Discrimination Against Introverts in Job Descriptions / Applications

Discrimination Against Introverts in Job Descriptions / Applications

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This is a discussion on Discrimination Against Introverts in Job Descriptions / Applications within the Education & Career Talk forums, part of the Topics of Interest category; I came across this question on a job application for an art instructor job: On a scale of 1-10 (1 ...

  1. #1

    Discrimination Against Introverts in Job Descriptions / Applications

    I came across this question on a job application for an art instructor job:

    On a scale of 1-10 (1 being very introverted and 10 being very extroverted) where on the scale are you when meeting a person for the first time?

    Do you think this is a fair question?
    I have no doubt in my mind that the "correct" answer is a 10 and that this question is trying to weed out introverts.I personally don't think that being extroverted would make a person a better art teacher though.Outside of sales, I don't think there are too many jobs where extroversion is a real edge. Introverts do not necessarily come off as unfriendly upon meeting people. They may be more reserved, but that can actually have a calming effect on people and put them at ease, whereas an extrovert can sometimes overwhelm people when they first meet them.

    Why do you think people consistently underestimate and devalue introverts? Or do you think that is even true?

    I've noticed on past jobs that as an introvert, I'd often end up doing more work, and better quality, than some of the extroverts, but often they were noticed more and liked better simply because they schmoozed....

    Some think the I/E divide is 50/50 in the world, but it seems clear that the extroverted attitude is preferred; I can't see any practical advantage to it though. It seems it simply comes down to charm over talent, intelligence, and ability....

    On a personal note, this discourages me, because I was thinking this job was a great fit for me. I have worked as a tutor with kids of many ages (and not just one-on-one, but in small groups), and I was very good with them. I am not an outgoing person, but I am patient, gentle and encouraging, and I found kids responded well to that. I made such a noticeable difference in some kids that the principle commented on it and one parent thanked me. I am also an artist of sorts (illustration/design), so this job seemed like something I'd be great at. I now feel if I were to answer this question honestly (my answer being a 2), that I would not be considered for the position, and I honestly, I feel it would be their loss.
    silverlined, amanda32, boredToDeath and 5 others thanked this post.

  2. #2

    Well, beyond begging the question, it totally depends on the "type" of work and the job responsibilities. My best friend and 4 closest friends are *all* Introverts and I'd hire any one of them not because of their Introvertedness, or lack thereof, but because they are all NTs, are exceedingly intelligent and have enormous capacity to THINK.

    Surely, this is a microcosm and YMMV, but in my work, those of the types of people needed. If it were retail or sales or something of that ilk, yes, I suspect introverts would be at somewhat of a disadvantage.
    Vanitas, zwanglos and dude10000 thanked this post.

  3. #3

    Face it. The Western World is extroverted;meanwhile the Eastern World is introverted.

  4. #4

    I got my first job during the summer in between my junior and senior years in high school. I worked as a "Courtesy Clerk" at a local grocery store. This means bagging groceries, retrieving carts and getting ice out of the freezer, among some more minor tasks.

    I remember the questionnaire I filled out while applying. The questionnaire was about your general attitude when it came to dealing with people and working. The store had been open for 4 years at the time. They said that in those 4 years, they'd never seen someone score as incompatible as I did.

    They gave me the job anyway I guess I did it to their satisfaction but that's not the point. The point is that introversion/extraversion was what some of those questions asked me about and I chose introverted, of course. Why does this happen? The only reason I can think of is because introverts are only 25% of the population and they aren't encountered as often, so people don't know how to deal with them as well. We should adopt the Japanese respect for introversion here in the West.

  5. #5

    Depends on the job. Extroverts would go crazy in introverts' environment and vice versa. Managerial positions do favor extroverts though, for rather obvious reasons.

    I suppose some (S?) supervisors do try to fit extroverts to all the positions in the hope of 'better communication' regardless of how (un)fitting they are. Introverts seemed to be prejudiced by many (less informed, I hope) people to be more prone to 'weirdness' (mental/ social disorders?) and incapability to work as team.

  6. #6

    I'm an introvert but I can turn it on and off when needed. I do work in the field of dispute resolution so I'm as outgoing as necessary depending on who I'm talking to. Like, if I'm talking to a businessman, I'd likely cut to the chase more than I would with someone else because that's the sort of attitude they want. But when left to my own device, I'm introverted.

  7. #7

    Well they consistently ask for good communication/relational skills in like 85% of the job description up here..

    They also like to specify "focus on details" and stuff, way to be biaised towards "S" types.

    I think the best thing to do is to apply anyway and try to impress them in an interview anyway. They always ask for the "perfect candidate" in their view but in reality no body is perfect..
    OrangeAppled and midnightblonde thanked this post.

  8. #8

    Quote Originally Posted by Vanitas View Post
    Depends on the job. Extroverts would go crazy in introverts' environment and vice versa. Managerial positions do favor extroverts though, for rather obvious reasons.

    I suppose some (S?) supervisors do try to fit extroverts to all the positions in the hope of 'better communication' regardless of how (un)fitting they are. Introverts seemed to be prejudiced by many (less informed, I hope) people to be more prone to 'weirdness' (mental/ social disorders?) and incapability to work as team.
    Yes, these are HUGE misconceptions. Being talkative & outgoing does not equal good communication or good teamwork. That can result in gossip, office drama, wasting time yacking, and pushiness. It can also mean you are a loudmouth and lacking in prudence.

    A reserved, gentle, diplomatic style can be great for working with other people, and IxFxs will often bring that to the table. IxTxs can be very focused and have a thick skin. And let's face it: "weirdness" can mean innovation and imagination that brings about positive change for a business.
    Morpheus83, Sunshine Girl, browneyes94 and 6 others thanked this post.

  9. #9

    I think it's a fair question because companies are allowed to (and should) seek the employee with the best personality fit for the job. To me wanting someone who is extroverted is the same as wanting someone who is detail-oriented, analytical, creative, or anything else. I even saw an ad that said "We are not looking for a social butterfly." I've been asked at job interviews if I have thick enough skin to do customer service with engineers. Sometimes you need a certain personality to fit a position. That said, I think it's pretty expected to lie. I'm the least detail-oriented person in the world but if I didn't pretend to be I'd never get an entry-level position. I claim to be, then I work my butt off trying to do the job right and wind up with good performance reviews for it.

    That question doesn't seem to measure true introversion to me, though. You can be shy at the first meeting and be an extrovert or be outgoing at a first meeting and really be introverted. Seems like they just need someone who can act outgoing when they need to.

  10. #10

    ^ It's wrong because they are equating extroversion with certain abilities and qualities, when those abilities are not necessarily directly related to being an extrovert. The association between these positive traits and extroversion and the association of negative traits and introversion is VERY MUCH a prejudice. Very few job descriptions will express preference for an introvert or a reserved person (I have yet to see it and I am applying to 50+ jobs a week sometimes); most are biased towards an extrovert personality. The idea that someone cannot be pleasant to work with, friendly, and very good at their job because they are an introvert is just WRONG.
    Morpheus83, Achi, MilkyWay132 and 1 others thanked this post.


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