Not only did the Covid-19 pandemic disrupt the way many of us work, it also changed the recruitment process for both companies and candidates. As if job searching wasn’t difficult enough, now we also have to navigate online interviews, often under challenging circumstances. Studies indicate that less than 35 percent of communication is strictly verbal. So, it can be easy to feel like you’re at a big disadvantage when you’re trying to connect with someone in a two dimensional space.
That’s the bad news.
The good news is you aren’t alone. Everyone is facing these same challenges. Even HR teams and hiring managers are having to get used to this new dynamic. And it is moments like these where you want to use every tool in your personal development toolkit to give you the edge. The Enneagram gives us nine distinct habits of attention and if we turn to each Enneagram type, we can learn valuable tips to help us prepare for online interviews.
Let’s explore how each of the Enneagram types can help you nail that next job interview.
Type 1, the Perfectionist: Get all the technical details right
The habit of attention goes to perfection and improvement so Type 1s remind us to focus on the practical details. Is your sound system working reliably? Yes, those wireless earbuds are cool, but if they malfunction during the interview, that won’t help your stress level. Make sure your sound system is reliably clear. How about your lighting? It should be crisp and bright at any time of the day. You can invest in an inexpensive ring light to make sure you cover this base. You only have one chance to make a first impression so make sure to focus on getting all the finer technical details just right.
Type 2, the Giver: Connect on a personal level
The habit of attention goes to the needs of others, and Type 2s remind us of the importance of a human connection. Yes, you are interviewing for a professional role, but personal connection is part of every interaction. We’re going through a global pandemic together. It is OK to ask someone how they are and how they are coping with the current situation. It doesn't make you unprofessional to ask a few general questions. It makes you human and if you express genuine interest, it probably makes you more approachable.
Type 3, the Achiever: Check your physical background
The habit of attention goes to wanting to be a success in the eyes of others so Type 3s remind us to fix your background before you start that important interview. Dirty laundry, a messy desktop, or the dishes from your morning breakfast in view? Your prospective employer does not need to see those. Yes, it is true we’re all working from home, but if you want to make a great impression, make sure your background is clean, organized, and presentable. You want to project a polished image.
Type 4, the Individualist: Stand out as an individual
The habit of attention goes to being original so Type 4s remind us to be uniquely ourselves. Your interviewer is likely in online meetings all day long meaning that interviewees can start to blend together so make sure to stand out as an individual. Maybe it’s an unusual coffee mug, an interesting image in your background, or a memorable story you share. Whatever it is, be sure to be authentic and help your chances of being remembered by being unique.
Type 5, the Investigator: Do your research
The habit of attention goes to wanting to be prepared so Type 5s remind us to do our research. Find out as much as you can about the company, the position, and the people interviewing you. Be prepared with thoughtful questions. If you do this right, your research might be the thing that makes you stand out from the crowd of candidates. And you’ll probably learn some useful information in the process.
Type 6, the Loyalist: Have a backup plan
The habit of attention goes to what could go wrong so Type 6s remind us to troubleshoot and have Plan B ready to roll. Wi-fi networks drop, connectivity becomes spotty, roadwork happens at inopportune times, and package deliveries arrive at the most inconvenient moments. Think through the things that could go wrong and come up with alternate solutions. This might be the time to ask your kids to stop streaming their favorite videos for an hour or to hang a ‘do not disturb’ sign on your front door.
Type 7, the Enthusiast: Eliminate distractions
The habit of attention goes to the new and exciting, and Type 7s can be known for falling victim to distractions. Turn off your email, your social media, and your streaming music. For this entire meeting, resist the impulse to divide your time and stay deeply focused on the topic at hand: your job interview. You might think other people don’t notice when you glance over at your email, but chances are… they do.
Type 8, the Leader: Present your relevant skills in a clear and compelling way
The habit of attention goes to power, and Type 8s remind us to put our best foot forward. Make no mistake, your job is to illustrate to the interviewer that you are well-suited for the job at hand. While no one likes bragging, this isn’t your moment to downplay your skills either. Show up strong and powerful.
Type 9, the Peacemaker: Find out the pain points of your prospective employer
The habit of attention goes to harmony, and Type 9s remind us that maintaining harmony requires tuning into the needs of other people. Beyond the technical job description, remember to ask probing questions about the department, the project, and the overall goals of the organization. Understanding the bigger picture is a key part of being successful, and employers appreciate this holistic thinking.
Each of the Enneagram types can teach us something for the job interview process and by considering all angles, you set yourself up for success. If you approach your online job interview with a holistic view, you’re likely to feel more at ease and impress your interviewer. And who knows? You might even land your dream job.