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  1. #1
    Member Valis's Avatar
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    Default INTJ Interview Problems

    Hello everyone!

    I've recently applied for a couple of senior management positions in educational establishments. On both occasions I was selected for interview (the first was reduced to a shortlist of 8 from 60+, 12 were interviewed for the 2nd job from 32 original applicants).

    Obviously I was please to have been shortlisted, however on both occasions I THOUGHT the interview had gone well but was surprised by the feedback.

    For the first interview, I was told that I was too competitive. This was a fair comment based on my interview as I'd commented on how I'd set out to destroy a competing department (I don't think I used those exact words). However, this contradicts how I really behave at work as I seek to collaborate with other staff and build relationships (in order to achieve my aims).

    Feedback from the second interview indicated that a lot of the candidates were more experienced than me (fair comment). However, another comment was that I focused too much on technical issues rather than interpersonal - that I lacked soft skills.

    Has anyone else encountered this kind of problem at interviews? If so how was it overcome?

  2. #2
    Happy Dancer uumlau's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Valis View Post
    Hello everyone!

    I've recently applied for a couple of senior management positions in educational establishments. On both occasions I was selected for interview (the first was reduced to a shortlist of 8 from 60+, 12 were interviewed for the 2nd job from 32 original applicants).

    Obviously I was please to have been shortlisted, however on both occasions I THOUGHT the interview had gone well but was surprised by the feedback.

    For the first interview, I was told that I was too competitive. This was a fair comment based on my interview as I'd commented on how I'd set out to destroy a competing department (I don't think I used those exact words). However, this contradicts how I really behave at work as I seek to collaborate with other staff and build relationships (in order to achieve my aims).

    Feedback from the second interview indicated that a lot of the candidates were more experienced than me (fair comment). However, another comment was that I focused too much on technical issues rather than interpersonal - that I lacked soft skills.

    Has anyone else encountered this kind of problem at interviews? If so how was it overcome?
    To be in senior management, especially in any kind of "educational" enterprise, public or private, requires "soft skills." You need to understand people, because education is more about people than it is about doing things in a technically correct manner. You're going to be running into a lot of FJs and FPs who are worried about interpersonal relationships, and not about whether their department is over or under budget. That's just how it is. And both the FJs and FPs will be very skilled managers with both people and technical skills.

    An INTJ without good people skills in a management role usually causes a lot of resentment and political backstabbing, of which he is often unaware. You not only have to care about the people with whom you deal, and many of them need to have an impression that you care, first, before they'll start taking your technically competent advice. You do this not by saying, "I care," but by asking them what they care about, what's important to them, and making it clear that you are not blowing off their concerns. As a manager, your job isn't to boss people around, but rather to set goals for your department, and help the people in your department meet both those goals and their own personal goals (in terms of development, career progression, etc.).

    Disclaimer: I've never been a manager, but the above is how I've seen good managers operate. Employees, even NT employees, need to feel that their work is appreciated and important, otherwise the good ones tend to leave and the bad ones tend to stay (because you can't keep the good ones). By keeping the work environment positive, you keep the good employees and it's easy to get rid of the bad ones because they get in the way of the good ones.
    An argument is two people sharing their ignorance.

    A discussion is two people sharing their understanding, even when they disagree.

  3. #3
    Member Valis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by uumlau View Post
    To be in senior management, especially in any kind of "educational" enterprise, public or private, requires "soft skills." You need to understand people, because education is more about people than it is about doing things in a technically correct manner. You're going to be running into a lot of FJs and FPs who are worried about interpersonal relationships, and not about whether their department is over or under budget. That's just how it is. And both the FJs and FPs will be very skilled managers with both people and technical skills.
    It's unfortunate that is the case. I was rather hoping that senior management would rely more on strategic planning and horizon scanning. However, the more experience I have of management, the more I realise how important people skills are, especially for people right at the top, who are ambassadors of an organisation.

    I think you're right about education and the public sector. There can be a tendency to reject change. There are many social networks within organisations, some not obvious or based on rank and one has to be careful.

    I do like to quote numbers, emphasise growth, profit, efficiency when others take more of an interest in students and staff as people.

    Quote Originally Posted by uumlau View Post
    An INTJ without good people skills in a management role usually causes a lot of resentment and political backstabbing, of which he is often unaware. You not only have to care about the people with whom you deal, and many of them need to have an impression that you care, first, before they'll start taking your technically competent advice. You do this not by saying, "I care," but by asking them what they care about, what's important to them, and making it clear that you are not blowing off their concerns. As a manager, your job isn't to boss people around, but rather to set goals for your department, and help the people in your department meet both those goals and their own personal goals (in terms of development, career progression, etc.).
    I thought I had reasonable people skills: I have certainly developed them over the years. But as an INTJ I typically suffered in my youth, was very much on the outside looking in. Now I'm more mature, I've done a few more things with my life and that has given me some wisdom in knowing how to treat people. However, I have been told before that I needed to be careful in meetings as I came across as opinionated, domineering and outspoken. I can't help myself - I have to say my piece most of the time.

    I do worry about what people really think of me, though I would never admit it. I'm not that close to people at work and prefer to stick to business, whereas some staff will indulge more in gossip. Quite often I'm the last to know about any intrigue.

    My problem isn't really about managing the people beneath me. I do that well, my team respect me and follow where I lead. They value my advice, they know that I will back them all the way as long as they're doing what they're supposed to be doing and I have a hands off approach. I get things my way in the end a lot of the time as I take the long view and work steadily towards achieving goals either directly or indirectly.

    My bigger problem is being able to sell myself during interviews and convincing others that I'm well rounded.


    Quote Originally Posted by uumlau View Post
    Disclaimer: I've never been a manager, but the above is how I've seen good managers operate. Employees, even NT employees, need to feel that their work is appreciated and important, otherwise the good ones tend to leave and the bad ones tend to stay (because you can't keep the good ones). By keeping the work environment positive, you keep the good employees and it's easy to get rid of the bad ones because they get in the way of the good ones.
    Thanks for your advice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Valis View Post
    For the first interview, I was told that I was too competitive. This was a fair comment based on my interview as I'd commented on how I'd set out to destroy a competing department (I don't think I used those exact words).
    Quote Originally Posted by Valis View Post
    Has anyone else encountered this kind of problem at interviews? If so how was it overcome?
    You're clueless aren't you? Try acting for once, level out your persona but put some weight behind your strengths without sounding like Machiavelli. It does the trick for me, I channel an ENxx in most professional environments. Get the job, then get it done your own way. Although once you get it, you should act like the our friend Niccolò has described.

  5. #5
    Member Valis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Within View Post
    You're clueless aren't you? Try acting for once, level out your persona but put some weight behind your strengths without sounding like Machiavelli. It does the trick for me, I channel an ENxx in most professional environments. Get the job, then get it done your own way. Although once you get it, you should act like the our friend Niccolò has described.
    To a degree, yes, I am clueless

    In all honesty the last 2 job interviews I did were 'practice'.

    What I didn't do was list some of the questions I was expected to be asked and then prepare answers. I'm going to use the STAR method: Situation (or Task), Action, Result do substantiate any claims I make.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Valis View Post
    To a degree, yes, I am clueless

    In all honesty the last 2 job interviews I did were 'practice'.

    What I didn't do was list some of the questions I was expected to be asked and then prepare answers. I'm going to use the STAR method: Situation (or Task), Action, Result do substantiate any claims I make.
    There are tons of pdf. manuals of info on what employers like to hear in different areas of work. Read the ones that apply until you know them by heart, then just regurgitate that shit without sounding artificial. That's the best advice I could give you on this topic.

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    Senior Member ThatsWhatHeSaid's Avatar
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    You could always try not being an asshole.

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    Member Valis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThatsWhatHeSaid View Post
    You could always try not being an asshole.
    Likewise

    Thanks a bunch

  9. #9
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Valis View Post
    It's unfortunate that is the case. I was rather hoping that senior management would rely more on strategic planning and horizon scanning. However, the more experience I have of management, the more I realise how important people skills are, especially for people right at the top, who are ambassadors of an organisation.

    I think you're right about education and the public sector. There can be a tendency to reject change. There are many social networks within organisations, some not obvious or based on rank and one has to be careful.
    This is the case, and it is unfortunate. I have interacted with educators quite extensively for someone not directly employed in that sector, and have found them disappointingly geared toward politicking and keeping up appearances over reaching any meaningful goals. It is very hard to accomplish anything in such an environment.

    As for selling yourself, that is necessary and in many jobs requires more than demonstrating your capabilities, as Uumlau wrote. I have been lucky in not having to do many interviews, and in being in a field where unvarnished technical competence and experience count for more than they do elsewhere. Moreover, it is very hard for me to pretend to be something I am not, even in the interests of getting a job. I understand the strategy of doing what it takes to get hired, then being more myself on the job, but it still feels extremely fake. On the other hand, I am not in management, and never will be.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

  10. #10
    Senior Member ThatsWhatHeSaid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Valis View Post
    Likewise

    Thanks a bunch
    Yer welcome.

    Another tip: just take the feedback you got and adjust. It seems like they're telling you that you're too threatening. Unless you're interviewing to be the CEO, that's seen as a liability. Scale it back by changing up your rhetoric. Instead of saying you're competitive, say you're dedicated and passionate about completing projects. Also, smile more and crack some jokes. Your posture might be a little rigid too. Chill that out.

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