Welcome to this week’s personality article, where we share information about a specific personality type and link it to how you could improve on your interview skills and technique. During this instalment, we are focusing on the ENFP personality type, or also known as The Champion. For more articles on this subject, you can click here to be re-directed to the E&TJ Careers and advice section where you can find more articles like this and more!
The best way to describe an ENFP is that they are “people-centred creators with a focus on possibilities and a contagious enthusiasm for new ideas, people and activities. Energetic, warm, and passionate, ENFPs love to help other people explore their creative potential.”
People with this personality type are great communicators, they have a good sense of humour and just have a way of getting you engaged in their stories and conversation. They are also usually very creative and prefer to be original and come up with their own ideas.
What does ENFP stand for?
ENFP stands for Extraverted, Intuitive, Feeling and Perceiving. This typically means that ENFP types love spending time with others, not to say they don’t like time alone, but they feel energized when they are surrounded by family and friends. They find it very easy to talk to others and feel the need for communication every day. They are a creative type and like to focus on ideas rather than facts as well as making a lot of their decisions on feelings. They prefer to be spontaneous and flexible rather than having a strict schedule. Not necessarily meaning they are unorganised, but they like to take things as they come.
They believe that personal freedom and self-expression are some of the most important things in life and want to be able to go wherever inspiration leads. They can often seem very pre-occupied to others around them, but in reality, they simply have a lot of ideas going on in their head. There is so much they want to see and do; that they can seem a little scattered at times.
Strengths of an ENFP personality type
Excellent communicators – This skill is exactly what you want in any interview situation. The ENFP personality is very likely to have great communication skills and they know exactly how to use them in the right situation. They often find a way to engage anyone in conversation, they just know what to say and when to say it. Considering most interview stages involve talking to the employer at some point, being able to engage them and persuade them about your skills is the perfect strength to have.
Wide Imagination – Creativity and the ability to think outside the box is something a lot of employers look for. Not everyone has the ability to think creatively all of the time, sometimes it takes them a while to get into the right headspace, but for an ENFP, it just comes naturally. Sometimes, rejecting the traditional way of doing things to solve a problem, is exactly what a team needs. When talking about this during an interview, make sure you pick an example of when you used your creativity to solve a problem in the workplace, you probably have a few stories to share!
Can be natural leaders – The Champion often has a very can-do attitude and the people in their team often thrive on this kind of personality trait. They have someone there telling them that it is possible, even when things don’t go as well as they planned. ENFP’s can be very good in leadership positions, instinct kicks in and they are natural born leaders. They work hard to gain the trust of others and take their ideas into consideration. Again, when talking about this strength in an interview, make sure you take an example and explain the situation. How have you demonstrated good leadership in the past?
Potential weaknesses of this type
Can have a lack of focus – An ENFP type is usually thinking creatively most of the time. They are coming up with ideas and resolutions for problems in their head pretty much continuously. When someone has this many ideas, it can be hard to follow through on them all. Ideas get forgotten and plans get left behind. The Champion relies on their passion and excitement too much and often, forget that not everything is achievable. They tend to start new projects before finishing others and this can be frustrating for other people they work with. Trying to ‘fix’ this weakness can take time, but it is something that is worth doing for the employer’s sake.
Seeks approval – An ENFP has a lot of ideas and is a natural born leader, but they also have trouble with acceptance from the people around them. They can sometimes come across too strong and sometimes, this doesn’t mesh well with other personality types. They work very hard to make a good impression and often talk too much and listen too little.
Overthinking – Sometimes when someone’s mind is overrun with ideas, it can be hard to focus on one thing. When their ideas aren’t accepted or something in the team isn’t going exactly to plan, they may feel like they’re unappreciated. Overanalysing other people’s behaviour, leads them to think that others resent them. Overthinking is common with a lot of people, and just takes time to understand the situation and know that not everyone is out to get you.
How can you use this to improve yourself?
When you have too many thoughts and ideas running through your head, it can be hard to focus on one thing at a time. ENFP’s can be distracted and this is what leads them to not finishing projects. Despite this personality type usually being very creative and passionate about the work they do; they lack commitment and the control to finish. A good thing to try and get better at is your time / project management. Every now and again it’s a good idea to slow down, take a look at what you’re doing and do what needs to be done to complete the job. It can be hard at first but start with a list of goals and/or targets you need and ensure that you check each one off your list. Something simple can really go a long way.
Also, ENFP’s are great at talking, so much so, that they sometimes forget to listen. Having the ability to talk about pretty much everything and get yourself involved is great, but sometimes simply nodding and listening is just as effective. Good communication includes the ability to listen to others and try to see where they are coming from. Interviews are for you as much as they are for the employer, so make sure you are asking them well thought out questions as well and you are actually listening to what they have to say.
When an interviewer asks you the dreaded question ‘what are your greatest weaknesses?’. You can touch upon these things but ensure the employer that you are aware of the issue and you are working on correcting it. Employers know that no one is perfect, and we all have flaws, but it’s having the ability to talk about why we want to make the change for ourselves that can really sell yourself to an interviewer.