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Self-Discovery, Job and Career Clarity Using The DISC Profile

Adam Stamm

This week, I received an email the following email:

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The other day on the train, a friend threw a simple question at me. “If I held a gun to your head and said tell me your greatest trait and skill, what would you answer?”

We were just riding home on the train when he pulls that out of nowhere.

I bluff my way through talking about my ability to BS answers, but when I get home the idea is still buzzing around my head. Thinking about it, I realize that this and all the other random questions people use in job interviews while they should be simple to respond to honestly take a lot of thought if you aren’t just going to throw out a nonsense answer.

Tomorrow, if I was asked in an interview what my greatest weakness was, I’d probably just go with something clever like Kryptonite or silver bullets. Sure that’s a nice clever-sounding answer, and maybe the out-of-the-box character of it would work well in that situation, but it’s a fairly evasive answer.

After the past couple of years of bouncing through several different internships (with such ventures as a State Representative’s office, a local political party, a Chamber of Commerce, a brief stint abroad working at the Legislative Assembly of the Australian Capital Territory, a DC polling firm) I still have not been able to figure out what kind of work I would be good at, let alone interested in doing for the next couple years. Beyond even figuring out what type of organization I would even want to work for, it’s hard enough figuring out. While thinking this over I was offered the opportunity to have someone, or rather something, else help me figure out the answers to these questions. In exchange for getting to play around with these personality analyses, all I needed to offer in exchange was to keep track of my testing and put it down in a blog.

So here’s to my new adventure, trying to find out the answers to those allegedly easy job interview questions, one test at a time. –Jake

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Hi Jake, I have some questions for you.

  • Do you really believe the job interview questions you get asked are truly random?
  • Why would someone with the responsibility of hiring an employee to waste their time and their company’s, money and resources haphazardly throwing out random questions?
  • What if every apparently random question actually had a purpose and provided the interviewer valuable information, as well as giving you the opportunity to let her/him know what is important to you and what makes you different from all of the other candidates for a particular job?
  • It may be a skill for someone to be able to BS their way into a job by saying what they think the interviewer wants to hear, but to what end. Let’s say the art of BS gets them the job, are they likely to be happy, fulfilled, or satisfied in that job – looking beyond the paycheck?
  • How would an employer feel once they realized they got deceived into hiring this person?
  • What type of workplace relationships would this person have with their peers, managers, or direct reports? Yes, I am aware that employers sometimes BS’s a job candidate into working for them, but how well does that work iin the long run?
  • Wouldn’t it be useful to assume there is a reason for every question asked?
  • What if you had a tool to help provide you with insight into what is a good job fit and what your work and personal preferences are?
  • Would it be useful to you if you had an instrument to help provide you with a clear way to communicate your preferences within a job or the workplace? Not only might you better be able to answer interview questions, but you could better formulate your questions for the interviewer.

I am curious to read what you think after completing the DISC Profile. People often limit themselves by starting out approaching their career decisions based solely on things like types:

  • jobs
  • positions
  • organizations
  • skillsets
  • salary

I suggest stepping back and taking an assessment of what roles and characteristics within a job are important to you? Ask yourself questions like:

  • Do I want to work independently or as a part of a team?
  • Are results more important to me than the process?
  • Do I care more about the big picture or details?
  • Do I like challenges, change, and conflict or do I prefer the status quo and not rocking the boat?
  • Do I prefer to manage others, be management, or a combination?

I bet if you had some of these answers you would be able to figure out what roles and characteristics are important to you within a given field, profession, organization, position or job and then generalize it across them.

–John