Interview Q & AIt starts in the job advertisements, ” we are seeking a dynamic curiously minded” or an “energetic, decisive strong communicator” and these words find their way into a candidate resume / CV.

Multiply this by the number of candidates and applications, the world then becomes full of high-octane, super energetic, decisive superstars.

We know this is not true. Which is why recruiters, hiring managers and the HR team check to see if the person they are speaking to has the personality and associated behaviors that they are looking for as a good match to their company culture and those of the candidate.

You as a candidate must be true to yourself, be honest and avoid the  overuse of “buzz-word” games.

You are wasting your own time, energies and could be making a mistake if after the interview you have a job offer for a company where the culture does not match your own aspirations, style or personality.

On a personal note, there is nothing wrong with being truthful yet economic when applying. I simply cannot for the life of me cannot remember how many enthusiastic and dynamic profile people have turned out to be slow thinking, risk adverse, thoughtful and reflective. There is no match and I would not tell a candidate to re-write their resume/CV, I simply ask them some risk taking, pressure or stress situation and related  questions, they discover themselves that the job is not quite what they want.

So when it comes to writing your social media profile, your CV or resume, or simply doing a strengths or weaknesses exercise, this list may be of use to you.

The Top 80 Common Personality Behaviour Words Are:
Accurate, Action-oriented,Active,Adaptable,Adventurous,Ambitious, Analytical, Assertive,Authoritative,Calm,Cautious,Cheerful, Collaborative,Competent,Competitive, Confident, Conscientious,Cooperative, Critical, Curious,Decisive,Dedicated,Dependable,Dependent, Determined,Diligent,Diplomatic,Disciplined,Discreet,Dynamic,Effective, Energetic,Enthusiastic,Ethical,Expert,Extrovert,

Imaginative,Influential,Innovative,Inquisitive,Instinctive,Intuitive,Inventive, Investigative,

Knowledgeable, Leader,Logical, Mature,Methodical,Motivated,Motivating, Objective,Observant,

Open-minded,Optimistic, Outgoing, Perceptive, Perfectionist, Persevering, Persistent,  Persuasive, Practical,

Pragmatic, Precise, Professional, Rational, Realistic, Reserved, Resilient, Resourceful,

Self-Confident, Selfless, Self-motivated, Self-reliant, Serious, Social, Stable, Strong, Supportive, Tactful

It is important to note, these words came from a sample size of 220 candidate CV / resumes. They also reflect the jobs that are advertised and the applicants. If the recruiting was engaged in nursing, healthcare or similar, one would hope to see other common personality behaviour words such as:

  • Accommodating, Caring, Independent,
  • Patient, Tolerant and Trustworthy.

The crazy thing, if these key words are listed in any company candidate application tracking system (ATS ), when a keyword search is made by the researcher, company recruiter or HR manager, they will need to see some form of match.

As a candidate, do you pretend, change and fit your CV / resume just to get an interview, hoping it will be a job which does fit?

A number of candidates use this trick, an old sales hack I used to use to seek appointments with CFO / Financial Directors a long time ago. Simply copy paste the advertisement into a form of cover letter, introduce yourself with the opener “I understand you are looking for ” then customise the cover letter.

You simply quote back to them what they are looking for and amend the letter as required. An ATS tick in the box, yet be prepared for it not working at Google or elsewhere, some companies have very sophisticated candidate selection algorithms.

Yet for an overworked, under pressure company recruiter at an expanding company, you may be a first search screening ATS results match and a possible request to screen interview.

Just remember, that when you do have that interview, you share some examples of being the expected dynamic, superstar material to best support your application.

An essential preparation interview step is to list and prepare some examples related to the key words used.

At interview your options include, writing them on a small piece of card, or to take a pad and pencil into the interview with you, where already you have written key word reminders in pencil lightly in the margin for reference and to tick off when highlighted or given in a response.

It may be a bit old world, yet or some, it helps overcome nerves, hence mentioning it here.

Good luck, I wish you every success with your job hunt.