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How to better prepare for an interview as an ‘INTP’ personality type: The Architect

Written by: Charlotte Rogers
Published on: 5 May 2021

The Architect Hero Image

This is the 8th instalment of our personality type article series on E&TJ. This week we’ll be looking into the INTP personality type, otherwise known as ‘The Architect’. We have covered a lot of personality types before this and there will be more in the coming weeks, so if you don’t think this matches you, go back to E&TJ to find the right one for you! It’s interesting to know how you may act, but equally as important to know how others around you think and act and why that is.

Interviews are typically very organised and planned in a specific way. Once you have a had a few, you tend to realise a pattern. Traditional interviews may not challenge an INTP, and they can get very bored of the situation very quickly. Interviews are all about sharing your passion with the interviewer and if the INTP is unable to do that, they won’t get very far in the interview process. ‘The Architect’ isn’t someone who wants to have small talk, they would want to get straight to the point. Some people may find this as being cold and blunt. There are many advantages and disadvantages that this personality type may have in an interview situation and we’re here to discuss and learn about them.

What does it mean to be an INTP type?

INTP stands for introverted, iNtuitive, thinking, perceiving. This describes a person who may work better or feel more comfortable with time spent alone and someone who focuses on ideas rather than hard facts. INTP types also like to make decisions based on logic and reasoning and they may prefer to be spontaneous in some aspects of their life, rather than having everything planned in advance. Often, taking opportunities by chance rather than seeking them out.

INTP’s often have a very laid-back exterior, but on the inside, they are very passionate people. They don’t like to wear their heart on their sleeve and can be quite reserved in some aspects of their life. They like to be non-traditional, often trying to break away from typical conventions.

Your strengths

You’re very analytical – You may seem quiet and to the point when people first meet you, but there is much more brewing beneath the surface. You are a fast thinker and very logical, this gives you an advantage in interviews. You are able to adapt to the situation and answer any ‘surprise’ questions the interviewer may throw at you. You are very good at explaining yourself and your achievements, you are flawless with explanations and are happy to give great detail.

You’re truthful – No matter what the interviewer wants to hear, you will be truthful. You have no need to tell white lies and you see no point in the matter. INTP’s channel all of their energy into their goals and work towards objectives that suit them.

Enthusiastic – To other people, INTP’s can come across as private and withdrawn. They are not interested in small talk and don’t see the point in talking about something they are not really interested in. Not the greatest of interview skills, but this can be worked on. However, when speaking about a topic that particularly sparks their interest, they can be very enthusiastic. You can feel the passion that they have for said subject, helping employers know that you are the right person for the job!

Your weaknesses

Fear of failure – Despite knowing exactly what it is that drives them to work, INTP’s are often very scared of failing. When they are working, they spend a lot of time making sure that everything is done right and pretty much pouring their heart and soul into their work. This may seem like a good thing at first, but their fear of making a mistake leads them to feel self-conscious. If a question comes up in an interview asking about past mistakes, they might not be able to answer because of how uncomfortable it can make them. It’s worth practicing these questions in advance and although it will take time, understanding that every single person has made mistakes.

Can be condescending – When applying for a new job, you are often asked about how you work with others. INTP’s work well in a team until someone makes a mistake. They can be very critical of their teammates, or people who may not catch onto an idea as quickly as they do. It can cause them to be impatient about certain situations, especially at work, but patience can be taught.

Insensitivity – Sometimes, INTP’s prioritise their own activities and ideas above others, even when they have been told to do something else. They are very focused people and when something gets in their way, they can neglect other people’s ideas. Their passion can be easily taken as offence.

What can INTP’s do to improve?

The personality strengths that INTP’s have are admired traits when it comes to job seeking. Employers are looking for a candidate who is passionate, enthusiastic, and truthful about where they stand. So, where you may find that there are things you want to improve on, know that you are a strong candidate just from these skills. If you do feel like the weaknesses stated above resonate with you in any way, there are things you can do to help improve for interview situations.

Learn emotional intelligence – When talking to someone, it can be very clear to them, from your body language and facial expressions, whether you are actually interested in what they are saying. Though INTP’s can be very good friends and colleagues, they may not be overly attentive about the feelings of others. Focus on trying to understand where they are coming from, especially when it comes to work and new ideas, even if you don’t agree with them, try to listen. During an interview, you should be listening to the interviewer as much as they are listening to you.

Think practically – INTP’s typically love to experiment with their work and they value thinking and trying something new even if there is no practical theory behind it. Whilst creativity is highly sought upon, employers like to know they have hired someone who will get the job done. Sometimes, the inability to think and work practically and lose a company money. Don’t stop being creative, but maybe take a step back every now and again and consider taking a more practical approach. Talking about your work this way during an interview lets the employer know that you are cautious yet creative.

A bit of sensitivity goes a long way – It can be hard to an INTP type to think about how their actions effect other people. But when you are interviewing for a role that involves working in a team, you need to think about how your opinions are going to affect others. Simply taking a moment to try and see things from their point of view and giving them the time and maybe even some advice, can go a long way.

“At work, the INTP is motivated to solve complex problems in an original, innovative way. Architects want to analyse systems and ideas thoroughly to create deep understanding and enjoy designing creative solutions to highly abstract problems.” (Truity;2021) – You don’t have to change your values; you are simply working on yourself and your ability to have high motivation will go a long way here.

Next week, the article will focus on the ENFJ personality type, come back to read more!