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Have a Seat: T and F (How to manage stress once you’re actually in the interview)

Have a Seat: T and F (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. 

The previous two blogs examined the different kinds of interviewing situations or questions that can provoke stress for Es and Is and for Ss and Ns when they’re interviewing for a job or internship. In this blog we’ll continue by looking at the kind of questions or situations that can stress out Thinking types (Ts) and Feeling types (Fs) when they’re in the interviewee’s seat, and ways to reduce that stress during the interview.

For Ts: Because people with a preference for Thinking like to approach situations objectively and logically, personal questions, such as, “What is your favorite memory from childhood?” or, “What kind of person are you outside of work” are usually not their favorites and for Ts can tend to be annoying at best and stressful at worst. Their first thought is often something like, “Why are we talking about that?” But this is a good time for Ts to put their businesslike and analytical style to work.

For the “favorite memory” question, identify a favorite memory, but then highlight a skill that ties back to the work. For example, let’s say you were interviewing for a job doing research.  You could say, “My favorite memory was going to the beach with my family.  I would spend hours wandering the beach and examining seashells, investigating tide pools, and looking for sand crabs.  I guess I’ve always been a natural researcher.” For the “kind of person you are” question, describe the role you play in your friendships or your family and then tie it back to the work. For example, you could say, “I’m close to my family, and I enjoy spending time with them. In my family I’m known as ‘The Problem Solver,’ because they can always come to me with problems and I’ll come up with a way to solve them. That’s the same kind of thing I like to do at work.” See how you can take it right back to T?

For Fs: Since people with a preference for Feeling tend to take an interpersonal approach to situations, interviews that are strictly businesslike, such as, “Let’s say I’m not sure you’re right for this job; how would you convince me to hire you?” or interviews that are procedural and impersonal are usually not their favorite, and for Fs can tend to be somewhat rattling at best and stressful at worst. Their first thought is often something like, “Why can’t you just be friendly?” In those kinds of interview situations, Fs will want to remind themselves that the interviewer’s businesslike approach doesn’t necessarily mean that anything is wrong and that the interviewer is likely just focused on the task at hand. And those situations present the perfect opportunity for Fs to use their accommodating style to give the interviewer what he or she wants: a direct answer.

For the “convince me” question, try approaching it as less of a challenge and more along the lines of, “How can I be of help to you?” For example, you could say, “There are several skills I have that I think could be really helpful to you and your team. The first one is.…” Reframing a T situation with your F approach can reduce your stress and help keep you centered.

In the next blog we’ll look at Judging types (Js) and Perceiving types (Ps), the kind of interview situations that can push their stress buttons, and tips for dealing with that stress in an interview.

Read Patrick Kerwin’s previous blog: Have a Seat: S and N

Read Patrick Kerwin’s next blog: Have a Seat: J and P

 

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

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