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How to do well in an interview as an ‘ENFJ’ personality type: The Teacher

Written by: Charlotte Rogers
Published on: 14 May 2021

The Teacher Hero Image

Welcome back to the 9th instalment of our personality series. This article is all about the ENFJ personality type and how you can better understand yourself to help with interviews and other stages of the job seeking process. If this is not for you, head back to E&TJ the Career and Advice area where you are likely to find your personality type article waiting for you.

ENFJ personality types also known as The Teacher are compassionate people, driven to fulfil their passion that will help others. There’s a good reason this personality type is called The Teacher, they focus on their values and let that guide them through their lives and their work. They are passionate about helping people find what they love best, ENFJ’s see the best in people. Great for working in a team, because they are highly driven and try their best to motivate the people around them.

What does ENFJ stand for?

ENFJ stands for extraverted, iNtuitive, Feeling and Judging. This acronym explains a person who feels better when spending time with others, they love the idea of being around them and helping them, whether that be through work or their everyday lives. Often The Teacher makes decisions based on feelings and their own personal values and focuses on new ideas rather than hard facts. Another strong trait in an ENFJ type is that they can be highly organised. They like to have things planned and ready rather than being spontaneous.

ENFJ’s are usually good communicators. They use their good way with words to help the people around them solve problems and often help them with their work, and if needed, they’ll put themselves last to others. Although, being this involved in other people’s lives does come with a negative. Things aren’t going to be happy all the time and ENFJ’s can become exhausted if they are surrounded by too much negativity. They thrive on helping people and will do their best to turn a bad situation around. It can be physically and mentally draining to always be thinking about other people’s problems, but with the empathetic type of person they are, it’s hard to stay away from these things.

ENFJ personality types are hard workers and will always be dedicated to whatever they are working on. However, they expect the best from themselves at all times, so when something goes wrong, they become very disappointed in themselves and others that were involved.

Strengths of being an ENFJ type

Good communication – Having good communication skills are key to finding a new role. This skill is something that not everyone has and can use to their advantage, but your ability to talk and find harmony within a group comes naturally to you. You are happy to talk in large groups or small gatherings, but what you have to say often has importance and you are able to draw every person in and get them to care about what you are saying. You love talking about your passion and are good at talking to people who are just as passionate as you. Your passion often comes across very strong in interviews and you are able to get the interviewer interested and wanting to know more about you and your career. Not only is this good for the actual interview, but likelihood is, they’ll remember you after.

You can be very persuasive – A key part of a job interview, is to persuade the person you are talking too that you are right for the job. Being able to do your research and pick out key points that can sway the employer’s opinion is very important and you again, are just naturally good at this. ENFJ’s are often very honest, so when I say persuasive, they have the best intentions. This personality type will go into an interview thinking they are the best for the role and if it’s not for them, they wouldn’t have applied anyway. So, use your powers of persuasion to you advantage. Tell them how you being able to work for the company will benefit them.

You are a leader – All of your strengths tend to be things that employers look for and leadership skills are no different. In their personal lives, they probably have a very close-knit circle of friends and family, but the ENFJ seems to be the person that takes charge and makes the plans. Translated into working terms, you are able to control a situation and take-charge making decisions that affect the team you work in. Teaching and mentoring a group of people come naturally to The Teacher and in a working environment help others see their potential. You probably have loads of examples of you showing this skill, so be sure to use these stories in an interview.

Potential improvements

There is such a thing as too selfless – Although you thrive when helping others, constantly worrying about other people’s issues instead of your own can lead you to loosen your grip on your responsibilities. When an ENFJ is at work, they do their best to get things done, but you may often find yourself dropping things when someone asks for your help. It’s in the nature of The Teacher to help others, but sometimes you just have to help yourself. When interviewers ask about ‘your greatest weakness’ you can talk about how you’ve had trouble with this in the past but are working to improve yourself.

Assess the situation first – There is absolutely nothing wrong with being passionate, highly motivated and head strong, they are all qualities that employers look for in a good candidate. However, ENFJ’s often do things without thinking them through. Intuitive nature gets the best of them and may not concern themselves with little details that they find insignificant in the moment. However, mistakes can be prevented by simply thinking a little before carrying out the action. In a work environment, it’s better to assess before doing.

Over-commitment – ENFJ’s thrive on helping people but saying ‘yes’ can become a bad habit for some that they just can’t escape. It’s easy to become overwhelmed so try and only say yes to things you are really interested in. The same thing applies for interviews and job opportunities, check they are right for you, you don’t have to always say yes!

What you can do to develop and overcome the weaknesses?

Stick to it – Instead of saying yes to everything, pick a few projects, in this case potential job interviews and start with these to begin with. If you are able to take on more workload then go for it, but you will find better results in working through applications separately and not all at once. Break things up into small goals and stick with it. It can be exciting to have all these ideas and job possibilities but finish one before you start another.

Same goes for your personal life, it’s in the ENFJ’s nature to try and help everyone, but it’s not always possible. You can say yes, but assess the situation and if you can, then help. Understanding that not everything is your responsibility will be a good place to start.

Try and see the good in a little bit of conflict – If The Teacher had it their way, they would steer clear of any conflict all together. But being able to take control of a situation can help you when conflict arises, so use your skills to learn how to deal with this. Some interviewers may ask how you deal with conflict in the workplace, so understanding how you can and knowing that not everything is always going to run 100% smoothly, can help you begin to develop this skill. When everyone has different ideas at work, arguments can arise. Take the time to assess the situation and find a way to please everyone. By taking something you’re not good at and matching it with one of your strengths, you can help develop your skills at dealing with conflict.

At work the ENFJ is motivated to organise others and implement a change. They are great with problem solving and work extremely well with others. The personality strengths of an ENFJ are strong enough to help them overcome any weaknesses they feel they may have. It’s simply about figuring these out and trying to make a change. Determination will play a key part in your growth and development, so keep trying.