When it comes to job search and interviewing, I often administer a DISC assessment to my coaching clients in an effort to help me get to know them better.
This exercise also helps the client understand his personality, style, and natural tendencies. The information gleaned from the assessment is particularly useful especially if you are cognizant of how environmental influences affect your interactions and responses.
I won’t lie – this process is challenging. Who really starts to think about all of this stuff when they are trying to convey information during an interview? This would be a lot to remember. It’s kind of like a pilates class; you need to remember how to hold your head, arch your back, where your feet and hands need to be placed - all while concentrating on your ‘core’. Wow! That seems like a horrible game of Twister.
All kidding aside, understanding your natural and adapted styles can allow you to overcome challenges and ‘adapt’ to meet the needs of a wide variety of personality types. This is extremely useful – especially in a corporate setting where you are going to encounter many different types of people – all of whom operate differently.
If you can understand the way people act, you will be in a better position to effectively communicate with them. So, the DISC assessment helps me provide direction to my clients and educate them on how to communicate better, increasing their understanding of one another. In a situation where you are interviewing for a job, this ability can drive your success.
Here are a few tips and observations to help you with your interviewing strategies:
- Before responding to a question, it is ok to pause and think about your answer. You will accomplish the following:
- Get to know the body language of the interviewer;
- Have an opportunity to study facial expression;
- Avoid responding too soon with an answer that you are less than happy about.
- Determine the interviewer’s style. Is the person animated? Direct? Relaxed? Precise? The ability to understand a person’s behavioral styles will help you adapt to that style and improve communication.
- Prepare to answer some tough questions – not with trite or obvious answers, but with honest and productive answers. For example:
- What do you consider your biggest weakness? This question is a loaded gun; however, an answer about being overly detailed or a work-a-holic will not get you any points.
- Use a real situation. In doing so, you will come across as genuine. Your real weakness should be supported by the things you did or do as part of your corrective action plan.
The interview is an opportunity to adapt your style in a way that can work to your advantage. Maintain awareness of your own behaviors, responses and interactions while observing the same in others. You can apply what you learn to positively impact all of your interactions.
Debra Wheatman, CPRW, CPCC is President of Careers Done Write, a premier career services provider focused on developing highly personalized career roadmaps for senior leaders and executives across all verticals and industries.