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

Have a Seat: S and N (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 last blog on interviewing and stress, we looked at the kind of interview questions and situations that can provoke stress for Es and Is when they’re in the interviewee’s seat. In this blog we’ll continue by examining the kind of stressful interview questions and situations for Sensing types (Ss) and Intuitive types (Ns).

For Ss: Since people with a preference for Sensing usually like to focus on what’s real and tangible, hypothetical questions such as, “What would your ideal job look like?” or, “What would you do if…?” (followed by a situation not previously encountered), are typically not their favorite and can be quite stressful for Ss. Their first thought might be something like, “Why are they asking me about things that aren’t real?!”—but Ss can put their practical focus to work and find a straightforward response to such questions.

For the “ideal job” question, start off in your comfort zone—“the known”—by describing the attributes of jobs or activities you’ve enjoyed in the past or the skills you used in them, and then add “the unknown” of any attributes or skills you haven’t experienced but would like to. For the “What would you do if…” question for a situation you’ve never seen before, again, start with “the known” and identify a related situation and how you handled it. For example, if the question was about how you would handle a coworker who was angry with you, and that had never happened to you before, you could relate your answer back to a time when you dealt with a fellow student or friend who was angry with you and how you handled that situation.

For Ns: Since people with a preference for Intuition usually like to focus on concepts and ideas, questions that focus on specifics, such as “Can you walk me through your work history?” or “Could you describe the steps you took to decide to major in psychology?” are typically not their favorites can sometimes be annoying for Ns. Their first thought might be something like, “Why are they focusing on minutiae?!” But Ns can put their innovative focus to work and find a novel way to respond to those questions.

For the “work history” question, start off in your comfort zone—“the big picture” and present an overview of your work history, such as “I’ve had a really interesting bunch of jobs, ranging from lifeguarding to being a lab researcher, and they’ve all had a similar theme—problem solving.” That overview will give you a context for then getting more specific and listing your jobs one by one. It’s a similar strategy for the “describe the steps” question. Start with the big picture, such as, “I’ve always been interested in people and what makes them tick,” and then recount the steps you took to decide on your major.

In our next blog we’ll look at potentially stressful interviewing situations for Thinking types (Ts) and Feeling types (Fs) and tips for managing that stress in the interview.

 

Read Patrick Kerwin’s previous blog: Have a Seat: E and I

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

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  1. Have a Seat: E and I (How to manage stress once you’re actually in the interview) | CPP Blog - [...] Read Patrick Kerwin’s next blog: Have a Seat: S and N [...]
  2. Have a Seat: T and F (How to manage stress once you’re actually in the interview) | CPP Blog - [...] Read Patrick Kerwin’s previous blog: Have a Seat: S and N [...]

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