and efforts to stay for the duration of this interview day, Jenice.” He said with extreme direct eye contact. “Thank you, I appreciate it,” I responded. “What was your favorite part of the interview day?” He asked. “Honestly, the personality exam … it was my first time taking one,” I responded with a smile in return. “Really? The personality exam was your favorite part?” He asked. “For sure, it was fun. I am excited about learning more about my results.”
I concluded with insistence. “Well, before we do that … I want to tell you a little bit more about the position you interviewed for. It requires some personality skills that are embedded in who we are as individuals, not things we can necessarily change about ourselves. And unfortunately, you don’t have those personality traits.” He finalized.
My mouth dropped to the floor. “Oh, what does that mean exactly?” I asked with great hesitation. “To be honest, you are an ESTJ which means, for the most part, you are a natural leader and lack empathy.” He said, thumbing through my results. “But, that means that you now need to focus on your strongest traits and find the position/career that is right for you.” He smiled. “Okay … so I didn’t get the job?” I asked. “No, we would be doing you a great injustice to put a personality such as yours in this position. If we have any leadership positions open, you should apply to those positions. Again, thank you for your time.” He said as he handed me a copy of my personality results.
What did you get from my experience? I know I received one of the best pieces of professional advice I could have asked for. I wanted to learn more about my strong suit and what an ESTJ was, so I researched my personality. I have done several personality exams since that interview and guess what? I am still a strong ESTJ personality type. There are significant parts about this personality type and all personality types. The point is, that the hiring manager did me a professional favor. I was able to truly focus on what I was good at and not try to change parts of myself that are what make me … me. To this day, I tell that story to those who have hard times finding their professional purpose to give them an understanding – you are great the way you are. But do you know who you are? Sometimes, your purpose is to focus on what you are good at and let everything else work out on its own.
Focus on learning and growing every day,
Friedman. (n.d.). MBTI Personality Test. Retrieved 2021, from http://www.lrjj.cn/encrm1.0/public/upload/MBTI-personality-test.pdf
Myers-Briggs Test Excel Version. (n.d.). Retrieved 2021, from https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=sites&srcid=b2Nkc2IuY2F8bWxsZS1jYXJyaWVyZXxneDozYzI1MmFlYzY3Y2QzODRh
Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (Short Version). (n.d.). Retrieved 2021, from http://apps.nacada.ksu.edu/conferences/ProposalsPHP/uploads/handouts/2013/C079-H04.pdf