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Have a Seat: J and P (How to manage stress once you’re actually in the interview)

Have a Seat: J and P (How to manage stress once you’re actually in the interview)

10-part series by Patrick Kerwin, MBTI® Master Practitioner, with some great tips on how students can manage stress. 

In the previous three blogs we looked at interview questions and situations that would likely be stressful for Es and Is, Ss and Ns, and Ts and Fs. In this blog we’ll look at what could stress out Judging types (Ps) and Perceiving types (Ps) when they’re in the interviewee’s chair, and also how to manage that stress if it happens.

For Js: People with a preference for Judging usually like situations and tasks to be orderly and organized. That applies to interviews as well, so Js typically like to know the interview schedule, have the interview start on time, and have it proceed in an organized way. As a result, when an interview doesn’t go according to the plan, when an interviewer is running late, or when the interviewer is “all over the place” (which is how Js might describe it), they can get annoyed and stressed, the last thing you want to project in an interview! In some cases an unorganized interviewer or interview process can be a glimpse of things to come in the job; but sometimes it just means that the interviewer was busy or having an off day, or that the demands of the organization interfered with the interview schedule.

You can’t figure that out on the spot, but what you can do is “recalibrate” and come up with a new plan or schedule to get yourself reoriented. That can be as simple as telling yourself something like, “So far today everyone has been late and distracted. I don’t need to address that now, but when I get home I’m going to come up with some follow-up questions to ask. That way I can find out if that’s the normal way of doing things here or if something unusual was going on.” If you have an interviewer who is going from one topic to the next, you can bring some loose structure to the interview by saying something like, “I can tell there are a lot of topics we need to cover in the interview. What’s one you’d like to start with?” Getting that little bit of J back into your world will help you navigate through the rest of the interview!

For Ps: People with a preference for Perceiving usually like situations to be free-flowing and flexible. That also applies to interviews, so Ps typically like interviews that move from topic to topic, and are comfortable if timeframes shift during the interview process. For Ps, when the interview process is highly structured, when the interview is very time focused, or when the interviewer is “uptight” (which is how Ps might describe it), they can feel rushed, constrained, and stressed—conditions that don’t bring out the best in a P!

Now, sometimes a highly organized and extremely orchestrated interview process is indicative of what would await you if you got the internship or job; but sometimes it’s just a reflection of an interview process that runs like clockwork or an interviewer who is time sensitive. Again, you can’t know that right there on the spot, but what you can do is use your flexible P style to go with the flow and see how the day turns out. You can also tell yourself something like, “This isn’t the way I’d like to work, but I’ll find out later if this is the way things run here, or if it’s just this particular interviewer or even this particular day.” If you’d like to go off topic during a highly structured interview, you could try saying something like, “There’s something I’ve thought of that is a bit off-topic but that I think you’ll find relevant to this job. Is there time to talk about it now?” Loosely scheduling the time for “off-roading” during the interview will open up the space for you to go there!

In the next blog, we’ll address what happens when—despite our best efforts—we do get stressed out!

Read Patrick Kerwin’s previous blog: Have a Seat: T and F

Read Patrick Kerwin’s next blog: You’re Exaggerating

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  1. Have a Seat: T and F (How to manage stress once you’re actually in the interview) | CPP Blog - [...] Read Patrick Kerwin’s next blog: Have a Seat: J and P [...]
  2. You’re Exaggerating | CPP Blog - [...] Read Patrick Kerwin’s previous blog: Have a Seat: J and P [...]
  3. The Self-Aware Student, Part I | CPP Blog - [...] both in and outside of the classroom. Additionally, stay tuned for a discussion on type and stress triggers, and …

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