The Bias Against Introverts
There's always been an undercurrent of bias against introverted people. They are mis-labeled as shy, withdrawn, and not people-oriented. I read an article recently that claimed some people are "ambiverts". I think those who relate to this are more than likely introverts who are trying not to be associated with the bias against them. You either get energized from being alone or from being with people - there is no middle ground. It might not matter most of the time how you process, but if you are job searching, you've got an entirely new (read: difficult) animal.
Anyone who has applied for or even read a job posting recently has probably seen this:
"Looking for an outgoing..."
"Are you highly energetic?"
"This candidate will thrive on constant interaction with people"
As someone who is a proud INTJ with an occasional INTP result, I cannot truthfully say that I fulfill any of those requirements. Am I outgoing? No. Would I consider myself highly energetic? Doubtful. As an introvert, I'm mentally exhausted after constant interaction. But if unbiased questions were asked, my answers would be different:
"Are you a skilled communicator?" Check
"Can you handle the responsibilities of this position?" Check
"Are you able to interact with people to resolve issues?" Check
People assume that introversion equals shy. I'm sure that extroverts aren't automatically assumed to blurt out things inappropriately because of their personality type. I am not shy. I have zero problems bringing up valid ideas or concerns, or defending myself or others for something I believe in. I can't count on both hands the number of times that I've been told by people that they don't believe I'm introverted - but trust me, I am. That doesn't mean that I'm a less valuable candidate, or that I'm unable to vocalize or communicate or add to a team. It doesn't mean that I don't have ideas - I do, and plenty of them!
The job search process is difficult for everyone, whether job seeker or recruiter. Recruiting is difficult. There is a huge pressure to find qualified candidates who are not only cost effective, but also passionate enough about the job and the company to stay long enough for a decent return on investment. But introverts face extra challenges: personality tests that punish introversion, selling ourselves in one-on-one interviews targeted towards extroverts, and panel interviews that are akin to being on stage in front of millions of people. If interviews were more conversation based and less firing squad, your introvert candidates could shine.
If personality characteristics are truly that pivotal for recruiters, why not administer a true Myers-Briggs test? At least that would show the other qualities that candidates bring to the table, instead of focusing solely on one misguided trait.
What do other introverts think? Are you unsure of your personality type? Take this free test: https://www.16personalities.com/