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Using a Personality Assessment to Help You Leverage Your Authentic Self

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We all cringe at the thought of having to take a personality assessment when interviewing for a job. It seems awfully clinical. But the truth is, most people are shocked at how accurate they are. Rather than resisting this new part of the interview process, why not embrace it and use what you learn to your advantage?

The better you can get to know your authentic self, the better you’ll be able to sell the upside of you in an interview!

One of the many personality assessments currently in vogue in hiring departments is the Predictive Index (PI). This personality assessment is based on trait theory and the notion that our traits, whether developed by nature or nurture, will cause us to perform certain behaviors. In other words, these traits will determine what drives us and, ultimately, our personality.

What drives us will then determine the way we behave in certain situations.

The PI assessment has deconstructed the major drivers of behavior into four primary categories. The good news is, all combinations have their advantages. The trick however, is knowing yourself well enough to see how these traits can work to your advantage in a particular business setting.

So, what are the four categories and what does it mean if you score high or low in these areas?

1. DOMINANCE

In short, dominance refers to your desire to control your environment and/or be able to impact it in some way. But don’t start making judgements on whether or not being high or low is preferable. They are both valuable in different ways.

Being high on the dominance scale means you may be someone who gets lots of ideas and isn’t afraid to share them. In fact, you may be bursting at the seams to schedule a meeting to discuss some of your ideas and the positive impact you think they will have within your organization. You’re an innovator and have a unique point of view.

If you’re low dominance, you’re more likely to take it all in. You want to do a good job. You’re a team player who is willing to pitch in to get the job done. But make no mistake, this doesn’t mean you’re not capable of strong leadership.

Pro to being high dominance:

You’re very resourceful.

Pro to being low dominance:

You’re very collaborative.

2. EXTRAVERSION

As you might suspect, this trait creates your drive for social interaction.

If you’re high on the extraversion scale you have a real and sincere interest in others. You’re also great at being persuasive. Approval from those around you is very important to you.

You might score lower on the extraversion scale if you find yourself dreaming of the day when you’ll have your own office and work in a private space. You’re generally more introspective and observant. Of course you don’t necessarily shy away from social interaction, but you may gravitate toward being part of a small and trusted circle of friends.

Pro to being high extraversion:

You’re a great team builder and are very empathetic.

Pro to being low extraversion:

You’re analytical in your approach and have no problem working alone.

3. PATIENCE

This doesn’t necessarily mean what you think! Here it refers to your desire for consistency. Think of it as a barometer for your comfort level with change.

High patience people tend to like to keep the status-quo. If you are someone who is generally concerned with keeping the status-quo, you may fall into this category. You lean into the familiar and may shy away from things that are unknown to you or present new challenges.

On the other hand, if you’re a low patience person, you’ll gravitate towards change and be uncomfortable with the idea of sameness. Your mindset is “something new…bring it on!”

Pro to being high patience:

You’re very reliable and consistent.

Pro to being low patience:

You’re very adaptable.

4. FORMALITY

While good manners are always appreciated, that’s not what I’m talking about. This trait is all about your need for structure.

If you’re a high formality person, you might identify as a perfectionist. You’re process-oriented and you dot your Is and cross your Ts. Bottom line, you just want things done right.

Low formality people, you know who you are. Color within the lines? Nonsense. It’s better to just start and see what happens right? You go with the flow. What matters most is what you produce in the end, not the way you ended up there. Right?

Pro to being high formality:

Your work will be impeccable and you will have likely developed expertise in a specific area.

Pro to being low formality:

You’re flexible and willing to take risks that may yield great results those unwilling to take can’t achieve.

While getting the results of a personality assessment can be eye opening, it doesn’t mean you can’t get to know yourself better without one. You’ve probably already started to recognize these traits within you. Now just start to dig a little deeper. Find examples to match the pros for whichever category you fall into for each trait. Doing this will help you gain a deeper understanding of yourself and your drivers.

This exercise is also great interview prep. You can use any new insight to your advantage by turning every variation into a winning combination and playing up the pros!

Learn more about these traits and the professional impact they have. Looking for some free personality assessments and career tests so you can learn more about yourself? We’ve got the top three you need to consider!


About the Author: 

Michele Mavi has nearly 15 years of experience as a recruiter, interview coach, and resume writer. She is Atrium Staffing’s resident career expert, as well as director of internal recruiting and content development. She also founded Angel Films, a division of Atrium Staffing focused on the creation of recruiting and training videos.

For over 20 years, Atrium has been partnering with the most in-demand brands and fashion houses in the world, placing freelance and full-time talent in jobs they love.