I see the hiring process very similar to buying a used car. You know the previously owned automobile has both good points and bad points. Just because it has flaws doesn’t mean it is a bad vehicle. It could fill the need and get you to where you want to go. But before you take ownership of the vehicle, you want to know the negative traits so you can prepare for them in the future. So if the car burns a little bit of oil, you can be prepared by keeping a spare container and topping it off every now and then.
For me, interviewing is almost identical. You probe the candidate to find out both the good and the bad. Once you take receivership, it is very expensive to let them go. You want to use every tool at your disposal to break through the facade that candidates put up to keep you from finding out the negative stuff. What I like about human personality, is that it is a way to cut through the barrier and see what is on the other side that a person wants to hide.
From what I’m told, in some states it is illegal to give a job candidate a personality test. The MBTI organization also strongly frowns on the hiring of a person based on their personality type. But other personality organizations such as D.I.S.C. do encourage companies to know the personality type of a job candidate. I feel that if you are hiring someone, it is your fiduciary duty to hire the best candidate for the position, and therefore it is important to know both the good and the negative traits of your job candidate.
In the past, I used to give personality tests to job candidates. But I noticed something immediately. ALL, and I literally mean “all” the candidates were coming back as being characterized as having the Judging preference from the Myers Briggs system. This is the preference that says that they make decisions in advance. In other words, they show up on time for work, they dot all the “i”s and cross all the “T”s, and they work until the job is complete.
However, according to the statistics, half of the human population have the opposite preference, which in the Myers-Briggs system is the “Perceiving” preference. These people are easily distractedly shiny new objects (SQUIRREL!), and they occasionally show up for work late, and they aren’t quite a thorough as you want them to be.
The reason for them all coming back as having the “Judging” preference is because they know employers want conscientious* . They want to seem like they are the ideal candidate for the job, right? Duh… Which employer doesn’t want a conscientious employee? So all job candidates say the same thing – projecting that they will have good work ethics once they are hired. They say things like: I am a hard worker, I show up for work on time, and I learn quickly. You’ve heard these things, right?
The only way the personality typing process is accurate is if they are in their natural state and the results don’t matter if they get the job or not. Since that isn’t going to happen, I have come to realize that you need to hone your typing skills so that you can type them without having them in know it. And if it is illegal in your state to give a personality test you need a way to pick up on personality from what they hand over to you. That is what this article is about, how to pick up on the clues that reveal a person’s personality type from their resumes and the questions they answer for you.
In the personality system described here on this website, there are four personality types: Warriors, Logisticals, Strategists, and Morale Officers. Each has particular “personal values” that may or may not make them qualified for the position you are trying to fill. You can read about those values in my book: “Selling by Personality Type,” and this information is small snippet of what you’d read there.
I’ll go through some of the clues that you can pick up just from reading their resumes. In this article, I’ll concentrate on the Warrior temperament.
Identifying the Warrior Personality Temperament
Of all the people currently applying for your entry-level job, the large majority of them come from the Warrior personality temperament. I’d say it is close to 70% of the resumes that I personally receive, even though Warriors make up only about 38% of the human population.
Why is that?
Because by definition, the Warriors have the Perceiving preference – think of it as “SQUIRREL!” They easily get bored by their job and are looking for the next opportunity. That is one of their values after all – they value an “opportunity.”
They desire variety, and therefore are easily bored by their current job and are always looking out for the next opportunity. That is one of their values after all – they value an “opportunity.”
Since they are constantly scanning the world for a new opportunity, they switch jobs a lot more often than any of the other personality temperaments. In fact, they not only change jobs, but they change careers often too. Because of this, you will notice on their resumes that they have a long list of employers that they have worked for and in very diverse fields. One day they may be a truck driver, and the next they are a chef.
This could actually be a good thing for your business because they have a lot of variety of experience that they can draw upon that can benefit your business.
The other thing you will notice about the Warrior is that they value “skills” more than technical expertise. They would rather go wide than deep, if you know what I mean. And therefore, you will always find a section on their resumes labeled “Skills.” Always!
Now other personality types may also have a section on their resumes labeled “skills” as well, so it may be possible to get them mixed up. So you have to look at other clues as well.
Stylistic Clues of the Warrior Temperament
When a Warrior writes their resumes, they have a particular style that is easy to distinguish. They will write about the job in third person style as if they were describing someone else that was doing the job. They will tell you what tasks the person doing the job will be doing. For example, if they were writing about a secretarial job they had, they would say it something like: “typing, filing, 10-key phone system, interacting with supervisors.”
They will also tell you by what authority they did their job, which is something that other personality types do not say in their resumes. For example they might say something like: “Followed OSHA Standards,” or “keeps equipment operational by following established procedures.”
They also like to tell on their resumes “how” they did in the job. I can’t tell you the number of times that I read on a resume that they “achieved 100% customer satisfaction.” Again, this is the type of stylistic clues that make their resumes different from other personality types. My question is how do you know you’ve achieved 100% satisfaction?
In a nutshell, on the resume of the person with the Warrior personality, you will see “what” they did, and “how” they did it. But it is very rare to read “why” they did what they did.
The One Question That Reveals A Warrior Personality Temperament
One question that I ask of every person that applies for employment at my company is: “What is the purpose of a job?” I like this question because it helps to expose the personality temperament of the job applicant by how they answer it. The person with the Warrior personality temperament will always respond by saying how “they” personally benefit from being employed. They almost never write how the employer will benefit from them working for the company. They will typically say something similar like: to provide for my family, to better yourself, or to learn new skills (there is that word “skills” again).
Common Phrases of The Warrior
Here are some common phrases they put on their resumes:
- “Quick thinker” or “Quick on my feet”
- “Timely Manner”
- “Make people laugh”
- “Good sense of humor.”
- “Positive Attitude”
Here is a typical example resume of a person with the Warrior personality temperament:
* “Conscientiousness” is the term used in the Big 5 personality system in place of the term “judging” that the Myers-Briggs System uses.