IT Employment

Are you the person other people see?

Do you think you know how you come across to other people? It's a job-finding liability if you don't.

It takes only a gander at those horrifying People of WalMart pictures that circulate on the web to know that there are a good many people out there who have no earthly idea how they come across to others. And, unfortunately, the lack of self-awareness extends way beyond camo-patterned spandex and ill-advised tube tops.

Truly not knowing how other people perceive you could be a big handicap in landing a job. (Not caring is something different.)

I've told this story before in this blog: Some time ago when I was nearing the due date for having my son, I felt like a manatee, both in my size and seemingly endless gestation period. My physical discomfort came across as irritability and impatience. A guy we'd just hired around that time told me later that he was scared to death of me.

After I was back from maternity leave, he was able to discern just how adorable I really was and we became great friends. Fortunately, that was a situational thing that remedied itself.

But we all know that co-worker who knows a lot but who tries to show it the wrong way -- with long discourses or condescending, "I can't believe you don't know this" tones. When that person is not appreciated for his knowledge, he is dumbfounded. And in this age of people seemingly unable to deliver criticism, the behavior goes unacknowledged and keeps happening in the next job.

I've known people who think they are actually very driven when they're  just solid Type Bs. There's nothing wrong with being a Type B, but don't present yourself otherwise, or you'll surely disappoint an employee who has different expectations of you.

I don't usually suggest that employers hire staff based on the results of personality testing, but I do think those tests can be a good tool in giving you a snapshot of yourself if you have problems getting an objective view.

Here's a link to a free Myers-Briggs test that I recently took. I scored as an INFJ, which I think is pretty close to how I see myself. The test takes just a few minutes. Check it out.

About

Toni Bowers is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.

53 comments
boxfiddler
boxfiddler

today. Tomorrow could be else...

theNetNanny
theNetNanny

Never thought I'd see this in a Tech forum! I've taken this test at different stages in my life, and it does reflect the situations I was in at those times (altho not getting paid as a 'councelor' or 'protector'). It is true that what surrounds you and what you put up with -makes you- to some extent. This time around I'm INTJ. Glad the I.T. career choice lines up with that! The "mastermind" title was an amusing ego boost. Think I should use it in my next job interview? ;-p

AV .
AV .

I am an INFJ, like you. My entire IT career has been spent helping people in a tech support role and doing a lot of hand holding along the way. I think people see me that way too. I'll go the extra mile to help them. AV

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

That should throw the entire thing into disrepute for you... :D Still haven't got a clue how other people see me though, how about you, do you see yourself as me? :p Aside from the mnor differencs like you still have your hair and stuff.

Lovinmalamutes
Lovinmalamutes

Wow, Where do you get this test? I've taken other type of personality tests and so far I've come out having a personality. hahahahahaha

Chronological
Chronological

I love these types of tests. Took the same years ago and scored an INFJ that time. Guess I'm more paranoid now that I'm becoming an old coot ;) lol. Nice article, Toni.

albayaaabc
albayaaabc

we saw social web that give as personality behaviour "lucky today"depend on Name and Date of birth and more new by kind of sex like Hash Dash.

chris.reynolds
chris.reynolds

INFJ Here. Fun test. I had to think about quite a few questions and felt that there should have been a Maybe option for some of them. Perhaps that is because I am an INFJ!

bornish
bornish

The biggest lesson I've learned while studying graphology was that any individual may have any given set of characteristics, some of which are temporary, even mood related. Thus, all people (currently living or not / born or not yet born) may be selected only in as many categories as how many combinations of these characteristics exist (or we wish to consider). Instead of trying so hard to assess the personality of people, we should better assess the quality of the environment in which these people are living, since in most cases the environment has the greatest impact on their personality. Simpler put: we should tend to improve the system before we accuse any individuals, as part of that system. It is natural to tell "I can't believe you don't know this" to someone who is an university graduate and asks you for the 3rd time an elementary thing (1st time being given the answer & 2nd time being shown how to find the answer online). To desire and / or request training should be appreciated, but to expect it from your peers and also use it as an excuse to pass on responsibilities is a different (wrong) attitude. Personally I find unacceptable for someone to be more concerned about his / her image than the image of their own results. Most "politicians" (obviously, that's not a real job), famous or not, have taken an image course / training... how many of them are prepared to do the job for which they are asking a vote?

santeewelding
santeewelding

How others see me, amounting to a guess on my part that they do, is further removed if they say how, or even that they do. At which point, I can know what they say, and no more. Are you feeling lucky? Are you willing to trust what [u]I[/u] say?

bobp
bobp

Although this test has a little leeway on some of the answers, it is surprisingly accurate. I was having problems with a subordinate years ago and didn't realize how I was coming across. Later, after finding this test, and reading how my personality type interacts at work, I realized what had been happening. I am ESTJ and I am very straight-forward. Some people regard that as a threat for reasons I now understand, but didn't at the time. I loaned the book to somebody and never got it back so I haven't looked at it in a number of years so I forget the details. Another test said I was Hegelian in my thinking - seeing things in terms of opposites, and that examining conflicting ideas helps me understand an issue. That also helped understand how I was communicating - or, more accurately, mis-communicating. Between the two, I became a better supervisor and teacher. There are a number of different tests that help give insight to your personality and how you interact with others at work, in romantic relationships, etc.

Charles Bundy
Charles Bundy

at parties and may be useful in a navel-gazing sort of way, but I'm horrified to think you would ever suggest using them in hiring. Reading the Type A/B link you provided only served to reinforce that these sorts of generalizations about people do not stand scrutiny.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

So I take the meyers-briggs again, in what way is that how other people see me? It's not even how messrs meyers and briggs see me is it? And this is the real problem with these so called tests, the people setting them haven't got a clue what they are...

tech_ed
tech_ed

Whenever I take one of those personality tests, I find that the majority of the questions I can answer in many different ways depending on my mood at that particular instant...and the rest of the questions I really don't care about the question enough to give any thought to the answer. In my experience, these things have about as much validity as astrology and numerology do on individual people's lives! I also find that the questions on these personality tests do not have enough detail for me to adequately give an honest answer. I cannot answer a question with inadequate data on the environment in which the question is presented in. As such, I believe that these things are garbage science...Might as well throw out some tarot cards if you're going to make me do a Myers Briggs test. Hey, let's check the bumps on my head while you're at it! Or see how long my lifeline is! Then you can use Physiognomy to enforce eugenics and create forced labor camps populated by those who don't fit into your neat and tidy little 4 letter mold!

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

For one being right and two so I can get more down votes.

Chronological
Chronological

Not trusting at all. lol. Seriously though, what's so harmful in taking an interesting personality test? It must at least be fun to see how you scored?

Charles Bundy
Charles Bundy

These are useful introspectively, because you get to label yourself. Perfectly OK. It's people labeling other people and making decisions about their future that bother me.

bornish
bornish

Did you ever go to a party at which you took a personality test? Maybe you should find new friends!

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

A clue , how does me taking this test, show me how other people see me? Cure my ignorance oh enlightened ones....

Papa_Bill
Papa_Bill

...you have answered several of the questions in your reply better than you could have with the multiple choice. You would rather use tried and true methods than to imagine and innovate. You require technically complete information before you make a decision. You have little tolerance for those who subscribe to what you see as false science. Your mood can affect your decision - making capabilities. I would'nt go so far as to "type" you, but it might not as difficult you believe.

LocoLobo
LocoLobo

The bumps on my head can tell you a lot. They can tell how many times my head has been.. bumped. LOL

santeewelding
santeewelding

If Myers-Briggs has finally happened on how we are, then Myers-Briggs has done so for the first time in the history of the world. Moronic.

bobp
bobp

"subordinate" is shorter than "person I supervised." Being concise is helpful in communication.

Papa_Bill
Papa_Bill

You will analyze each question, disregard the stupid ones that are poorly phrased, weigh the implications of each valid selection and score it yourself, won't you? Your curiosity and analytical mind will force you, as soon as you can find a break

toni.bowers
toni.bowers

are surprised by the test results. It can maybe show them how their actions are interpreted. Now I have a question for you: Why do you seem to read and comment on my blog so frequently if you hate it? Is it just a "love to hate you" thing because you've made your point. If it's that anguishing for you then don't put yourself through it.

Chronological
Chronological

I haven't voted on your comment at all but I suspect you got the negative score because you said that the people setting the tests are basically morons in their own field. lol. It's a bit of a mean thing to say if you think about it.

santeewelding
santeewelding

Sub-ordinal to you in Negatives. I shall try harder.

santeewelding
santeewelding

Without looking it up, one of the Ms stands for "multiple" and the I for generally sanctioned modern "insanity". Knowing Seanferd, that's probably what he had in mind.

bobp
bobp

I haven't heard of that one.

seanferd
seanferd

If it's a "no harm done, just fun" little test, what exactly do you expect to learn? Or is it just fun? May as well check your horoscope then. I suppose its better than using the MMPI as a part of a corporate hiring procedure (or just for fun), but Timothy Leary had an interesting way to chart personality, etc., as well. There was no argument made against having fun with the test, if that's your idea of a good time. (Cosmo reader?) There were questions about the validity and usefulness of the test. meta: Wow, what a thread.

santeewelding
santeewelding

Another tidbit of intelligence about buzz and the beehive.

toni.bowers_b
toni.bowers_b

But there's no use arguing with the Buzz Killingtons of the world. Bet they're fun at a party, no?

Chronological
Chronological

Maybe it's moronic to think that he found the answer to life, and it's even more moronic to think that your personality type from this test is going to determine your entire self, but what on earth is moronic in having fun with a simple little test?

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

Subordinate, someone of a lower rank / class.... There are other definitions , but in my experience people who use that word, definitely mean lower...

santeewelding
santeewelding

In a small place. Explains why you translate without invoicing them.

AnsuGisalas
AnsuGisalas

He says: These tests do not show how other people see a person, they show how a psychiatrist or two interpreted the possible combinations of multiple-choice answers to questions they set up, for the subjects to answer according to their own self-awareness. They are meant to reflect and typify the inner nature of a person. He is correct in this, the tests are not meant to show any outside perceptions. She says: Why are you always so critical? She is partially correct, Tony seems more often moved to comment by disagreement than by agreement. However, Tony has also been very clear about his disdain for anonymous downvotes. His reaction to those is not to be seen as a reaction to the blog itself. It is an issue apart. I don't see a solution beyond live and let live. Argue about your differences when you feel like it, refrain from doing so when you don't.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

When I do agree with you I say so, admittedly because it's pretty rare. When I disagree with you, you either ignore me , or tell me I'm being unendingly negative. Don't just tell me I'm wrong tell me why I am, if you are right I will learn the lesson and correct myself. I'll even, being braver (or dumber) than most admit I messed up. Do you know what strikes me about most of your management articles. They all omit, that managers have managers, you have this adversarial employee versus manager running all the way through them. Take a step back and think of it as managers and managed, it's subtle, but then you might see a few negative managers posting as well, which should dilute and explain your unendingly negative perception of me.... It will enable you to ask yourself a key question, that bad managers never consider. Why should you expect, far less demand "better" behaviour from your people than you do of yourself? If you can answer this question as I don't and I shouldn't then I've got to say, you've failed to show that everytime you do the us and them split. Because all those people who have nice positive discussions on your blog, would answer that question, because I'm a manager....

toni.bowers
toni.bowers

I really don't. I just don't understand the steady IV drip of negativity that some of you take such glee in. Sometimes it interferes with real discussions among the other members.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

Got to take a moment to reflect how did this interaction escalate to here. Have you ever felt that some people press your buttons deliberately to "win" an argument. Make you look just stroppy and negative, perhaps? If or more like when they do, how would they see you? Took me a long time to learn that. Not saying Santee did that by the way, doubt he knows you well enough either.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

So goes right to the heart of the supposed intent of this post. Given we have the same type of personality I can recomend a course that will help you with the lashing out when someone is foolish enough to disagree with you thing.

toni.bowers_b
toni.bowers_b

Yet you're completely comfortable making an assumption about a fault I supposedly exhibit. If I exhibit the worst fault in corporate management, then can I assume you exhibit the worst fault in communication--that of speaking in riddles ("a failure to manage, is a failure of those that they manage, to be managed") and an overwhelming desire to find the negative in everything and make sure everyone knows you're smarter.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

yourself exhibit the worst fault in corporate management. Namely that a failure to manage, is a failure of those that they manage, to be managed. Your posts come up in newest or hottest, and I read them an on occasion at least in my opinion contribute, if you or someone else exhibits the above ignorance I feel an ethical and moral obligation to alleviate it. Part of being like you I suppose...... This one. What would be interesting is if we filled out a test for each other. I suspect the results would be different even if we tried to be fair and honest, sort of a Meyers-Briggs 360. They wouldn't be that valuable though because our interaction is limited. My other issue is why. We both 'scored' INFJ. That do you like to be in the centre of the room or the side question. I answered to the side because there are less directions for my enemies to come at me.....

santeewelding
santeewelding

I speak only as Number 2, but I can usually spot the entry of your blogs in Discussions by headline alone. I am drawn right to them. For one, to confirm my guess that it is you (10 out of 10). For another, to see what next crucial human element you have identified in the world (of IT). And, to see how you go about handling it. I suggest you tackle umbrage, next. Then, grace.

Papa_Bill
Papa_Bill

Your *wink* bleeds through the keyboard!

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