Christine Baker en Social Media, Administrative, Human Resources Professionals Administrative Assistant (Office Manager) • Montgomery County Department of Job & Family Services 10/10/2016 · 1 min de lectura · 2,4K

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 They are mis-labeled as shy, withdrawn, and not people-oriented.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/

The Bias Against Introverts


Christine Baker 10/10/2016 · #10

#9 So many yes's, Phillip!

0
Phillip Hubbell 10/10/2016 · #9

INTJ here. I have found that while I am not particularly adept at sales, I am very adept at support. Of course this is just from a phone perspective. I can take incoming calls where I am supposed to be the expert, just not very good at outgoing calls to instigate the conversation, except in cases where I am returning them. Being introverted to me, says more about how I process the world internally and where I find my inspiration to learn stuff. As a Project Manager, something I have done for a living, the key has always been knowing my processes cold for running meetings and such, innovation comes in the quiet time, if I can find a place to think.

+1 +1
Christine Baker 10/10/2016 · #8

Thank you, Javier!! #7

0
Javier beBee 10/10/2016 · #7

@Christine Baker welcome to the hive !

+2 +2
Christine Baker 10/10/2016 · #6

Yes, Deb!! My thoughts exactly! Although I'm an introvert, I'm far from anti social or un-communicative. With the exception of a few jobs like public speaker or outbound sales, an outgoing personality won't make a better employee (and I'm willing to bet it's a rare occasion that introverts would even apply for those positions!) I agree that the biggest qualifier should be whether you can do the job, and it's unfortunate that introverts are expected to change their behavior or overcome their "weaknesses" just to be on a level playing field. Great response!!

+2 +2
Deb Helfrich 10/10/2016 · #5

Funny how we were just having this conversation elsewhere.... the gist being that introversion and shyness are not synonymous.

The problem with using personality characteristics is that people are very multi-layered and even a very very introverted person like myself will react to different situations in different ways based on a number of criteria. My own opinion is that job interviews need to be focused on something they mostly ignore right now - can the person do the job. Forget about background, personality, and hypothetical situations. Define questions to ask all the candidates about the work that needs to get done in the next month, 90 days, six months, etc. Ask them how they would accomplish x or contribute to y. Compare apples to apples.

Nice to meet you @Christine Baker - Welcome to beBee - keep on buzzing!

+4 +4

Introverts has a number of qualities that certainly make a difference in the workplace. Recruiters should pay attention to the introverts in job interviews.

+3 +3