Recently I ran across an interesting article titled How to Build Instant Rapport in an Interview by Sue Shellenbarger at the Wall Street Journal. She notes how critical it is to build rapport with the interviewer and even provides some data points on exactly how people rate you on competence based on just a few minutes of small talk. Clearly, making a personal connection at the start of the interview is critical.
Deeper in the article there was a mention of an online app called Crystal that provides analysis of personality types based on LinkedIn profiles and other publicly available information. This can easily apply to both the interviewee and the interviewer. The idea is that prior to the interview you’ll gain insight into the other person’s approach and learn how best to work with them.
The Crystal app is based on the DISC profile. I have a bit of experience with this particular assessment instrument. In my twenty-one year career with the Boy Scouts of America I estimate that I took the it nearly a dozen times.
It’s premise is to show your personality type to help in your work and particularly in your interface with other people. At one point everyone in my division took the test and published the full results in a book – all in an effort to help us work better through improved knowledge of one another.
You can see the overall outline of the test results in the nearby image. D stands for dominance, I for influence, C for compliance, and S for steadiness. My test results typically showed up as a high D, next ranked C, followed by I and S. The ranking for S was usually extremely low.
Crystal App – James Profile
Intrigued by the online app approach, I signed into Crystal and set up a profile. The first level of basic information is free. They ask you to cut and paste a copy of your resume or LinkedIn profile and then, viola, you have your personality profile.
I entered my name as James Wilson, pasted in my resume, and learned that I was a high S with a secondary D. Now that was different from all my previous tests. I wonder if the resume I used is actually doing a good job of communicating who I am.
I did like the statement at the top of my profile: James is trustworthy, goal-oriented, always delivers on promises, and may overlook details. Hmmm, that last bit does happen occasionally. You can see the top half of my James profile at the right. Not sure why my photo has the eyes covered.
Finding Other Profiles – Jim Profile
Surprisingly, however, the app offered the profile of a co-worker here at PathForeWord — Jim Wilson. Apparently, they had at least tapped my LinkedIn profile and perhaps found my website and blog.
My coworker, Jim, came out a bit differently in the rankings. High D with a secondary I. I also like the statement at the top: Jim is a quick thinker, ambitious, persuasive, resists formal structure, and likes to take calculated risks. If you go down the profile to the next section it states: Brash, assertive, and sarcastic, he attracts attention as soon as he walks in the room.
Gee whiz maybe I’m somewhere in the middle of these profiles. At least I hope so. I will note that Crystal offers the option of actually taking the DISC assessment. That may result in improved results.
I’ve always thought the DISC test was a word preference exam. You select/reject the words that best describe you. That, of course, doesn’t necessarily match your personality or behavior. It appears that this app uses a similar approach to finding information and sorting it into the DISC buckets.
Even so, I always like the approach of learning more about yourself (my favorite topic) and particularly gaining insight into other people.
I also like the approach they take with their full profiles. This includes sections on what comes naturally to the person, what motivates them, communicating with them, key words and phrases to use, how to write an email to them, how to win their trust, and how best to work with them. All this provides concrete advice that really can be put to use.
It’s something to try in your PathForeWord.