When you, as a job seeker, are asked the most common, and toughest, interview question, "Tell me about yourself," your answer can make or break you as a candidate. Usually job seekers will respond with their "30 second commercial," and then elaborate on their background. While almost every career book and career counselor will tell you that is the appropriate response, I totally disagree.

Many people fail in their job search because they are too often focused on what they want in a job including industry, type of position, location, income, benefits, and work environment. Their "30 second commercial" is centered around this premise. The commercial describes the job seeker's career history and what they are looking for. Too often, this is in direct contrast to what employers are looking for.

There are two dominant reasons why job seekers are successful in the job search. The first is focusing on the needs of the organization. The second is focusing on the needs of the people within that organization. In this article, we are going to examine how to focus on the needs of the people within organizations. This will assist in rethinking your response to that all-important question, "Tell me about yourself."

In order to learn how to respond to the needs of the interviewer, let's first learn more about ourselves. We can then apply that knowledge about ourselves to knowing how to understand and respond to the needs of others.

Most social psychologists recognize four basic personality styles: Analytical, Amiable, Expressive, and Driver. Usually, each of us exhibits personality characteristics unique to one of the styles. However, we also possess characteristics to a lesser degree in the other styles. To determine your unique style, you can take a Myers-Briggs assessment or go to the following site for a free Keirsey Temperament Sorter assessment test: w ww.keirsey.com

Here are the characteristics that are most commonly associated with each of the styles:

Analytical: 分析型

Positive Traits: Precise, Methodical, Organized, Rational, Detail Oriented

Negative Traits: Critical, Formal, Uncertain, Judgmental, Picky

Amiable: 和蔼可亲型


Positive Traits: Cooperative, Dependable, Warm, Listener, Negotiator

Negative Traits: Undisciplined, Dependent, Submissive, Overly Cautious, Conforming

Expressive: 表达型

Positive Traits: Enthusiastic, Persuasive, Outgoing, Positive, Communicator

Negative Traits: Ego Centered, Emotional, Exploitive, Opinionated, Reacting

Driver: 驱动型

Positive Traits: Persistent, Independent, Decision Maker, Effective, Strong Willed

Negative Traits: Aggressive, Strict, Intense, Relentless, Rigid

Gaining an in-depth understanding of your personality style has enormous value in your career as well as your personal life. However, our focus today is learning how to use this knowledge to make you more successful in your job search.

Once you have learned about your own style and have studied the other styles, I encourage you to have a little fun in trying to determine the styles of others. When you meet someone for the first time, try to identify his or her style within the first two minutes. You can often identify styles by observing a person's demeanor, conversation, body language, appearance, and possessions.

To demonstrate what I mean, let's take some examples from the business world. While there are always exceptions, generally speaking the styles fit the example.