People love to talk about themselves. However, people have a physiological need to communicate, in specifics, something they did, or accomplished. It is the easiest for an interviewer to use to gain information in all settings.
It is the ultimate talking point in life. It is near impossible to resist, "What did you do today?" in any form. Even those who shut down in police interviewing, will eventually, tell someone. This is behind the patience that some district attorneys practice.
Humans were created to both communicate and to accomplish, which is why idleness leads to inappropriate and often illegal behavior in mankind. The body, itself, flourishes in movement while it falters and struggles against itself when immobile.
"Tell me about yourself" and "I'm listening" allows a person to:
a. Choose his own words
b. Begin his answer according to his own priority
c. Choose which information to include; which information to exclude
Now, take this same principle to Statement Analysis applied in Employment.
Companies with either HR professionals trained in analysis or those who hire analysts are able to glean a great deal of information from this simple question (in the imperative) for applicants.
Consider the context, as an analyst, of this question.
Example: A rapidly growing computer software company is hiring and places ads in online newspapers and other employment sites and when an application is received, the company recognizes that even old Dept. of Justice statistics say "4 of the 10 applicants..." (40%) who were caught stealing, voiced intention to steal in the interview process.
In other words, they planned it upon hiring.
To that math add in a new form of theft: institutionalized theft via fraudulent claims of victim status and you have an entirely new dimension of larceny and destruction to deal with.
These are those who intend on stealing from the company with fraudulent complaints of injury, harassment, and a myriad of other 'victim status' complaints that have grown both numerically and in creativity and have become popular and accepted in courts today.
This question, posed differently by different companies, allows the applicant to tell the company why to hire them, in a way that is:
Without the pressure of an interviewer's presence;
From the comfort of their own home;
Choosing their own words...
Most companies use an encouragement to write at length, including leaving a full blank page or writing, "Use Full Page for your answer", or something similar.
What would you write about yourself, in a job application to the above growing software company?
They are looking for:
1. Software sales professionals. These are professionals who can sell a product they believe in to a public that can benefit from the product.
2. Software developers. These are technological types, who do not need to be very outgoing or social but have a strong background in computer technology and software, including, perhaps, writing code.
3. Secretarial type work. These are those who are organized, entry level, but looking to gain experience often right out of college or tech school. This is a "foot in the door" position.
4. Shipping department. This is HS diploma only, or college kids with part time hours offered to offset college costs and to help build experience and a resume.
We now come to:
"The Expected V The Unexpected" as each application is analyzed.
We know that those who are deceptive are very likely to cause problems for the company.
We know that each position has different needs, so the 'social butterfly' or "people person" is more important in sales than in tech work. We know that criteria for one is not for another, and we allow the subject's personality to emerge, naturally, in the analytical profiling.
Those who have ill intentions towards the company often, not sometimes, but often reveal this in the analysis of the full page answer.
I have a data base of shocking results that show this very thing and use it effectively. In fact, Employment Analytical Profiling is a major part of profiling, covered in the Statement Analysis Advanced Course.
The thief will show himself, the agenda seeker will show himself, just as the honest, hard working and ambitious will show himself.
What do we need to hear?
This, too, is covered in depth, but we need to hear someone specifically tie themselves to truth (commitment) and in context (the job).
You might "expect" to read something like this:
"My name is Susan Jones. I am a recent graduate from the University of Montana, where I majored in English and minored in communications.
I have worked part time since I was 16 years old, beginning at McDonald's for minimum wage, and am now looking to begin my career in software sales.
I learned early while working for McDonald's how to move quickly, and how to not get ruffled by the pace at lunch time or dinner time. I started in food preparation, but eventually was put upon the register where it was I first learned how much I enjoyed interacting with the public.
In the last several summers, I have worked full time in retail sales at Bluetooth Communications where I was promoted to temporary floor manager and was in charge of handling customer complaints. During this time, I learned what it was to listen to customers and how to respond with empathy. I am hard working, conscientious and feel that I would be an asset to your company. I am already familiar with several of your products, including "Digi-wear" and its color matching code for the professional woman. Besides using this myself, I love fashion, so much so that I have convinced several of my girlfriends to buy it and they love it. I believe that I will be able to..." and on she goes.
You will notice that in talking about herself, she has a single focus: being hired because her background has prepared her for it. Weak assertions such as "believe" and "feel" are "appropriately weak" in the context of persuasion.
In job applications, the need to persuade is expected, whereas in criminal statements, its weakness is viewed as sensitive. Yet even in job applications, with the shift in context, the analyst must be aware of NTP in extreme, including hyperbolic language. Some will say "I give 110% effort each and every shift..." which is a stretch, in the least.
The analysis I have done and databased is something that if I had been told by another, I would wonder if it was someone being humorous with me.
In fact, there may be several types of people who will believe me in what follows:
1. Long term readers of the blog.
2. Human Resource professionals.
What I am analyzing of recent times is stunning. Here is an example submitted by an analyst who thought I would have a good laugh over it. I had to stop myself, several times, to remind myself that this was written as part of a job application to an actual tech company in a part of the country where there is acute competition for tech jobs:
"I am not really all that comfortable talking about myself! YOU WANT ME TO TALK ABOUT MYSELF? Well, if that is what you want, that is what you will get, but I submit this under protest. :)
I am above all things, creative. I love people I love animals and I know from having studyed the great philosophers of our time what people think of me and you know what? I don't care. I am me.
You want to know me. Can anyone really know someone else? Poetry volumes wrote about me long before I lived beasuse no-one really knows anyone I feel that we as a planet must get past our judgey views superficial existential and look really at what a person is I share knowledge freely with those who will listen such as customers co workers in school and with my family.
My degree isn't me. It isn't. As vast as the colors of the rainbow so is personhood which is called by the sheep "manhood" which leaves our sisters wondering if they even matter anymore. Sad, isn't it?
More about me. Hmmm.
I live alone and my education has been completed with what should be considered an advanced degree in the technological area.
I have cats and they remake themselves and even act like me! People don't believe that but it is true. They are truth. They do not judge me and I do not judge them. Poole said that I think.
People judge me but I know they do this for my knowledge that I open myself up to ridicule when I share. Thus, the price to be paid in humanity's darkest hour..."
It went on and on, revealing not only deception about his degree, but a dark, narcissistic personality of whom anti-social behavior has left him alone, the pariah of those around him, with "family" listed last and distant. Family may not even last much longer.
Years ago, I recounted the job interview I did with a "struggling actor" who excused himself, midway through the interview to "have a good cry" because he had been in Hollywood and had just returned to Maine and had "missed my mother." Upon returning to the interview, he moved close to me and asked if his crying would be held against him.
The number of applicants with college degrees who believe that "Tell us About Yourself" means self-analysis is striking. The volume of grammatical errors, abbreviations and smiley faces often cause me to consider the context: this is a job application of someone who wishes to be considered a professional!
There are those who signal: 'If you don't give me lots of affirmation, you can expect trouble!' quite readily. This is the new "delicate snowflake"; the recent college grad (or college student) who believes his feelings are more important than the material needs of the company. They have been coddled and told that they are "special" and "more important than anyone else", who see challenges as threats. They are an embarrassment as a generation, and hard working, ambitious young people hate to be classified with them.
I don't blame them.
I once told one couple, who had "stood up for our rights" (they refused to work) when they were terminated that they were going to have a very difficult time surviving in this world if they think that their feelings are more important than everyone else's, including the clients they were to serve, and the company who gave them a paycheck.
They eventually disclosed the anger of their parents, as they go from job to job, and always have a complaint about "the man."
Although they did not verbalize this, they referenced their friends who were all on "disability" because they had "adult attention deficit disorder", and slept till noon, and played video games all day.
Given the choice between this endless circle of low paying jobs, I predict that they will go to an attorney who specializes in disability, receive a referral to a 'friendly' psychologist, who will refer them to a friendly psychiatrist, get rx for ADHD, and eventually, they will be approved for disability.
Once disability is their "paycheck", they now qualify for...
"Case management", that is, a professional who books appointments and often drives them to the therapist, psychologist and monthly 2 minute check in with psychiatrist assistant to keep the rx going.
They will get food stamps.
The case manager will then work to get them fuel assistance, a donated car, free internet, donated lap tops, smart phones and government subsidized rental assistance.
At that time, they were 24 years old and their parents were deeply worried that the two of them (boyfriend-girlfriend) would struggle to survive in this world.
Wanna venture a guess about the "homework war" when the kids were 7 or 8 years old? Some work really hard at avoiding work which has a deeply negative impact on the health of the body and the health of the soul, in spite of 'growing video game scores' which are indulged in all night. Think this is just a rare exception?
In the last several years, the few that I flagged, specifically for Agenda, have all either filed suit or threatened to file suit. The larger number are those that were so clear, the companies did not offer interviews. This includes those who actually address their agenda very early in the statement.
This comes as a surprise to analysts at first, including Human Resource professionals, but this is usually do (in the HR world) to only audible interviews where if a transcript existed they would see it.
The agenda driven personality is one in which, in particular, an agenda exists due to a significant void in the personality. The void is usually something so significant that the person is drawn to a cause to fill feelings of personal value.
This is both sad and frightening.
It is sad to think that any person might consider himself or herself inconsequential in this world, yet it is frightening when we see how far some will go to feel of consequence; as if they are the center of the universe and the material interests of a company are subordinated to their 'god', which in reality, is not the agenda or cause, it is the person, himself.
This person's "feelings" trump rules of etiquette, politeness, and social mores, which is why they end up often being alone, but also people sadly learn, they trump moral, ethical and legal laws, just as readily.
This is why I often warn others in saying, "The agenda driven will find an event..."
The agenda-driven, or "narrative driven" is why I covered PC language and how it impacts analysis. The techniques often include tangents to move away from negative or contradictory, as well as to change the topic in hand.
The agenda driven will use deception.
The agenda driven will operate in illogical manner and will take the "self destructive" or "suicidal" stance to the business world:
What the person does is not good for your business.
Like the applicant for investigator position who said that she was "a person of high principle" in attempting to persuade two interviewers to hire her.
I asked, "Give me an example of high principle at work" to which she was eager to talk about.
She worked at Walmart and took down all the hunter magazines from the display and boxed them in storage.
She is against guns.
This was in Maine where everyone hunts.
Did she possess the self awareness to consider that I may have been a hunter?
Did she grasp that she could have been terminated by Walmart for doing so?
Her belief that guns kill people, aside, it was what she was willing to do with this belief that revealed insight into her personality.
Now, as an investigator, what if the subject of the investigation was someone who held a position contrary to her agenda?
Would you trust her to investigate?
If you hold to her agenda, does this impact your decision making?
What would you, as analyst, or HR professional, make of her lack of self awareness?
She did not mind being a 'martyr' for her cause: if she did not get hired because of her stance against guns, it may even further fill her with resolve.
No matter the agenda, this type person will bring trouble to your business or agency.
Someone this driven is not going to be tolerant to co workers who do not share her 'passion' and her personality is not one that suggests good, healthy social interaction.
She may even mention "coffee" in her statement.